News Update: Wednesday, August 22 - Health Care Contract for Veterans Near
Remy Tumin

A new contract between the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and the Veterans Administration to allow on-Island health care for veterans is under final review, the Chilmark selectmen learned on Tuesday night.

Vineyard veterans have had no access to primary care on the Vineyard since a previous contract expired several years ago.

In a letter sent to the Chilmark selectmen on August 15 Vincent Ng, the director of the Providence Medical Center where many Island veterans have had to travel for care, reported the good news.

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Health Care Hot Topic at Screening
Ivy Ashe

We ordinarily associate fire with devastation, a barely controllable force that overtakes everything in its path. The metaphor is used throughout Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke’s Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, which screened before a sold-out crowd of over 300 people Wednesday night at the Chilmark Community Center. The showing was followed by two lengthy discussion sessions nearly the duration of the film itself (the documentary is 95 minutes long).

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Island Health Care Issue is Two-Tiered
Dr. Donald Berwick

Just like the rest of America, health care on Martha’s Vineyard is in trouble — too often fragmented, unsafe, variable, hard to access and far too costly. Poor system designs are the cause, designs sustained by a fee-for-service payment system that pays for volume (how much you do), not value (how well the patient does). Doctors, nurses, other clinicians, staff, and managers do their very best to help, but they are often fighting upstream against systems that make their work harder.

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Citizen Health Care Role Called Critical
Alexis Tonti

Citizen Health Care Role Called Critical

By ALEXIS TONTI

If the Island wants better health care, its citizens must demand it.

This simple but straightforward directive was one of the chief messages of the second annual public symposium, Changing Our Health Care: Options for the Vineyard, held Sunday night at the Performing Arts Center.

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Island Doctor Shortage Prompts Renewed Efforts to Ease Problem
Joshua Sabatini

Becoming a patient in a primary care physician's practice is now almost impossible for Islanders and visitors, but medical personnel are making an effort to alleviate the situation.

Primary physician practices, in the strictest sense, are closed to new patients, leaving those in search of a doctor in limbo.

Tim Walsh, who became the Martha's Vineyard Hospital's chief executive officer in August, said the lack of primary care physicians is a problem.

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Nursing Association Plans Medicare Hospice Service
Julia Wells

The Vineyard Nursing Association has announced a plan to expand its services to include hospice care, directly competing with Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, a 28-year-old Island institution which operates solely on donations, unfettered by the constraints of insurance regulations.

Vineyard Nursing Association has applied to become a licensed hospice provider certified under Medicare.

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Deprived of Clinic Here, Vets Speak Out on Frustrations of Off-Island Treatment
Peter Brannen

After more than two years without primary care on the Island, a group of Vineyard veterans blasted the Veterans Administration and Partners Healthcare yesterday for failing to restore medical services that had been available on the Island for years. The veterans met with a team of national representatives from the American Legion in the hope that they will bring their message back to Capitol Hill.

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