JAMA’s New Editor-In-Chief Is A Health-Equity Researcher

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo is a health-equity researcher, and the first person of color to edit the American Medical Association’s medical journal. A potential strike at Cedars-Sinai, telehealth reimbursement rules, and Vermont denying a 10% rate rise for hospitals are also in the news.

Black Health-Equity Advocate Named JAMA Editor-In-Chief 

A year after the prestigious medical journal JAMA was embroiled in controversy over a podcast seen as racist by critics, the American Medical Association has appointed a prominent health-equity researcher as the publication’s new editor-in-chief — the first person of color to hold the position. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a Black internist, epidemiologist, and health-equity researcher from the University of California, San Francisco, who has been a leading voice for equitable health care during the Covid-19 pandemic, will lead the Journal of the American Medical Association and the JAMA network of journals, the AMA announced Monday. (McFarling, 4/11)

Crain’s Chicago Business:
AMA Hires Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo As Editor-In-Chief Of JAMA

Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a physician-scholar from the University of California, San Francisco, has been named the next editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association. She is the first person of color to lead the medical journal and only the second woman to serve as editor-in-chief, AMA Chief Communications Officer Rodrigo Sierra said during a press conference today. Bibbins-Domingo will take the reins on July 1. The last permanent editor, Howard Bauchner, left the position following a controversy over a podcast and associated tweet that called into question the existence of systemic racism in the medical profession. Dr. Phil Fontanarosa has served as interim editor-in-chief since March 2021. (Asplund, 4/11)

In other health industry news —

Modern Healthcare:
Cedars-Sinai Workers Authorize Potential Strike Amid Contract Talks

The action by Service Employees Union International-United Healthcare Workers West members comes after their contract with the not-for-profit hospital ended March 31. Contract bargaining began March 21, according to the union. Workers are demanding the hospital negotiate in “good faith” over staffing levels, patient and employee safety, and wages, a news release said. Ninety-three percent of the employees voted in favor of approving a three-day strike if talks don’t progress, the union announced Monday. (Christ, 4/11)

The Boston Globe:
Telehealth Reimbursement Rules Pit Insurers Against Doctors

When Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation in January 2021 mandating insurance coverage for telehealth appointments, the move seemed to resolve years of debate about how to pay for and adopt 21st-century health care technology. But delays in releasing regulations for that law have thrown insurers and doctors back into debate about which visits should be fully covered, and some say the resulting uncertainty could undo gains the industry has made in adopting telehealth over the course of the pandemic. “It makes it much more difficult at a practice level to make sure you are getting care to people in the way that they need it,” said Dr. Chris Garofalo, a co-owner of a private family medicine practice in North Attleborough and Attleboro. (Bartlett, 4/11)

Vermont Regulators Deny 10% Rate Hike For 2 Hospitals 

Vermont regulators have rejected a 10% mid-year rate increase for two hospitals, including the state’s largest, that administrators sought to cover what they called historic inflationary pressures. Regulators instead approved much smaller increases for the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington and Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. The Green Mountain Care Board approved a rate increase of 2.5% for the UVM Medical Center and 2.7% for Central Vermont in a 3-2 vote on Friday, Vermont Public Radio reported. (4/11)

The Bakersfield Californian:
Hall Ambulance To Honor Emergency Medical Dispatchers 

Hall Ambulance will honor its emergency medial dispatchers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which begins Sunday and runs through Saturday. “When someone falls victim to sudden illness or injury, these dispatchers are there to answer the call,” Lavonne C. Hall, president and CEO of Hall Ambulance, said in a statement. “We are grateful for their dedication and commitment to the communities we serve.” (4/9)

Also —

Why Delta Air Lines Is Making Its Chief Health Officer Role Permanent 

When Delta Air Lines created the chief health officer role in 2021, it was facing an acute, existential threat to its business and still reeling from COVID-19. Fast-forward to 2022; though the pandemic is on its way to becoming endemic, the airline is immortalizing the CHO role to navigate future health crises and workplace challenges that will inevitably emerge long after the pandemic has receded. (Wahba, 4/11)

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


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