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Care Delivery

 

Judging by 28 different metrics, Vermont offers the highest-quality and most cost-efficient care for children, according to a new study from personal finance website WalletHub, while Nevada struggles with limited access to care and poor oral health among those under the age of 18. 

The effectiveness of accountable care organizations (ACOs) may be limited by two factors, according to a new study published in Health Affairs: low numbers of enrollees attributed to participating physicians and the constant “churn” of the patient population caused by substantial physician turnover.

An emergency physician from Michigan has been arrested on charges she performed genital mutilation procedures on multiple girls between the ages of 6 and 8, which prosecutors say could be the first criminal case involving the practice since it was outlawed in the U.S. in 1996.

While healthcare costs continued to rise at other facilities, one Netherlands hospital was able to lower costs by 8 percent in a single year while improving quality. The credit goes to a value-based care strategy focusing on everything from closer coordination on cardiovascular patients to keeping more experienced physicians in the emergency department. 

Large corporations want healthy workers and lower healthcare costs. If hospitals and medical groups are going to win the right to provide care to those employees and their families, innovative approaches to care, having the right infrastructure in place and taking a lot of meetings are a must. 

 

Recent Headlines

CMS: 45% of provider locations in Medicare Advantage directories are inaccurate

A CMS review of provider directories set up by Medicare Advantage plans found many listed the wrong phone numbers or locations for physicians or incorrectly labeled physicians as accepting new patients.

Long-term uninsured made up most of ACA’s initial coverage gains

People who had gone three years or more without having health insurance made up more than half of the gains in coverage in 2014, the first year of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s insurance marketplace and Medicaid expansion. 

Half of ICU patients didn’t need intensive care in single-center study

More than half of intensive-care unit (ICU) patients (53 percent) at one large teaching hospital would have received more appropriate care in a different, less intensive setting. 

WellCare acquires Arizona health plans, names new leadership

Medical insurance company WellCare Health Plans has acquired two Arizona health plans and named a new executive to oversee the transition.

Pennsylvania medical college integrates with Geisinger Health System

The new year has brought the final approvals to legally integrate Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Medical College into Geisinger Health System, creating the new Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

Healthcare.gov sign-up deadline pushed back

HHS pushed back the deadline for customers to buy coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s federally run insurance exchange, giving buyers until Dec. 19 to pick a health plan which will go into effect in the new year.

New ACO model for dual-eligible beneficiaries announced by CMS

CMS has announced the creation of the Medicare-Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, aiming to improve care coordination for beneficiaries who are enrolled in both programs.

Mississippi ranked last in annual state health report

High levels of smoking and poverty contributed to Mississippi being ranked 50th in the 2016 edition of America’s Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation, which also identified some national trends which could reverse recent gains made in other categories of health.

ACA exchange sign-ups outpacing last year

The number of enrollees in plans offered on health insurance exchanges has increased slightly compared to the last open enrollment period, with sign-ups accelerating before the deadline to get coverage starting Jan. 1, 2017.

Flu vaccine coverage well below CDC targets

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported only 40 percent of Americans have received this season’s flu vaccine. It’s about the same coverage as the prior season—but well behind the agency’s target of 70 percent.

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