iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Patrick Conway on lower hospital ED use

Patrick Conway will be one of the Novembe 2015 Cracking the Code on Health Care speakers in Rochester, NY

CMS official links lower hospital, ED use to support for primary care
A 2% decrease in hospital admissions and emergency department visits can be linked to increased CMS support for primary care, the agency’s chief medical officer, Patrick Conway, told the National Quality Forum’s annual conference. He highlighted several population health and coordinated care projects, initiated by hospitals and physician practices, that have reduced costs and improved quality of care. HealthLeaders Media

Mortality from Hypertension has risen 23%

cnCDC: Hypertension mortality climbing
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

Reimbursement is beginning to change in important ways

Effective January 1st, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began reimbursing providers who actively manage care delivery for Medicare patients who have two or more chronic conditions. According to a recent health care provider survey, 76% of respondents planned to organize and structure to meet Medicare’s chronic care management program requirements within the next six months.



BEA: Breakdown of Healthcare Spending By Disease Type

The Bureau of Economic Analysis analyzed healthcare spending by disease from 2000 to 2010. Here’s the percentage of total spending for each disease category:

Disease Type Percentage Spent
Circulatory conditions 13.6%
Prevention, colds, basic care 12.0%
Musculoskeletal 9.9%
Respiratory 8.4%
Endocrine 7.3%
Nervous 7.0%
Cancers 6.7%
Genitourinary 6.4%
Injury 6.4%
Digestive 5.9%
Mental Health 4.6%
Infectious Disease 3.4%
Skin conditions 2.2%
Pregnancy/birth 2.2%
Other 4.1%

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, March 3, 2015

Will technology meet seniors needs?

“67% of seniors want 2 access healthcare services from home, but they worry the technology won’t be up to it:

Better understanding of BP measures in frail elderly people

Study warns of risks when frail older patients take multiple BP meds Frail elderly nursing home residents with low systolic blood pressure taking two or more antihypertensive medications were at a twofold higher risk of dying within two years compared with peers, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers also found a higher portion of those deaths were from cardiovascular causes — 14.5% of patients on multiple antihypertension medications, compared with 9.4% of others taking fewer than two blood pressure-lowering drugs. Medscape (free registration) (2/19)

Employees are looking for integration they can rely on

53% of Employees say it’s difficult to understand how to improve their health

According to recent data from HealthMine, over half of employees say that it’s difficult to understand or know what they need to do in order to maintain or improve their health. Some specific areas that came up include:

·         85% want to know if they have health risks for developing chronic conditions.

·         55% want help from their health care plan in setting personal health goals.

·         65% want their health plan to send them reminders about critical health actions such as prescription refills and annual health exams.

Source: Employee Benefit News

Listening to the patient about their chronic pain

An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health concluded that individualized, patient-centered care is needed to treat and monitor the estimated 100 million Americans living with chronic pain. “Persons living with chronic pain have often been grouped into a single category, and treatment approaches have been generalized with little evidence to support this practice,” said Dr. David B. Reuben, panel chair and professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Chronic pain spans a multitude of conditions, presents in different ways, and requires an individualized, multifaceted approach.”

CDC: Smoking Rate Dropped From 20.9% (2005) To 17.8% (2013)

According to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR):

  • The number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013.
  • Those who smoke every day decreased from 80.8% in 2005 to 76.9% in 2013.
  • Cigarette smokers who smoke only on some days increased from 19.2% in 2005 to 23.1% in 2013.
  • The average number of cigarettes smoked by daily smokers declined from 16.7 in 2005 to 14.2 in 2013.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Everyone’s destiny is health care . . . we need to improve this . . . for ourselves

Survey: 68% of older U.S. adults have multiple chronic conditions A survey from The Commonwealth Fund of 15,617 older adults in the U.S. and 10 other countries showed 68% of Americans had two or more chronic conditions and 53% were taking four or more medications, which were higher rates than reported in some other countries. Other countries had better rates of same-day care than the U.S., but Americans had faster access to specialist care. The findings were published in Health Affairs. Health Affairs Blog

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