Local providers hail health-care ruling, look forward to changes | Yakima Herald-Republic

Rick Linneweh, CEO of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, said a less-publicized part of the law significantly changes how providers are reimbursed for their services, moving away from fee-for-service and instead providing incentives for doctors who have better patient outcomes.

“Our effort now will really be to continue to work on accepting the fact that there’s going to be a reimbursement redesign; it has to if we’re going to get costs under control,” Linneweh said. “We’ve got to design delivery systems to respond to that.”

Local providers hail health-care ruling, look forward to changes | Yakima Herald-Republic.

Cancer Treatment and Sex

This from The Mayo Clinic

Cancer treatment can cause physical changes that make having sex more difficult.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Sex might be the last thing on your mind as you start thinking about cancer treatment options and begin coping with the anxiety that comes with a cancer diagnosis. But as you start to feel more comfortable during cancer treatment and afterward, you’ll want to get back to a “normal” life as much as you can. For many women, this includes resuming sexual intimacy.

An intimate connection with a partner can make you feel loved and supported as you go through your cancer treatment. But sexual side effects of cancer treatment can make resuming sex more difficult. Find out if you’re at risk of sexual side effects during and after cancer treatment and which treatments can cause these side effects.

Who’s at risk of sexual side effects?

Women with the greatest risk of sexual side effects include those being treated for:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Vaginal cancer

Treatment for each of these cancers carries the risk of causing physical changes to your body. But having cancer also affects your emotions, no matter what type of cancer you have. For instance, you may feel anxious and worn out about your diagnosis, your treatment or your prognosis. These emotions can also affect your attitude toward sex and intimacy with your partner.

What sexual side effects are most common?

The treatment you receive and your type and stage of cancer will determine whether you experience sexual side effects. The most commonly reported side effects among women include:

  • Difficulty reaching climax
  • Less energy for sexual activity
  • Loss of desire for sex
  • Pain during penetration
  • Reduced size of the vagina
  • Vaginal dryness

Not all women will experience these side effects. Your doctor can give you an idea of whether your specific treatment will cause any of these.

Yakima Volunteer Massage Therapists needed to help Cancer Patients…

A cancer diagnosis can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for patients and their caregivers.  We have up to 40 patients in our infusion room in a single day.  We need volunteer massage therapists to help out in our infusion room occasionally to provide their special skills in relieving some of these side effects.  Make a call to Julie Toney at 574-3441 if you’d like to help out.

Cancer Care In The Yakima Valley

In the third and final part of KYVE’s Insiders Roundtable program on the “Future of Health Care in Yakima”, we focus on cancer care in the Yakima Valley. In this video, Dr. Sean Cleary and Dr. Vicky Jones explain why North Star Lodge is investing in new technologies to deliver and optimize treatment, coordinating care and education with a renewed focus on survivorship, and collaborating with providers and support systems to focus on the whole patient.

Watch Here...

Hospitals and the Supreme Court Ruling: A Step Forward For Health Care in Washington State

SEATTLE – Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the full Affordable Care Act may continue.  The Affordable Care Act is a landmark piece of legislation, and the Washington State Hospital Association supports it as a way to ensure all our residents have needed health care coverage and access to care.


“There are now more than a million people in Washington State without health insurance.  As the people on the front lines who care for the uninsured in times of crisis, we know the tragedy that befalls those without health insurance.  People without insurance have no access to regular care, are more likely to be very ill or disabled, take longer to recover from health care crises, and are more likely to die.  This is unconscionable,” said Scott Bond, president of the Washington State Hospital Association.

The Affordable Care Act is a bold step forward to dramatically reduce the number of people without insurance.  The pieces of the law fit together:  the expansion of Medicaid to many low-income adults, the creation of the health insurance exchange, the subsidies within the exchange to help low-income and moderate-income families purchase coverage, and the individual mandate.  Combined, these programs will provide hundreds of thousands more people in our state with health insurance.  

“We are also pleased the law will go forward because hospitals have a huge financial stake in the health insurance expansions.  The law contains enormous reductions in hospital payments – hospitals’ contribution to pay for the health insurance expansions.  Over the next ten years, federal reductions in hospital payments are projected to be $155 billion nationwide, and $2.7 billion in Washington State alone,” continued Bond.  “If the law works as intended, many more people who are currently uninsured will become insured.  They will be able to get primary and specialty care, will not rely on the ER for their care, and when they are hospitalized the hospital will receive some payment.  Hospitals that treat a high number of the poor and uninsured will not be as burdened; the special government payments that support them will be less critical.”

The prospect of abandoning the health care expansions but keeping the $2.7 billion in reductions was deeply troubling to Washington’s hospital leaders.  This would have been destabilizing for hospitals and health care for all patients.

“The Supreme Court decision gives states the option to expand Medicaid coverage to very low-income adults.  People who will be covered by this expansion are working at low-wage jobs but currently ineligible for Medicaid.  The Washington State Hospital Association will strongly advocate for the Medicaid expansion in our state,” said Bond.

The United States Supreme Court decision is hugely significant.  But many of the reforms embedded in the law are already underway, particularly at hospitals.

Hospitals will continue to improve care, focusing on increasing quality, creating efficiency across the continuum of care, and investing in health care information technology.  Hospitals are also establishing and strengthening strategic partnerships or combining with other hospitals or other health care providers.  These partnerships will lead to better coordinated care and allow the provision of care to people across a variety of settings for the full course of treatment.

Expectations to care for more people at a lower cost will continue.  Through bundled payments and value-based purchasing, the law sets a goal of changing how hospitals are paid, shifting reimbursement from payment per service to payment per patient or per condition for the full course of treatment over a longer time period.  This includes increasing the focus on prevention and better outcomes.  Washington State hospitals welcome exploration of state-based or regional pilot or demonstration projects to chart a path to making this goal a reality.


The Washington State Hospital Association represents all of Washington’s 98 community hospitals.  The association takes a major leadership role in issues that affect delivery, quality, accessibility, affordability, and continuity of health care.  It works to serve its members, increase access to health care, and improve health care quality. See www.wsha.org for more informatio