Fire Department launches middle school CPR program

Filed under: Health Care |

The Colorado Springs Fire Department is launching a pilot program to teach CPR to students at Challenger Middle School.
The group will use “Family and Friends Anytime,” a 22-minute instructional program created by the American Heart Association.
Firefighters and trainers from American Medical Response will serve as instructors for the school’s 500 students. Classes will be taught throughout the school year.
“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a CPR project of this magnitude has been attempted at any school in the state of Colorado — and possibly even the nation,” said Michelle Hubbard-Pitts, regional manager with the American Heart Association.

Teledermatology guidelines

The American Telemedicine Association is accepting comments for best-practice guidelines for setting up and maintaining a teledermatology practice.
The deadline to submit comments is Sept. 24.
Dermatology is one of the first medical fields to incorporate telemedicine technology into its practices. The working group will complete the guidelines following the comment period.
The draft guidelines are available at www.atmeda.org/ICOT/teledermstandards.htm.

Pay for performance programs

Pay-for-performance programs from health insurers are getting mixed reviews.
While insurance companies claim they are paying millions of dollars in rewards to doctors and keeping costs down, reports from government and private sources question the motivation and methodology of the programs.
A report from Med-Vantage shows that the number of pay-for-performance programs — programs that pay doctors extra money for keeping costs down — quadrupled during a five-year span.
The report projects that there will be 155 pay-for-performance programs in place during 2007 compared with 39 during 2003. But a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers shows that the programs use different doctor-performance indicators. No single indicator was used by all programs and no two programs rewarded providers in the same way.
While acknowledging that pay for performance programs are an important tool, the report said the variation “mutes the potential impact.”
While some programs received positive results, others are under scrutiny by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who expressed concern that programs considered for use by Aetna, Cigna HealthCare and UnitedHealth Group are used to lead patients to less-expensive, instead of higher-quality providers.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers report also found that physician rewards are sometimes too low to make a significant difference. The federal government’s pay for performance plan offers a 1.5 percent bonus for boosting reimbursement rates.
“Some payers noted that they thought it would take at least a 10 percent reward to affect physician clinical behavior, but noted that they could not secure the necessary commitment from the health plan’s leadership to fund the programs at that level,” the report said.

Peak Vista’s annual event


Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, an Olympic gold medallist in track and field, will be the keynote speaker at Peak Vista’s annual Breakfast of Champions on Nov. 8 at The Broadmoor.
She was the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the heptathlon, and the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the long jump.
Joyner-Kersee promotes asthma awareness, education and healthy lifestyles through the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center in East St. Louis, Ill.
Proceeds from the breakfast event will help provide health care for working families in the Pikes Peak region. Corporate tables are available for $1,583, the cost of caring for a family of four for one year at Peak Vista. Individual seating is $75. Call 228-6669 for reservations.
Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.