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The changing employment picture changes the health care picture in Northeast Ohio
Layoffs force many to find alternatives to meet their health care needs

As jobs in Northeast Ohio continue to dwindle, so does the number of people with health insurance. Many are going without insurance for the first time in their lives, and looking for alternatives to private care.

Insurance experts say finding the money to continue coverage is crucial, and not just for today. But for many, it's simply not an option. WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz has the first report in our series, "Vital Signs " Diagnosing Health Care in Northeast Ohio".
Full story

WANTED: Family Docs
How the medical home model can save American health care

President Obama is asking Congress to see to it that 45 million uninsured Americans get access to quality health care. That access often begins with a primary-care physician. But the number of family doctors has fallen dramatically in recent years, with many medical students choosing the higher pay -- and friendlier hours -- of other specialties.

In this segment of Vital Signs: Diagnosing Health Care in Northeast Ohio, we look at how Northeast Ohio medical schools are responding to the challenge of access to primary care.
Full story

The co-op model came to Cleveland 37 years ago
Health care a key interest to Council for Smaller Enterprises

Since it started, the debate about health-care reform has -- at least rhetorically -- focused on the crushing pressure of health-insurance costs on small business. And lately, the talk has turned to co-ops as a way to control those costs.

Which makes a Cleveland group called COSE almost prophetic.

In part-three of our series, "Vital Signs: Diagnosing Health Care in Northeast Ohio," we look closer at what a group like COSE can do now -- and fears it will not be able to do later.
Full story

Cleveland Clinic gets top billing for high quality care at lower than average costs
But it's not clear that Clinic's model can be replicated

The Cleveland Clinic is held up as a national example of a health-care institution that controls costs while providing quality care. President Obama would like others to emulate the Clinic's model, which includes electronic medical records, doctors on salary and wellness programs. But the Clinic relies on economies of scale not available to many institutions. And some critics question the Clinic's record on issues such as hospital readmissions, charity care, and patient satisfaction.
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Rural Ohio works to fill health-care gaps
Rural hospitals find their place in a changing health-care world

The U.S. Agriculture Department says one-in-four rural residents have no health care coverage. And, it estimates that rural residents pay nearly 40-percent of their incomes on out-of-pocket medical expenses. Both figures are the highest for any group in the nation, and reflect the situation in rural Ohio. And just as farming techniques have changed over the decades, so has health care delivery in rural areas.....
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Northeast Ohio in the vanguard in health information technology
Broadband links improve care, cut costs

Years before President Obama began diagnosing the nation's health care problems, his predecessor prescribed a remedy for the feverish rise in costs. President Bush said we could save money and lives by getting doctors to switch from paper records to an electronic system. The Bush initiative languished, but today, despite concerns about security and privacy, information technology is one health care idea with widespread support. Pioneering efforts are underway in Northeast Ohio.
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Competition and cooperation among Northeast Ohio hospitals
Supply and demand give way to a higher law

Northeast Ohio hospitals compete. Take, for example, the cardiac centers of Mercy and Aultman hospitals in Canton, and the rehab centers of Summa health and Akron General. But it's not clear that the laws of supply and demand work when it comes to controlling health-care costs. Cooperation, rather than competition, may be the key...
Full story

Vital Signs: Diagnosing Health Care in Northeast Ohio

Regardless of how national healthcare reform plays out, Northeast Ohioans are making changes now. Some by choice and some by necessity.

Many of the changes exemplify national problems. Chief among them is adapting to the loss of health-care benefits and to the skyrocketing cost of health insurance and treatment.

Some of the changes are held up nationally as examples of solutions, including health co-ops, information technology and preventative care.

In this seven-part series, "Vital Signs: Diagnosing Health Care in Northeast Ohio," WKSU looks at change that will not wait -- nor be dependent upon -- a national solution.

"Vital Signs" is presented with support from the Center for Community Solutions and the Greater Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging.

Greater Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging

The Center for Community Solutions


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