Resolution May Be Near for Long-Awaited Veterans Contract
Sara Brown

After years without a contract for on-Island medical care for veterans, officials are reporting that “considerable progress” has been made, news that was met with skepticism by the Island veterans agent.

The original contract between the Providence VA Medical Center and the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital lapsed several years ago, and in the meantime, Island veterans have had to go off-Island for most medical care.

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Choices In the Health Care Spectrum
Dr. Gail O'Brien

I spent the first 12 years of my medical career taking care of poor people in a teaching hospital in Providence, R.I. In the early 1990s health care was rather different than it is now. If a person had private insurance, they generally had ready access to both primary care doctors and specialists. For my clinic patients, it was another matter. Many had no insurance or Medicaid, were disabled, homeless, poorly educated or didn’t speak English. Working there required tremendous patience and a level of dogged determination that I did not realize I possessed.

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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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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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Citizen Health Care Role Called Critical
Alexis Tonti

Citizen Health Care Role Called Critical


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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Doctors Prepped: People Come From All Over to Get Sick Here
Julia Rappaport

In the summer, there is no such thing as a slow night for the Tisbury ambulance association.

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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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