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Care Delivery


Trained community or lay health workers (LHW) helped a rural hospital in Kentucky lowered its 30-day readmission rates among a high-risk population by almost 48 percent, according to a study published in Health Education Research.

Anthem has been criticized and even sued over policies in several states where it won’t pay for emergency room visits it later determines to be unnecessary. The insurer has now softened those restrictions, but American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) said the changes don’t go far enough.

Purdue Pharma, best known for making and selling OxyContin, announced Feb. 10 that it will stop marketing opioid drugs to physicians. The company also stated it will lay off half of its sales force, with the remaining staff of 200 focusing on other medications.

Medicaid patients face a host of challenges in accessing care, with reliable, timely transportation often being a major consideration. A recently published study, though, showed rates of missed primary care appointments were unaffected when Medicaid patients were offered free ridesharing services.

Some 11.8 million people signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s insurance exchanges for 2018, down from 12.2 million the year before. Considering changes that were expected to depress enrollment—like HHS shortening the open enrollment period for and cutting its advertising budget by 90 percent—signups “remained generally stable,” according to a report from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP).


Recent Headlines

Study: Hospital productivity better than expected

Evidence suggests that hospital productivity has lagged behind other industries, but a study published in Health Affairs concludes that the opposite is true.

Patients rarely request clinically inappropriate tests

Fewer than 1 percent of encounters between clinicians and patients led to a request for medical services that were deemed clinically inappropriate, according to a study published online in JAMA Oncology, which examined oncology outpatient facilities at three Philadelphia-area hospitals between October 2013 and June 2014. 

A roadmap for a delivery system that partners with patients, families

A new roadmap developed by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research, aims to improve healthcare delivery through greater partnerships with patients and families.

ANA: U.S. will need 1.1 million more R.N.s by 2022 to head off shortage

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is urging immediate increased investment in nursing training to ensure a sufficient nursing workforce to meet anticipated future demand from an aging U.S. population and the newly insured under the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions.

Delaware hospital’s bedside addiction intervention program gets White House officials’ attention

One hospital’s program that puts peer counselors at the bedside of patients with addiction and substance abuse problems has earned it an invitation to the White House. Leaders from Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Delaware, were asked to present their early addiction intervention program, Project Engage, to officials from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Ohio hospitals show cutting HAIs requires cultural shift

Reducing hospital acquired infections significantly is possibly simply through better adherence to hand washing standards by clinical staff. However, making a hand-washing initiative stick is difficult because people naturally tend to become less adherent to standards over time without a culture that positively reinforces the standard, according to experts from Ohio’s MetroHealth Medical Center, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic.

16 challenges in healthcare payment reform

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) has issued a new report that seeks to identify the specific challenges and opportunities the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services faces in implementing healthcare reform. Notably, many of the problems identified in the report are the same as those pointed out by healthcare industry executives and the organizations that represent them.

Alliance with North Shore-LIJ lets Cleveland Clinics’ cardiovascular care program reach sizeable New York market

The Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute is expanding its reach to include the New York metropolitan area, home to nearly 20 million people, through a unique alliance with the North Shore-LIJ Health System, which has 17 hospitals and more than 400 outpatient physician practices in the New York region.

Missouri to let medical students work as assistant physicians

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed into a law a bill that makes it legal for medical students who have not yet completed a year of residency to work as “assistant physicians” within the state, delivering primary care services with 10 percent of their work reviewed by a physician.

HHS launches new initiative to help states reform Medicaid payment and delivery systems

Responding to recent recommendations made by the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Health Care Sustainability Task Force, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching what it calls “a new innovative collaboration with states to improve care for Medicaid beneficiaries by accelerating efforts in reforming their health care systems to improve health and care while reducing costs.”