Accountable care organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program in its first four years served older, sicker populations than typical health care providers do but still managed to improve quality while reducing postacute care expenditures. The results suggest that the ACO model "might work in other settings and populations and could shift to more advanced risk and payment models (eg, population-based prospective payment)," the study authors write.
Five orthopedic procedures or tests that may not be needed in assessing children with hip, foot and other musculoskeletal conditions have been added by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America to the AAP's Choosing Wisely list, which aims to curb additional testing in order to reduce false-positive findings. "There should always be a conversation between physician and patient on what procedures and tests are really necessary," said Dr. Brian Shaw of the AAP Section on Orthopaedics, who added that "sometimes less is more" when it comes to testing.
Intermountain Healthcare's Partners in Healing program, which includes family members in providing patient care, helped reduce 30-day readmissions by 65% at Intermountain Medical Center, according to a study in the journal Chest. A survey found 92% of patients said it enhanced their transition from hospital to home.
Forty-four percent of health care executives reported that they haven't implemented telehealth in their organizations, and 86% of that group cited telemedicine deployment as a medium to high priority, according to a Sage Growth Partners poll. The survey also showed that 66% of those who adopted telehealth had budgets of $250,000 or less, while 75% expect a positive return on investment for telehealth initiatives during the next three years in the outpatient clinic.
Franciscan Health aims to reduce readmissions by helping discharged patients with non-emergency transportation to medical appointments. A study found lack of transportation was the second leading cause of readmissions, so the hospital system has partnered with Circulation, which has a digital platform that coordinates non-emergency medical transportation.
An EMR-based alert system developed by a team of researchers from the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC had a 96.8% sensitivity and a 98.5% specificity for identifying children ages younger than 2 who were at risk for physical abuse, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
QR code and 3D printing technologies will allow drugs to be customized for individual patients instead of being mass produced as they are today, according to a paper in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics. New manufacturing methods might also thwart counterfeiters and prevent dosing errors, the researchers said.
A CMS Office of the Actuary report published in Health Affairs estimated health care will account for 19.7% of the US economy by 2026, compared with 17.9% in 2016, with spending projected at $5.7 trillion by 2026, compared with the current $3.5 trillion. The report projected Medicare's annual growth at an average of 7.4% and Medicaid at 5.8% through 2026.
More than 80% of health care payers are supporting value-based care by adding social determinants of health to plan components, a survey of more than 2,000 health care industry leaders revealed. The survey, conducted by Change Healthcare and the HealthCare Executive Group, also found that security and privacy concerns are barriers to using digital health tools.
In a recent Leadership Page published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, and ACC Interim CEO Cathleen C. Gates, MA, discuss the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment in cardiology. They highlight efforts by the College, including sexual harassment prevention training for members and staff and the development of a comprehensive policy that all attendees will be required to follow at future ACC events. "The ACC is the professional home for cardiovascular professionals around the globe," Walsh and Gates write. "Your home should be a place where you are safe and respected. Anything less will not be tolerated. This is our commitment to all ACC members and to ACC staff. We will have succeeded when we can move from #MeToo to #MeNeither." Read more.
Heart disease is the most frequent condition and leading cause of death in older adults. For people older than 75, high blood pressure is the most common heart condition, followed by coronary artery disease and heart failure. To help these patients better manage their health, the ACC's CardioSmart team has created an infographic with health tips for older adults. The infographic offers advice on how to stay healthy, as well as how to plan for the future. Download it for free and visit CardioSmart.org/OlderAdults for more tips on this subject.
Learn to conquer your fears. That's the only art we have to learn to master these days.
Friedrich Durrenmatt, playwright
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