The “father of the HMO” dies at 95; The idea didn’t turn out the way he had imagined


As the New York Times noted in its obituary, Dr. Paul Ellwood Jr. left the practice of pediatric neurology in the late 1960s to devote himself to national health reform. But as health maintenance organizations became wildly profitable, Ellwood repeatedly expressed disappointment with how his original ideas had worked in practice.

The New York Times: HMO Architect Dr. Paul M. Ellwood Jr. Dead at 95

Dr. Paul M. Ellwood Jr., who changed the way millions of Americans receive private medical services by developing — and naming — the managed care model known as the Health Maintenance Organization, died Monday in Bellingham, Washington. He was 95 years old. His wife, Barbara Ellwood, said his death, at a nursing home, was caused by organ failure. Dr. Ellwood, who left the practice of pediatric neurology in the late 1960s to devote himself to national health reform, was often called the father of the HMO, although many others made important contributions to the concept and that some localized prepaid health plans have been around for decades. . (McFadden, 6/20)

In other healthcare worker news –

Southern California News Group: Walmart Hikes pays more than 1,600 pharmacy technicians in California

Walmart has raised hourly wages for its more than 36,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy technicians, including more than 1,600 in California. The mega-retailer said it also plans to hire 5,000 more pharmacy technicians this year. The wage hike took effect this week, bringing their average wage to more than $20 an hour. The company has also committed to more frequent wage increases that will increase wages by up to $4 an hour for new hires over the next four years. Pharmacy technicians will get raises every six months during their first two years with the company. (Smith, 6/20)

Crain’s Detroit Business: Remaining Labor Shortages, Hospitals Turn to Tech to Fill Gaps

The big resignation in the health sector took years to prepare – COVID-19 only accelerated the problem. Many healthcare workers left the industry during the pandemic to escape harsh conditions and increasing responsibilities. Each worker who left meant another worker who had to take over. Burnout has become synonymous with the job title ‘hospital worker’, whether that worker is a nurse, paramedic or caretaker. A vacancy rate of about 17% persists at Michigan hospitals, resulting in about 1,300 fewer beds available for patients statewide compared to a year ago. “The reality is that we knew even before the pandemic that many people would leave the field,” said Michigan Health & Hospital Association CEO Brian Peters. “Demography is not on our side, and we are simply not training enough nurses, doctors, pharmacists, whatever to replace all those who will retire in the coming years.” (Walch, 6/20)

St. Louis Public Radio: Father-daughter duo work on hearts as doctors BJC

Dr. Sophia Roberts didn’t have to look far for a role model. She’s a resident at the University of Washington at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and she’s on her way to following in her father’s footsteps and becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon, working on hearts. Her father, Dr. Harold Roberts, has been practicing medicine for over 30 years. Last year he joined his daughter at Barnes-Jewish. Only about 8% of cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States are women, but Sophia has known she has wanted to be a surgeon since her father took her to the operating room when she was 11 years old. (Drake, 6/17)

AP: At Westminster Dog Show, new focus on vet welfare

Dogs are in the spotlight, but Westminster Kennel Club’s upcoming show also shines a light on a human issue: the mental health of vets. Along with the top Vet of the Year award to be presented on the final day of the show on Wednesday, the club is donating $10,000 to a charity focused on the psychological well-being of veterinary professionals. It’s emotional new territory for the 145-year-old event at a time when the coronavirus pandemic and a changing culture have laid bare the internal struggles of people, from school children to healthcare workers to college athletes and professional sports stars. (Peltz, 06/18)

And STAT is investigating the dismissal of black doctors from residency programs –

Statistic: Black residents are expelled at much higher rates than white doctors

Rosandra Daywalker had always excelled. The daughter of Haitian and Jamaican parents in Miami – one an auto parts clerk, the other a nurse – she had received a near-perfect SAT score, earned a full college scholarship to the University of Miami, graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse Medical School, and was inducted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Then came the icing on the cake: she entered the elite and highly competitive specialty of otolaryngology, a field she had fallen for after witnessing an elegant cadaver dissection of the head and neck. in medical school. Standing on stage at Morehouse’s Match Day festivities in 2015, Daywalker beamed. His family couldn’t have been prouder. The fact that less than 1% of otolaryngologists were black seemed a distant concern. (McFarling, 6/20)

Stat: What will it take to level the playing field for black residents?

Black doctors are being fired or leaving their training programs in far greater numbers than white doctors, an issue STAT reported this week has long been hidden and ignored by the medical establishment and contributes to the chronic shortage of black doctors, in especially in the elite. fields of medicine. Although the causes are complex and sometimes difficult to pin down — and structural racism is entrenched in medicine as it is in the rest of American society — academics and doctors working to address the problem say residency programs and organizations supervisors can take simple steps to make a difference. (McFarling, 6/21)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.


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