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Care Delivery

 

Racial discrimination was by far the most common reason cited by black patients for receiving poor service or treatment from physicians or hospitals, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. White and Hispanic patients, however, also reported “high rates of discrimination” for other reasons such as age, weight or income.

High-deductible health plans have been framed as a way to give healthcare consumers more “skin in the game,” leading them to avoid low-value services as a way to save money. According to researchers from the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and the RAND Corporation, they’re having little to no impact.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) Health Research Institute expects “persistent risks and uncertainties” to impact healthcare in 2017, ranging from policy changes under the Trump administration to how artificial intelligence (AI) will change workflows—and in the end, it may come out stronger because of those challenges.

The goal of accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to CMS, is to better coordinate care for chronically ill patients, avoiding unnecessary services and preventing errors. For ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), however, those weren’t the reasons they saved money, according to a study published in the Dec. 2017 issue of Health Affairs.

The offerings on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges for 2018 are dominated by narrow network plans, with higher deductibles for silver- and gold-level plans, according to an analysis from Avalere.

 

Recent Headlines

Detroit Medical Center wins +$9 million HHS Innovation Award to test putting primary care adjacent to ED

Detroit Medical Center and Vanguard Health have won a $9,966,608 Department of Health an Human Services (HHS) Health Care Innovation Award to test what might happen to emergency department utilization if patient-centered medical home clinics are established next to four major inner-city emergency departments (EDs) and used to make primary care immediately available to individuals who arrive at the EDs for non-urgent care.

New government funding tackles primary care shortage

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this week that it will put nearly $200 million toward community health center expansion funding and primary care physician training, as well as funding new health innovation projects that address primary care. But it is unlikely to make a sizeable dent in the primary care shortage, notes the grassroots advocacy group Primary Care Progress.

5 northeast Missouri health systems form collaborative network

The goal of creating better care coordination is pushing traditional competitors into more collaborative agreements. The latest example comes from Missouri, where 5 health systems announced the formation of a new health network encompassing more than 9,300 employees and approximately 1,000 employed and affiliated physicians.

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.

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