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Care Delivery

 

Older diabetic patients are living longer as they and their physicians get better at managing the condition, but with longer lifespans comes additional years of incurring higher healthcare expenditures than non-diabetics.

The number of Americans without health insurance saw its biggest increase in nine years in 2017, rising 1.3 percentage points from the year prior, representing an estimated 3.2 million more people being uninsured.

According to an analysis from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Research, the price tag for a new medicine which treats a genetic form of childhood blindness should be at least 75 percent lower based on its cost effectiveness.

Despite hopes the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would spur additional investments into community health initiatives by nonprofit hospitals, little changed between 2010 and 2014, with tax-exempt hospitals only increasing their average spending for all community benefits by 0.5 percentage points.

Of the more than 21,000 newly enrolled students in medical schools in 2017, 50.7 percent were women—the first time the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has recorded a female majority in medical school enrollment.

 

Recent Headlines

Large consumer survey finds that patients link billing experience to perception of care quality

In a national online survey of healthcare consumers, two thirds reported consistently being surprised by medical bills despite the fact that nearly all desired upfront cost estimates and valued these nearly as much as other clinical factors in their decision making, including outstanding bedside manner, prompt test results and accurate diagnoses.

Consumer advocacy group launches campaign to shame 20 health systems into ending bus screenings for heart conditions

Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group that claims more than 300,000 members and supporters, on Thursday shared 20 letters it had sent to 20 hospitals and health systems in eight states asking them to end their relationships with HealthFair, a Winter Park, Florida-based company that provides cardiovascular health screenings on buses.

MedPAC June report proposes per-beneficiary payment for primary care

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has a new idea for what should replace the primary care bonus that is set to expire in 2015: Pay primary care physicians a set fee for every Medicare patient that is part of their panel.

Will healthcare providers become social safety net providers, too?

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund lays out the economic incentive the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates for healthcare providers to address social disparities along with medical needs.

Surgeons largely left out of ACO efforts

Although surgical procedures are among the most expensive of claims, Accountable Care Organization (ACO) cost reduction efforts don’t pay much attention to surgery as an area where possible waste in healthcare delivery may occur finds a new study published in Health Affairs.

Anthem/HealthCare Partners ACO says it saved $4.7 Million in California healthcare cost in just six months

The analysis of healthcare spending by Anthem Blue Cross and HealthCare Partners in California offers one of the first large documented examples of how accountable care organizations (ACOs) may trim costs in the commercial PPO population.

Hospital saves $500,000 in fall prevention but sees little of savings itself

Simple low-cost changes can make a big difference in the overall cost of care is what New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, recently found when it crunched the number on its Lean management effort in fall prevention. However, it also found that most of those savings went to the government, insurers and patients, and not the hospital.

AHRQ publishes tool to reduce hospital readmissions

A key quality measure for many payment systems is a hospital’s rate of preventable readmissions, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) new Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkit aims to help institutions improve their numbers.

4 ideas for better integration of palliative care in medicine

Medicine as practiced today has lost its acceptance of the finite nature of human life and this is leading to negative consequences for elderly patients with multiple health problems, argues physician and nurse palliative care experts a Health Affairs commentary.

Expand audience for healthcare price data urges policy center

A new analysis by the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center finds that moving beyond just encouraging patients to shop for healthcare services and also involving ordering physicians, employers and policymakers in healthcare spending decisions could save $100 billion over 10 years.

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