A national expansion of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model that was recently proposed by the HHS could generate around $6.3 billion in savings over a 10-year period, according to estimates from research firm The Moran Company. Federal statistics showed that even the limited HHVBP Model implementation helped improve home health agencies' quality scores by 4.6% and saved Medicare an average of $141 million per year.
Texas family physician Tim Irvine, M.D., says value-based payment contracts offer a reliable revenue stream. Joe Nicholson, D.O., of the consulting firm CareAllies, says practices should gradually transition to value-based payments by increasing the percentage of revenue tied to risk-based contracts over time.
Several health insurance providers are starting the year by investing in programs designed to address social determinants of health. Humana will provide $500,000 in funding to five Ohio nonprofits working to address housing insecurity and food scarcity; Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina partnered with the American Heart Association to provide $100,000 in grants to 21 community organizations that support heart health-related SDOH in underserved demographics; while CareSource has committed to invest $1 million to support affordable housing projects in Oklahoma.
Humana CEO Bruce Broussard told the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference that the Medicare Advantage program has grown stronger and has bipartisan support, adding he does not expect to see significant changes early in the Biden administration. Centene CEO Michael Neidorff told the conference he thinks the new administration's plans to strengthen the Affordable Care Act will benefit the insurer.
The American College of Cardiology issued updated heart failure guidance published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that reflects newer treatments and changes in care linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Thomas Maddox, who chaired the writing group, said the guidance will be in place as the ACC develops more comprehensive guidelines.
A pilot program at an AdventHealth acute care hospital improved medication adherence and reduced 30-day readmissions of Medicare patients with acute myocardial infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure or pneumonia. Patients were offered a financial incentive for using a smartphone app to check in when they took medications as prescribed, and they received reminders and messages of support from friends and family.
Advances in predictive analytics and interoperable electronic medical records will help hospices and post-acute care providers transition to value-based payment models as more patients choose in-home health care, says WellSky CEO Bill Miller. Interoperable EMR systems will reduce risks inherent in patient transfers as information flows from one health care provider to the next, and analytics will help ensure patients' social determinants of health are addressed, Miller says.
Nearly 25% of health care providers, insurers and employers responding to a Klas survey said they are dissatisfied with the telehealth platform they are using. Respondents valued EHR integration, a simple clinical experience and an easy-to-use patient interface.
Two studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found US mortality rates for ischemic heart disease and hypertensive disorders have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, while global cardiac diagnostic testing decreased by 64% from March 2019 to April 2020. Researchers suggested the increase in cardiovascular-related deaths may be due to the pandemic's indirect effects on cardiovascular outcomes and health care system factors.
The risk of drug and alcohol addiction among women has spiked 65% since September and their risk of sleep apnea also has increased 126% over the past 10 months, according to the latest Mental Health Index from Total Brain. The report also shows that, for workers overall, the risk of depression is up 66% since the beginning of the pandemic, and Total Brain CEO Louis Gagnon advises employers to invest in both the physical and mental well-being of their workforce.
A study published in the journal BMC Medicine showed that elevated body mass index significantly increased the likelihood of colorectal cancer among men, while increased waist-to-hip ratio had a stronger link with greater CRC risk in women. Researchers also found that none of adiposity-associated metabolic changes explained the adiposity-CRC link, indicating the need for more comprehensive metabolomic measures.