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kristen 01 400x400Honolulu Star-Advertiser health reporter Kristen Consillio was named Media Person of the Year by the Hawaii Medical Association and the Honolulu County Medical Society.

She was honored at the Ola Pono Ike Medical Gala on Oct. 3 at Hilton Hawaiian Village. Ola Pono Ike, which means “health is knowledge,” helps create an awareness of health care issues and raises funds to support health care in Hawaii.

Consillio, who joined Star-Advertiser parent Oahu Publications Inc. in 2007, has been instrumental in the newspaper’s coverage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and the state’s ill-fated health insurance exchange, the Hawaii Health Connector.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientists have pinpointed a cell that begins the process of scarring in fatty tissue. The findings cast new light on a biological process that occurs with obesity and can lead to diabetes.

diabetes1"Scarring can be an important part of the healing process when a person suffers an injury," said OMRF's Lorin Olson, Ph.D., who led the research. "But excessive scarring, or fibrosis, can contribute to many dangerous health conditions."

Judy Mohr Peterson

The Med-QUEST Division of the State of Hawai’i Department of Human Services has appointed a new Administrator in July Mohr Peterson, Ph.D.

Dr. Mohr Peterson is a nationally-recognized leader in Medicaid, health care transformation, and Affordable Care Act implementation. She will begin her work in Hawai’i on July 1.

Since September 2009, Dr. Mohr Peterson has served as Oregon’s State Medicaid Director. In her role, she built the structure of Oregon’s successful health system transformation and coverage expansion. She increased local community and primary care through coordinated care organizations. These organizations reduced emergency department visits and hospitalizations for chronic conditions for Medicaid clients.

layoff-noticeHawaii Health Systems Corp. plans to cut 300 workers as early as July 1 at its 12 public hospitals statewide.

Officials at HHSC said Wednesday the cuts are necessary to offset an estimated $50 million deficit in fiscal 2016.

HMSA-bldA doctor's primary professional obligation is to his or her patients, not to the patients' insurance companies. It's one thing for an insurer to encourage doctors to refer patients to other physicians in its network as a way to control costs, but quite another for it to require those doctors to emphasize financial concerns.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association, the largest health insurer in the state, seems to have crossed that line with a new contract it has imposed on its participating physicians, doctors who accept HMSA's determination of eligible charges as full payment for medical services rendered and who have little choice but to accede to HMSA's demands given the nonprofit's dominance in the Hawaii market.

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