Health Care

Medicare vs. Medicaid: Defining coverage options in nny

Matthew Wiley of the Jefferson County Office of the Aging.

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Tri-County Doctors: The business of recruitment

Dr. David Wallace just started his job at the River Hospital in Alexandria Bay.

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Telemedicine use spreading in NNY

Charles Wainwright – Wainwright Photo
A doctor at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse communicates in 2016 with a patient using telemedicine technology.Use of the technology in the north country has grown exponentially over the past three years.

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FDRHPO receives $287,592 grant to help improve area’s medical technology workforce

The Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization on Wednesday received a $287,592 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help expand the area’s health information technology workforce.

According to a press release from the office of Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, the department listed the Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis county region as a health professional shortage area, and said the area had a high rate of preventable chronic diseases.

The kind of projects funded with the grants have included expansions in the use of electronic medical records, telehealth programs, technology-based home monitoring networks and mobile health technology.

The release said that expanding the workforce would help reduce the level of certain preventable chronic ailments.

“Better technology means better preventative care, which reduces hospital admissions, readmissions and emergency room visits. That means lower health care costs and insurance premiums for all of us,” Mr. Owens said in a statement.

The FDRHPO’s executive director, Denise K. Young, said in a statement that the grant would help create a workforce prepared for future technology improvements.

“With the implementation of electronic medical records to improve patient care for the people of the North Country, it is critical that we have a workforce prepared to effectively deploy and utilize the technology,” her statement read.

It further said that the FDRHPO would pair with Jefferson Community College to train future medical workers.

“This type of training is integral to the mission of the college, and we are pleased to be a partner with FDRHPO in providing it to the community,” said Jill M. Pippin, the college’s dean of continuing education, in a statement. “The education that students will receive will provide them with skills training, career development, and the application of practical knowledge that will assist them in their daily or future careers.”

CCE to hold ACA workshops in 6 north country locations in Sept.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Northern New York will hold free workshops at six north country sites in September to help farmers, small business owners and individuals navigate the changes created by the federal healthcare overhaul. The workshops will address questions on a wide range of topics, including exchanges for both small business owners and individuals, which are slated to open Oct. 1 in New York state.

CCE is one of 34 organizations working in partnership with New York City-based nonprofit Community Service Society to help disseminate information about the Affordable Care Act.

Pre-registration for the workshops is requested by Sept. 20. The dates of the workshops are as follows:


Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1 to 3 p.m., CCE Office, 6064 state Route 22. More information: Peter Hager, (518) 561-7450.


Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7 to 9 p.m., CCE Office, 3 Cisco St. More information: Anita Deming, (518) 962-4810.


Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1 to 3 p.m., 911 Building. More information: Harry Fefee, (518) 483-7403.


Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7 to  9 p.m., CCE office, 2043B State Highway 68. More information: Anita Figueras, 379-9192.


Thursday, Sept. 26, 1 to 3 p.m., CCE office, 203 North Hamilton St. More information: Peggy Murray, 376-5270.


Thursday, Sept.26, 7 to 9 p.m., CCE office, 5274 Outer Stowe St. More information: Peggy Murray, 376-5270.

Overhaul cuts wait times

Samaritan Medical Center Emergency Department Drs. Maja L. Lundborg-Gray, left, and Dr. Sarah A. Delaney-Rowland in the hospital. For the past 18 months, the par has worked with staff and a consultant to streamline the department and cut patient waiting times. Norm Johnston/ NNY Business

 Samaritan Medical Center docs retool emergency dept., boost patient care [Read more…]

Understanding reform: Plenty of resources to navigate federal care act

Eric Sharlow, left, and Steve Foy are among several insurance firms that are helping small businesses and individuals navigate changes created by sweeping federal health care reform. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Business

Although the employer mandate portion of sweeping federal health care reform, the Affordable Care Act, was earlier this summer pushed until 2015 for businesses with 50 or more full-time employees, small businesses and individuals in the region can begin shopping for policies in their respective health care exchanges beginning Oct. 1 for plans that take effect Jan. 1.

Individual premiums are expected to be about 50 percent lower in New York state before tax credits that could make the cost even less for many individuals, per a July announcement of the exchange by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Rates for the small business exchange — the Small Business Health Options Program or SHOP — have yet to be announced but are also expected to be more affordable. [Read more…]

Caring for the competitive spirit: Orthopedic surgeon treats athletes at all levels of play

Olympic skier Julia Mancuso celebrates with Dr. Peter Van Eenenaam after she won the Super G races at the 2007 World Cup in Cortina, Italy. Special to NNY Business

The number of sports injuries suffered by north country athletes has increased in recent years, but it’s “a reflection of what’s happening everywhere as youngsters become more competitive at an earlier age,” said Dr. Peter Van Eenenaam, director of sports medicine at North County Orthopaedic Group.

“We are seeing an increasing number of knee and shoulder injuries than in past years,” Dr. Van Eenenaam said.

Dr. Van Eenenaam is an orthopedic surgeon who is familiar with sports injuries at all levels of competition.

A graduate of the Harvard Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program, Dr. Van Eenenaam received orthopedic training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and advanced sports medicine training at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo. [Read more…]

Prevention, efficiency critical: Noted doctor says physician assistants will have greater role in care

Dr. Delos M. “Toby” Cosgrove, left, president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, speaks about health care innovation and reform during a discussion with Dr. Robert F. Asbury last month at the Clayton Opera House. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Business

With health care costs ballooning and anxiety about the Affordable Care Act mounting, hospitals should focus on more effective care delivery and campaigns that target smoking and obesity.

That was the message that Dr. Delos M. “Toby” Cosgrove III, Watertown native and president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, gave last month to a packed Clayton Opera House during an interview with Dr. Robert F. Asbury, a physician in Rochester who served with Dr. Cosgrove during a residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Cleveland Clinic is a $6.2 billion health care system consistently ranked as one of the four best nationwide. Under the leadership of Dr. Cosgrove, who joined the clinic in 1975 and became chairman of the department of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery in 1989, the clinic’s cardiology program was ranked first nationwide for 10 consecutive years. Dr. Cosgrove has performed more than 22,000 operations, filed 30 patents and published nearly 450 journal articles. [Read more…]

Guilfoyle Ambulance gains strength: Eldest son steps into CEO post after death of mother in June

Bruce G. Wright, left, is the new president and CEO of Guilfoyle Ambulance Service, shown at the facility with his brothers Toby, center, a paramedic, and Travis, an EMT. Their mother, former president Charmaine G. Wright, died in June. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Business

It may have lost its “matriarch” in June — a woman so in tune with her community that she slept with a police scanner by her bedside and so dedicated to her company that her employees called her ‘Mom’ — but family-run Guilfoyle Ambulance Service hasn’t lost sight of its mission to serve the community.

“If anything, we’ve strengthened since my mother passed away,” Bruce G. Wright, 30, one of Charmaine G. Wright’s three sons, said in an interview earlier this month.

Mr. Wright, who graduated from Watertown High School in 2000 and from Utica College in 2005 with a degree in health studies and management, took over his mother’s role as CEO and president in June. He continues to work closely with his two brothers, Toby and Travis, also Guilfoyle employees. Travis, the youngest of the three, is an EMT and will begin training as a paramedic this fall, while Toby is more a “boots-to-the-ground type of person” who enjoys the operations side and had an interest in emergency medicine since childhood when a heart condition prohibited him from playing sports, Bruce Wright said. [Read more…]