iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

State Board information available to consumers

A newly released report of the Informed Patient Institute, done in conjunction with Consumer Reports,  that evaluates what type of information is available to consumers on medical board websites nationwide. Medical boards are state government agencies established to protect the public from the unprofessional, improper and incompetent practice of medicine. Seeking Doctor Information: A Survey and Ranking of State Medical and Osteopathic Board Websites in 2015

After evaluating 65 state medical and osteopathic board websites, the report concludes that the information you find on these sites varies greatly—and all can be improved to make it easier to access information about doctors.  In some states, a site may be easy to use, but have little information about a doctor.  In others, the information may be comprehensive, but is hard to find.

Sixty-one criteria were used to evaluate the boards including their search capabilities, complaint process, general board information, and what types of information about board disciplinary actions, hospital actions, malpractice, Federal actions and criminal convictions could be found on an individual doctor.  Each website was rated on a scale of 1 to 100.  The results ranged from a low of 6 (for the Mississippi Board) to a high of 84 (for the Medical Board of California).  All of the state medical board websites were rated using the signature Consumer Reports Red and Black circles. The report also includes over 20 recommendations for making medical board websites more consumer-friendly. The report is also available at Consumer Reports’ Safe Patient Project, and is mentioned in the latest version of Consumer Reports magazine cover story on doctors.

We must all do better for patients . . . ultimately for our families and ourselves

According to a recent report:

  • Medication errors affect 3.8 million patients annually
  • In 2014, 59% of hospitals entered at least 75% of all medication orders electronically
  •  In 2013 and again in 2014, 36% of potentially harmful medication orders that were entered electronically did not trigger an appropriate warning
  • 13.9% of potentially fatal medication orders that were entered electronically were not flagged

Source: “Despite Improvement, New Report Reveals Technology to Prevent Medication Errors Fails Too Often,” The Leapfrog Group News Release, April 9, 2015,

Medical Identity Theft: how did it happen and how did people find out

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Taking Hold

CMS Says 77% of Eligible Hospitals Have Attested to Stage 2 MU
The attestation rate for hospitals eligible to attest to Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program currently stands at 77 percent, according to Elisabeth Myers from the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Services. READ MORE »

I can get my $1 Coke and my $1 dollar burger, but where’s my $1 salad?

80% of consumers say they wish “doing healthier things didn’t cost so much”

According to a recent consumer survey by Cigna:

  • 75% fear health costs could ruin prospects for secure retirement.
  • 44% worry health costs will limit ability to pay for child’s college.
  • 42% of consumers note hospitalization as their number one health cost concern.
  • 19% of consumers note health costs for a spouse or partner as their number one health cost concern.
  • 16% of consumers note costs of medications as their number one health cost concern.

Note: “Health and Financial Well-being: How Strong Is the Link?” was conducted electronically via a panel by MRops Data Collection from August 7 – 21, 2014 with 1,847 women and men 25-64.

Open Payments website launches

The federal government today launched a highly anticipated website detailing at least $3.5 billion in financial ties in a five-month period between medical device and drug companies and physicians and teaching hospitals.

The Open Payments website is the first public repository of national data describing financial relationships between industry and healthcare providers. Critics of these payments say these payments can inappropriately influence clinical decisions.

The database was required by the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Why can any physician opt out of maintenance of certification requirements

ABIM weighs issues with MOC grandfatheringThe American Board of Internal Medicine says it is looking at problems with its Maintenance of Certification language and reporting with respect to grandfathered physicians who can opt out of MOC requirements. The American Board of Medical Specialties website does not list grandfathered doctors as meeting MOC requirements, something Dr. Mack Harrell, president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, calls “a scarlet letter.” Clinical Endocrinology News (8/22)

Provider should follow the wishes of the patient their caregiver(s)

Survey shows many people get unwanted, excessive careA survey of 1,007 adults ages 50 and older found 12% reported they or a family member had experienced unwanted medical care and 19% categorized treatments they or a family member had received as excessive. The study, sponsored by the nonprofit group Compassion & Choices, found 82% said it was very important to honor end-of-life medical wishes, and 50% supported withholding physician or facility pay if treatments did not adhere to those decisions. Healio (free registration) (7/31)

CEO pay associated with higher patient satisfaction scores

Compensation of hospital CEOs not linked to quality of care
Chief executive compensation was not associated with a hospital’s charity care or care quality measures, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers looked at the paychecks of nearly 1,900 CEOs from private, nonprofit hospitals across the U.S. and found CEO pay was associated with higher patient satisfaction scores and the use of advanced technology. MedPage Today (free registration) (10/14), Reuters (10/14)

Partnering with Patients . . . is it beginning to take hold?

This from the IOM:

Partnering   with Patients to Drive Shared Decisions, Better Value, and Care Improvement –   Workshop Proceedings

In an efficient health care system, care choices are democratized and   based on the best evidence. Empowering patients to become partners in –   rather than customers of – health care is a critical step on the road to   achieving the best care at lower cost, although the infrastructure and   cultural changes necessary to transform the patient role are significant.   Encouraging patient engagement in care decisions, value, and research is   crucial to achieving better care, improved health, and lower health care costs.

This publication details discussions during the February 2013 IOM   workshop, sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Blue   Shield of California Foundation. The event gathered patients and experts in   areas such as decision science, evidence generation, communication   strategies, and health economics to consider the central roles patients can   play to bring about progress in all facets of the U.S. health care system.   The workshop built on the ongoing work of the Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven   Health Care to raise awareness and demand from patients and families for   better care at lower costs and to create a health care system that learns and   improves continuously.

Read the Workshop Proceedings   >>
Watch the Video Summary >>
Read the Meeting Summary >>

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