iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Is this the beginning of the reshaping of the primary care delivery model

EMS Jobs Are Projected to Increase 15% by 2026


Modern Healthcare recently released a data brief on employment trends for Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Here are some key findings from the report:


There were 248,000 EMT and paramedic jobs in 2016.
The median annual pay for EMTs and paramedics is $32,670.
The amount of EMT and paramedic jobs are projected to increase 15% by 2026.
EMS professionals respond to 37 million calls annually.
There are an estimated 21,283 EMS agencies nationwide.
There are about 81,295 EMS vehicles (ambulances, helicopters, fire trucks).



Source: Modern Healthcare, December 16, 2017

January 8, 2018 | Categories: healthcare,Primary Care | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

They may be ‘satisfied’ but are they getting the value they need?

Most Health-Insured Adults are Satisfied With Their Primary Care Physician

Salesforce recently released its 2016 Connected Patient Report on adults who have health insurance and a primary care physician. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • 91% of patients are satisfied with their primary care physician.
  • 3 in 4 patients (76%) use phones to communicate with their doctors and set appointments.
  • 62% of patients rely on their doctors to manage their data, while 29% keep their records at home.
  • Half of health-insured patients (48%) report having the same doctor for the past 10 years.
  • 1 in 3 patients feel their doctors would not recognize them walking down the street.
  • 62% of patients would be open to virtual care treatments as an alternative to in-office doctor visits.

Source: Salesforce, June 27, 2016

What should the alert expectation be?

According to a recent study of the electronic logs of 3 large practices, primary care physicians received a mean of 76.9.electronic notifications each day, while specialists received a mean of only 29.1 notifications per day. Source: “The Burden of Inbox Notifications in Commercial Electronic Health Records,” JAMA Internal Medicine, March 14, 2016,

What should the expectation be? What’s a good ratio of patients to alerts? Does the disease burden and morbidity play a role here?

4 in 5 expect that by 2021, patients will compare ratings before choosing a hospital

Survey: Most Patients Will Belong to Incentivized Health Plans by 2021

The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development recently conducted a survey on healthcare leaders’ thoughts on emerging trends in healthcare. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • 99% agreed that by 2021 patients will demand a greater role in treatment planning.
  • 4 in 5 expect that by 2021, patients will compare ratings before choosing a hospital.
  • 89% said that most of their hospital’s insured patients will belong to incentivized health plans by 2021.
  • Most practitioners (88%) predict that at least a quarter of chronic disease patients will receive it remotely.
  • Two-thirds of practitioners predict that most chronic illness patients will receive primary care that includes some type of psychotherapy service.

Source: Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development, January 26, 2016

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,

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it

AHRQ outlines approaches for measuring primary care treatments The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released a tool designed to help measure the effects of primary care interventions. “Effective evaluation can help determine the best ways to improve primary care health and cost outcomes as well as patient, clinician and staff experiences,” the AHRQ said. Clinical Innovation + Technology online

Screening everyone for diabetes over age 45… is that really necessary

Generally, people will get a glucose screen sometime in their lives, however, is this an appropriate strategy…telling EVERYONE after age 45 to get tested? Is this economically viable? Should there be other risk factors included in the analysis of whether to get a screening, just as they are those under 45?

USPSTF recommends wider diabetes screening in draft statement Draft recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force call for diabetes and blood glucose screening for people 45 and older and younger adults with risk factors. The guidelines, updated from 2008, are similar to those made by other medical groups and include recommendations for diet and exercise interventions for at-risk patients. Medscape (free registration) (10/6)

Enlarging the definition of the Primary Care Workforce is Critical

Geographic Distribution of Primary Care Workforce

Nurse practitioners Physician assistants Family physicians/GPs General internal medicine General pediatrics U.S. population
Urban 72.20% 75.10% 77.50% 89.80% 91.20% 80%
Large rural 11.00% 11.70% 11.10% 6.70% 6.20% 10%
Small rural 7.70% 6.90% 7.20% 2.40% 1.80% 5%
Remote rural 9.10% 6.30% 4.20% 1.10% 0.80% 5%

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Providing a written plan. . . of care

Most cancer patients enter survivorship with little direction from oncologists or primary care providers, according to a national survey.

Two-thirds of 1,130 oncologists said they always or almost always discuss survivorship with patients, but only a third told patients where to seek cancer-related or other care. Fewer than 5% of oncology respondents provided patients with a written plan for survivorship care.

Read more here: Of 1,020 primary care providers surveyed, 12% reported regular discussions about recommendations for survivorship care or provider responsibility, as reported online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Most who follow me know that I have a vision for how health care will evolve. The next two big things that need to occur are transparency of pricing – what patients are expected to pay for the services they receive – estimates if not actual prices based on the insurance they have and the current terms of that insurance. And not necessarily in this order a plan of care.

Let me explain what is meant by a plan of care. It goes well beyond the story in the Journal of Clincal Oncology. That is just one example.

It is a plan that every person should have. It is the equivalent of a financial plan. It is something that the patient has the key to access, a portal and a document through which to view and understand their medical condition and the actions that they or their caregivers need to take to optimize the outcomes that patient is seeking. It is something that the patient enables others including their providers and caregives to view and to add to with their special knowledge and information. It spans every episode of care. Whether that is a prevention episode, a wellness episode, an acute episode, a chronic episode, even a secondary prevention episode.

It enables hospital discharge instructions to be cleanly handed off to family caregivers, rehabilitation caregivers, other physcians or nurses caring for the patient. It enables the primary care physician to view what all other parts of the health system are contributing to the health of the patient. It provides a means of communicating with the patient while in the office and to be sure that the instructions are clear when they leave the office. It helps turn the office visit into a counselling session rather than simply a visit and script.

It links physician to nurse, pharmacy to physician, hospital to rehab or nursing facility. It helps turn siloed health care services into a system of organized and informed health processes focused on the patient.

Three quarters of elderly patients prefer coordinated care, but most don’t get it

Most older patients prefer coordinated care but few receive it, survey finds
A survey by the John A. Hartford Foundation revealed 73% of elderly patients said they would prefer coordinated care from a team of medical professionals, but only 27% reported receiving such care. Researchers also found that 48% of older patients said they would consider switching primary care doctors if coordinated team care is available elsewhere. (4/3)

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