Most Clicked AHIP Solutions SmartBrief Stories

1. CDC: Hypertension mortality climbing

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 27, 2015

A CDC report found that overall mortality from hypertension has risen 23% since 2000. Meanwhile, mortality from all other causes is down 21%. Deaths linked to hypertension among 45- to 64-year-old men increased by about 58% and nearly 37% for women in the same age group from 2000 to 2013. Ethnic and racial disparities persist but are smaller. "There is a critical need to facilitate and incentivize improvement in blood pressure control and heart health, as well provide optimal patient care," Dr. Gregg Fonarow said. HealthDay News (03/26)

2. UnitedHealthcare: Catamaran and OptumRx to Combine

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

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3. White House issues plan to reduce antibiotic resistance

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

The Obama administration released a plan developed by representatives from federal agencies to reduce antibiotic resistance, which the CDC says leads to 23,000 deaths each year. The plan sets goal markers over a five-year period, and calls for a 50% decrease in inappropriate use of antibiotics in outpatient settings and a 20% decrease for inpatient facilities. Medscape (free registration) (03/27)

4. Study looks at effects of alcohol, coffee on liver cancer risk

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 31, 2015

People who consume at least three alcoholic drinks each day have an increased risk of suffering from liver cancer, according to a report by World Cancer Research Fund International. Meanwhile, coffee intake was associated with reduced liver cancer risk. HealthDay News (03/26)

5. Report finds mortality rates decreasing for cancer

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 31, 2015

Deaths related to cancer have decreased over the last several years for men, women and children, according to a new report from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. The overall cancer diagnosis rate in men declined annually by 1.8% from 2007 to 2011, while women's diagnoses have remained steady. New cancer cases in children have increased by almost 0.8% annually over the past decade. Reuters (03/30)

6. Minimally invasive surgery used less often than it could be, data show

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

Adoption of minimally invasive surgery is higher at some hospitals than others, a JAMA Surgery study found. If all hospitals used minimally invasive surgery as often as the top users, annual savings would total $337 million, and patients could avoid 4,306 medical complications per year. Patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery reduced their hospital stay by almost 1.4 days and saw average savings of $1,528 for appendectomy and $7,507 for colectomy. National Public Radio (03/25)

7. Implementing OIG recommendations could improve care, save billions, report says

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

An HHS Office of Inspector General's report found taxpayers could have saved $24 billion if federal agencies had implemented 25 of its recommendations for improving care, patient safety and financial management. One recommendation to the CMS that could save $15 billion over five years is reducing payments to hospital outpatient departments for surgeries that could have been done less expensively at ambulatory surgical centers. HealthLeaders Media (03/23)

8. Study: At-home physical therapy as effective as inpatient rehab

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

A study presented at a meeting of the American College of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that knee surgery patients who opted for physical therapy at home recovered at the same rate as those who went to in-patient rehabilitation facilities. No differences were seen in complications at six months or pain and mobility at two years. Researchers reported that the two groups were similar in age, health and mobility immediately after surgery. HealthDay News (03/26)

9. AHIP Coverage: It’s Prices, Not Coverage

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

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10. Diabetes patients may face reduced life expectancy, higher health costs

AHIP Solutions SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

A study in Diabetes Care found fewer life years and greater health care expenses linked to diabetes. For individuals with diabetes, the predicted life expectancy had an inverted U-shape for most BMI classifications, with overweight individuals having the highest life expectancy. Higher lifelong health costs were seen in white patients and women compared with black patients and men. Healio (free registration) (03/24)

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