iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

How many times did you go to the doctor last year?

According to a recently released government data brief, in 2012:

  • There were an estimated 929 million physician office visits, or 301 physician office visits per 100 persons
  •  Females (342 visits per 100 females) had more office visits overall than males (258 visits per 100 males)
  • The visit rate for adults aged 65 and over was 592 visits per 100 adults
  •  The visit rate for adults aged 18–64 was 264 visits per 100 adults
  • The visit rate for children under age 18 was 232 visits per 100 children

Source: “Variation in Physician Office Visit Rates by Patient Characteristics and State, 2012,”NCHS Data Brief Number 212, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, September 2015, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db212.htm#findings

Primary Care Available for Many

According to a recent survey:

  • The uninsured rate in the U.S. has fallen to 13%, compared to 20% in the third quarter of 2013
  • 77% of those who tried to find a new primary care physician found it easy to do so
  • 60% of those who found a new primary care doctor were able to get an appointment within two weeks
  • Among those with new health insurance coverage, 53% of those who enrolled in marketplace plans and 66% of those who enrolled in Medicaid were previously uninsured

Source: “Large Majority of Affordable Care Act Coverage Enrollees are Satisfied with Their Insurance, People Using Plans are Getting Care They Could Not Have Afforded Before,” The Commonwealth Fund Press Release, June 11, 2015, http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/press-releases/2015/jun/aca-tracking-survey-release

Diabetes awareness

The CDC and doctors team up for a diabetes initiative. With 90 percent of people who have pre-diabetes unaware that they even have the condition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association are calling on doctors to ramp up screening efforts and raise awareness about the risk factors for developing a full onset of the disease.

Calling all stakeholders – working together to reduce readmissions

Readmissions become bigger issue for primary care physicians CMS penalties on hospitals with high readmission rates have put pressure on primary care physicians to help keep patients from needing additional inpatient stays. Physicians are using post-discharge care management programs and forming accountable care organizations that focus on performance-based care. Medscape (free registration)

Physicians respond with their frustration with EHRs

83% of physicians interviewed are frustrated with using their Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to support clinical communications, according to a recent study. Source: “STUDY:  HOSPITAL IT PAYING LIP SERVICE TO ADDRESS PHYSICIAN MOBILE REQUIREMENTS, SAYS SPYGLASS CONSULTING GROUP,” Spyglass Consulting Group, January 14, 2015, http://spyglass-consulting.com/press_releases/SpyglassPR_POC_Comm_Physicians_2014.v1.3.pdf

Doctor, the patient will see you now

Study looks at harms of poor doctor-patient communication Female patients with chronic pain who reported they had experienced poor communication with their physicians expressed anger and said they wanted to avoid additional care, a study in The American Journal of Medicine showed. “Our work indicates that the effects of patients feeling that their doctor doesn’t believe or understand them can be damaging both emotionally and physiologically. This could lead to worsening of illness, known as the ‘nocebo response,'” said lead author Maddy Greville-Harris. BeckersHospitalReview.com (1/29)

Meaningful Use is Having an Impact on Health Care Practice

According to a recent study at 47 ambulatory practices in an integrated delivery system:

  • 28.4% of physicians, compared to 47.1% of advanced-practice providers and. 42.6% of nursing staff, have strong confidence in their department’s ability to solve Meaningful Use implementation problems
  • 57.9% of physicians, compared to 83.3% of advanced-practice providers and. 82.0% of nursing staff, report strong willingness to change their work practices for Meaningful Use

Source: “Stage 1 of the meaningful use incentive program for electronic health records: a study of readiness for change in ambulatory practice settings in one integrated delivery system,” BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making, December 14, 2014, http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6947/14/119

30% of Physicians are in Solo Practice

According to a recent survey of physicians:

  • 30.3% are in solo practices
  • 39.7% are in practices with 2 to 9 physicians
  • 9.3% are in practices with 10 to 20 physicians
  • 20.7% are in practices with more than 20 physicians

Source: “2014 Physicians Compensation Survey,” Physicians Practice, November 13, 2014, http://www.physicianspractice.com/physician-compensation-survey/2014-physicians-compensation-survey?cid=PR11202014

Points of transition are the greatest weakness in the health care system

Survey: 75% of specialists have received at least one clinically inappropriate referral last year

According to a recent Kyruus Physician Referral survey:

  • 8% of all referrals are considered clinically inappropriate.
  • 87% of physicians believe that referral misdirection happens when there is a lack of reliable information.
  • 31% of insufficient information is endemic to call centers.
  • 32% of insufficient information is endemic to referring offices.
  • 62% of insufficient information is endemic to referring physicians themselves.
  • 15% said inappropriate referrals due to process relying on personal relationships between physicians.

Note: Survey respondents were allowed to select more than one response.

Source: Kyruus

Let’s get on with providing useful information to patients and their caregivers

Leapfrog is clearing the path forward and is a huge lever in our efforts to provide useful information to patients and their caregivers.

 

Healthgrades’ rankings website allows searches by experience A new version of the Healthgrades.com website that launches this week uses data from 500 million claims and patient reviews to rank physicians on complication rates, patient satisfaction and experience. Leapfrog Group CEO Leah Binder said the website is “game changing” because people can search for physicians based on experience in a specific medical area or procedure. USA Today (10/19)

 

One day, patients and their caregivers will have the important information they need to make important health decisions. Clearing that path and enabling appropriate measurement in both quality and resource utilization is among the most important things that health care stakeholders of all types need to be engaged in.

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