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The health care workforce

By - Last modified: March 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM
Heather Stauffer
Heather Stauffer

Let's talk about the health care workforce.

This is a pop quiz, but never fear; because we've had so much sleet lately and spring is here now, I'm making it hard to flunk.

1. A new report on family doctors by the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians and Dr. G. Terry Madonna says the state

a. currently has family physicians who are highly accessible.

b. will never have a shortage of primary care physicians.

2. A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation corroborates that finding, eporting that the estimated Pennsylvania population underserved in primary care in 2012 was

a. 3.5 percent, the sixth-lowest percentage in the nation and remediable by adding 95 practitioners.

b. burgeoning in the bourgeois manner.

3. A new survey by PwC (previously known as PricewaterhouseCoopers) says 67 percent of health care providers report they are experiencing IT staff shortage. Consequently, health care has begun

a recruiting technology specialists from other industries.

b. seeking alchemists.

4. An ancient (i.e. released Monday) physician retention survey from Cejka Search and the American Medical Group Association reported the highest rate of physician turnover

a. since 2005.

b. since Hippocrates.

5. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook put personal care aide atop its list of fastest-growing occupations, estimating a 70 percent increase between 2010 and 2020. What's the second entry on its list?

a. Home health aides, at 69 percent.

b. Sycophants, at 69.9 percent.

Answers: A, A, A, A, A. (But World B sounds ... interesting.)



The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 — which makes this Saturday its third birthday.


The ambulance crew without the emergency

Last month, PinnacleHealth System and its Community Life Team launched a Community Paramedicine program to help recently discharged patients who have high-risk illnesses and are taking multiple medications manage their care plans.

The program consists of specially trained EMTs and paramedics visiting a patient's home twice in the week after discharge to check vital signs, review prescriptions and answer questions. The goal is preventing unnecessary readmissions.


What the April 1 sequester would cost Hershey Med

The part of the federal budget sequester that will take effect April 1 if not averted will cost Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine an estimated $1.2 million in its first three months, according to Dr. Harold Paz, the center's CEO and college's dean.

The cost per year would be $4.85 million, Paz said. Hershey Medical Center's total operating income in fiscal year 2011 was $89,941,000.


Speaking of health care reform

Two upcoming lectures focused on health care reform are free and open to the public.

On April 2, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel will present "The Affordable Care Act and the future of the American health care system" at 7 p.m. in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building at Bucknell University.

Emanuel is the older brother of Rahm, mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff, and Ari, Hollywood super-agent. He was a special adviser for health policy to the White House Office of Management and Budget from February 2009 to January 2011.

On April 10, Lancaster General Health president and CEO Thomas Beeman will present "The future of health care education: How reform and demographics are shaping demand beyond the classroom" at 4 p.m. in the Stager Conference Center at Lancaster General Hospital, 555 N. Duke St., Lancaster.

Beeman's lecture is part of the Lancaster General College of Nursing & Health Science's sixth annual Distinguished Lecturer Series. Registration, available by emailing Amanda Price at, is requested by April 5.

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at You can also follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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