It's 7:30 a.m. Dr. Yuki Asaki is starting her day at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Her first stop-- meeting with a team of pediatricians.
"Clearly we cannot do what we do in an inpatient world without being a team, but we are only starting to tap into what it truly means to have a team collaborative medicine as an inpatient and outpatient. I don't think that was a huge consideration until recently," Asaki said.
This team is trying to cure a rare illness involving a toddler.
"I always knew she was one in a million when I had her, but this is scientifically proven now," mom Anne-Marie Muscari said.
Eighteen-month-old Elayna-Marie is on the mend, recovering from eye surgery. She came here suddenly because of a growth on her eye. The Brattleboro girl suffers from a plasma deficiency. If untreated, it can lead to clots.
"It can happen anywhere in her body where there are mucus membranes," Muscari said.
Finding the right medicine is now the focus of Elayna-Marie's healing. The team is trying to make sure the youngster does not have to come to the hospital every day for treatment. It's a better solution for the family and the hospital. Keeping patients at home and out of the hospital saves money and often leads to a quicker recovery.
"I think patients get better care when they are able to articulate what's originally brought them to seek care; what has worked, what hasn't worked," Asaki said.
As health care enters a huge change, hospitals are trying to predict the future. Big hospitals like Dartmouth are worried there might not be as much government funding, and patients are left wondering what they will have for insurance and what that insurance might cover. That is why Dartmouth-Hitchcock called together a group that is following the changes. The class included hospital administrators, congressional staffers and those charged with changing the health care system. Journalists were invited to observe. Dartmouth wanted folks to have the real the real-life experience. That's why they gave us the white coats, the access to the doctors, the nurses and the patients. We were allowed to observe patients as they were treated.
The cost of care is huge. Just look at some of the dollars connected to Dartmouth-Hitchcock in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire:
The hospital's annual revenue is $1.4 billion.
It employs more than 8,500 people.
Last year, 19,000 operations were performed here and more than 11,000 people were born at this hospital.
Thousands receive treatment.
The cost of care can't be ignored. That's why Dartmouth-Hitchcock wants its doctors not to rely on a system that pays them a fee for a service or test. Procedures can lead to a bigger paycheck for doctors and hospitals. But Dartmouth contends more procedures don't always lead to healthier patients. They are promoting a system that pays based on improving health.
"I have yet to find a physician that is doing this that they are just trying to buy a Ferrari and they don't care about patients and want to do a bunch of unnecessary things to hurt people," Asaki said. "I have just never met anyone close to that."
This young doctor is carrying thousands of dollars of debt at a time when there is uncertainty in her field.
"It remains to be seen how it will affect physician reimbursement, how it will affect primary care versus specialty care. I don't think we can make the same assumptions that all my attendants have gone through," Asaki said. "I am not sure what my income is going to be when I finish. It will depend on where I end up practicing and what kind of cardiology I go into."
Headed to Houston soon, but not before finding a treatment plan for a toddler. It's a little girl whose mom wants the best care for her daughter.
"She is not affected by these traumatic circumstances. I think it is more traumatic for me. She is doing really, really well," Muscari said.
"What is nice is, I think, kids and parents and pediatricians are on the same team," Asaki said.
It's a team not only focused on health, but the cost of care.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:10:32 GMT
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help. Lincoln will get more than $4.5 million for a bridge repair from Tropical Storm Irene. FEMA also awarded Lebanon more than $3More >>
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:58 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:06 GMT
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro. The film is called "The Address". It follows the 50 boys at the Greenwood School in Putney who have learningMore >>
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:03:58 GMT
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself. Claremont police tell us that the man was cleaning his gun Saturday night when it went off. He was taken to the hospitalMore >>
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:59:53 GMT
This towering ice fortress is dazzling visitors to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. "Yeah, this is a wow moment," says visitor Millie Gabriel. "It's an incredible feeling to see people really light upMore >>
If you're ready to see one more beautiful thing before we say hello to spring, then we've found the spot for you.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:53:41 GMT
When the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was looking at maple education programs, they hit a bit of a snag. "I took a survey of the 31 acres here at the museum and we only had one maple tree on the property,"More >>
The Community Maple program has been going for three years now, allowing people to take the sap from their backyard and learn how to turn it into syrup.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:44:12 GMT
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March! PANCAKE BREAKFAST This year is the 20th annual Franklin Fire Dept. Pancake breakfast at the Franklin Central School. They serve more than 2,000More >>
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March!More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>