Steven Ross Johnson reports that policymakers, providers and health plans around the country are experimenting with ways to better coordinate medical and behavioral care, which traditionally have operated with little or no coordination, resulting in higher costs and poorer quality of care. A driving force behind the experiments are statistics showing that patients with both chronic medical conditions and mental illness and/or substance-abuse problems account for a large share of total Medicaid spending.
Feeling “Meaningfully Used,” MedPageToday, 4-24-14
Dr. Fred Pelzman writes in an opinion column on his experience with EHR and meaningful use, that patients are all different, and providers are all different, and how they interact with new technology needs to be an organic, evolving process, which should not be forced.
FDA Proposes First Regulations for e-Cigarettes, Modern HealthCare, 4-24-14
The Associated Press reports that the federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Southerners Don’t Like Obamacare; They Also Don’t Want to Repeal It, The New York Times, 4-24-14
Sabrina Tavernis and Allison Kopicki report that despite strong dislike of President Obama’s handling of health care, a majority of people in three Southern states – Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina – would rather that Congress improve his signature health care law than repeal and replace it, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
An Apple A Day and Other Myths, The New York Times, 4-22-14
George Johnson writes that there is a yawning divide between the nutritional folklore that what you eat can help prevent cancer and science.
Doctors Still Make Good Money, The Washington Post, 4-18-14
Pam Tobey reports on the results of the recently released physician compensation survey.
Four Years Into a Commercial ACO for Calpers: Substantial Savings and Lessons Learned, Health Affairs, 4-17-14
Glenn Melnick and Lois Green write about the experience of Calpers, the oldest commercial ACO in the country and what its experience has been over the last four years.
Teens Indoor Tanning May Be Linked to Unhealthy Dieting, US News & World Report, 4-11-14
Robert Priedt reports that teens who use indoor tanning may also try to control their weight through unhealthy methods, such as taking diet pills and vomiting, according to a study, published in the April issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.
15-Minute Doctor Visits Take a Toll on Doctor-Patient Relationships, Kaiser Health News, 4-21-14
Roni Caryn Rabin reports that patients – and physicians – say they feel the time crunch as never before as doctors rush through appointments as if on roller skates to see more patients and perform more procedures to make up for flat or declining reimbursements.
Can Small Providers Knock Out ICD-10 in a Few Weekends?, EHRIntelligence, 4-21-14
Jennifer Bresnick reports on one doctor who says small practices can convert to the new coding system in just a few days and offers his ideas and resources he has found helpful to support his claims.
House Calls are Making a Comeback, The New York Times, 4-20-14
Milt Freudenheim writes that a relic from the medical past — the house call — is returning to favor as part of some hospitals’ palliative care programs, which are sending teams of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other workers to patients’ homes after they are discharged. The goal is twofold: to provide better treatment and to cut costs.
Obamacare Effects Are Bigger Than Expected, Poll Finds, The Los Angeles Times, 4-16-14
Noam Levey reports that President Obama‘s health law has led to an even greater increase in health coverage than previously estimated, according to new Gallup survey data, which suggests that about 12 million previously uninsured Americans have gained coverage since last fall.
Price Transparency Stinks in Health Care; Here’s How the Industry Wants to Change That, The Washington Post, 4-16-14
Jason Millman reports that there’s been much written in the past year about just how hard it is to get a simple price for a basic health-care procedure. The industry has heard the rumblings, and now it’s responding. About two dozen industry stakeholders, including main lobbying groups for hospitals and health insurers, issued new recommendations for how they can provide the cost of health-care services to patients.
FAQs on ACOs: Accountable Care Organizations Explained, Kaiser Health News, 4-16-14
Jenny Gold writes that ACOs have become one of the most talked about new ideas in Obamacare. Here are answers to some of the more common questions about how they work.
Early Drug Claims Suggest Exchange Enrollees are Sicker Than Average, Kaiser Health News, 4-9-14
Julie Appleby writes that an analysis of the first two months of claims data shows the new enrollees are more likely to use expensive specialty drugs to treat conditions like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C than those with job-based insurance. The sample of claims data – considered a preliminary look at whether new enrollees are sicker-than-average – also found that prescriptions for treating pain, seizures and depression are also proportionally higher in exchange plans, according to Express Scripts, one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management companies.