101°F
weather icon Clear

Sisolak, experts meet in Las Vegas to discuss health care issues

After spending the morning encouraging uninsured Nevadans to sign up for health insurance through the state’s marketplace, Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak met with experts to get a better grasp on the state’s current health care landscape.

A group of 20 or so policy experts worked through four topics selected by Sisolak and his transition team Friday at the National Atomic Testing Museum. Bobbette Bond, the policy director for the Culinary Health Fund, jokingly referred to the meeting as “speed dating.”

The participants laid out problems related to behavioral health, Medicaid, provider shortages and patient protection/cost transparency.

“The solution is here in this room; we just need more time than one meeting,” Sisolak said after the meeting, adding that he thinks some issues brought up could be addressed relatively quickly with minimal expense.

One such area, Sisolak said, centers on the licensing and credentialing of health care providers. For a registered nurse, the licensing process can take as little as 10 to 15 days. But for other areas of licensing, such as counselors or social workers, the timeline to become licensed in Nevada is much longer.

“I’d been licensed in Massachusetts for 10 years. It was quite a process to get set up (here),” said Adele Bohenko, who works at United Citizens Foundation. The nonprofit provides mental and behavioral health services and substance abuse counseling.

Licensing is one area that Sisolak hopes some of the medical experts on his transition advisory team — Bond and University Medical Center CEO Mason Van Houweling — can work on to find some solutions quickly.

But other solutions may not come so fast, including increasing the number of providers in the state. Barbara Atkinson, dean of the still-fledgling UNLV School of Medicine, said the school hopes to grow the number of students up to 120 each year once the school has a permanent campus.

But just adding more students won’t ensure they stay in Nevada, she said. Once a student finishes medical school, that person must complete a residency before beginning to practice. And Nevada lacks some of the basic residencies for students, she said.

“A student that graduates in the state has to go out of state for their residency and then it’s hard to get them back,” Atkinson said.

She encouraged Sisolak to continue work by outgoing Gov. Brian Sandoval to invest in residencies within the state. On Thursday, Sandoval announced a $3.3 million distribution to fund four graduate medical education residency and fellowship programs across the state.

“Ensuring Nevadans have access to high-quality healthcare has been one of my top priorities in office,” Sandoval said in a statement. “Growing Nevada’s physician workforce is essential to meeting this goal and funding from this grant will help increase the number of physicians completing their graduate medical education in Nevada.”

There are 175 licensed physicians per 100,000 residents in Nevada, compared with 261.8 per 100,000 nationwide, according to figures Sandoval’s office released Thursday. The influx of funds dates back to the creation of a graduate medical education task force in 2014. In both 2015 and 2017, the Legislature approved $10 million worth of funding for the project.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mdelaney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Cory Booker speaks at UNLV
US Senator Cory Booker speaks at UNLV during a Young Democrats meet and greet on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
House-approved $15 minimum wage has little chance in Senate

House Democrats approved legislation Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade, to $15 an hour, but the bill has almost no chance in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Negotiators agree on core elements of $1.3T budget deal, says Mnuchin

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that budget and debt negotiators have reached an agreement on the core elements of a deal to increase the government’s borrowing cap and set a $1.3 trillion overall level for the agency budgets that Congress passes each year.

Trump slams 4 congresswomen; crowd chants, ‘Send her back!’

Going after four Democratic congresswomen one by one, a combative President Donald Trump turned his campaign rally into an extended dissection of the liberal views of the women of color, deriding them for what he painted as extreme positions and suggesting they just get out.

Some experts think race issue could make Trump a 2020 winner

President Donald Trump has placed racial animus at the center of his reelection campaign, and even some of his critics believe it could deliver him a second term.

Kamala Harris’ campaign opens Nevada HQ in Las Vegas

Two senior officials with Sen. Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign discussed the importance of Nevada as a diverse early state and shared some insights on the candidate’s preparations for the second national debate.