NPR and Kaiser Health News report that Wal-Mart late last month sent out a request for proposals to help it develop a wide-ranging network of primary care that would include a number of services beyond in-store clinics. You have to think that, if the plans are developed into reality, a number of the Nashville area's big health care players will want to play a role in the Wally World of Health Care.
In-store medical clinics, such as those offered by Walmart and other retailers, could also be players in another effort in the health law: encouraging collaborations of doctors and hospitals who want to win financial rewards for streamlining care and lowering costs. Such collaborations, known as "accountable care organizations," might contract with in-store medical clinics, says Paul Howard, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. He has studied retail clinics, some of which have recently expanded to offer services beyond simple tests and vaccinations, such as helping monitor patients with diabetes or high blood pressure.
Walmart's request goes even further, asking possible partners to provide information on how they would oversee patients with complicated chronic conditions, including asthma, HIV, arthritis, depression and sleep apnea.
All Things Considered yesterday reported its follow-up on the recent raid by federal agents of Gibson Guitar plants here and in Memphis. A good part of the show's piece focused on the possible implications of a prosecution under the Lacey Act, which regulates the importing of endangered plants of animals. Such a case would be a first since the law was amended in 2008.
Others in the guitar world aren't so upbeat. Attorney Ronald Bienstock says the Gibson raids have aroused the guitar builders he represents because the Lacey Act is retroactive. He says they're worried they might be forced to prove the provenance of wood they acquired decades ago.
"There hasn't been that moment where people have quote tested the case. 'What is compliance? What is actual compliance? How have I complied?' We're lacking that."
SEE ALSO: A Wall Street Journal piece on Gibson's aggressive reaction to raid
In the conference room, the group decided they would turn the immigration idea into a model bill. They discussed and debated language. Then, they voted on it. "There were no 'no' votes," Pearce said. "I never had one person speak up in objection to this model legislation." Four months later, that model legislation became, almost word for word, Arizona's immigration law.HT: Pith
Because hospitals often put the doctors on flat salaries without the financial incentive to see more patients, doctors "weren't working as hard as they were before their practice was acquired." In fact, Jessee adds, "the first thing a lot of physicians did is take a vacation." Hospitals lost a lot of money and ended up divesting most of the practices. This time, hospitals are providing incentives like some of those Casey receives, such as bonuses based on how many patients they see.SEE ALSO: Doctors for sale, our January story on this topic
The average work week increased to 34 hours from 33.9, a positive sign. Most employers are likely to work current employees longer before they hire new workers. The department also revised January's job total to show a gain of 14,000, up from a previously reported loss of 26,000. February's job numbers were also revised higher by 22,000 to show a loss of 14,000. The economy has now added jobs in three separate months since the recession began.SEE ALSO: Reactions via NPR and the Journal as well as this chart from Calculated Risk showing just how freakin' far we still have to go.
Whenever you're paying maybe upwards of $20 for a can of formula in a store, it's pretty easy to sell at a flea market for $8 to $10 a can. And it's quick cash. It's quick profit for people. And they're not stealing it to provide for their family, they're stealing it because it's a way to make a living at the flea market.
"As the news on the economy has darkened, so, too, have the forecasts," said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. "We are suffering a period of maximum stress on the economy."