Health care industry warming to role of keeping you healthy

Kaiser Health News reports from the Associated Press, that big players in the health industry are seeing the cost benefits of nabbing problems before they start.  That hot lunch delivered to your door? Your health insurer might pick up the tab. The cleaning crew that fixed up your apartment while you recovered from a stroke? The hospital staff helped set that up.

Some insurers are paying for rides to fitness centers and checking in with customers to help ward off loneliness. Hospital networks are hiring more workers to visit people at home and learn about their lives, not just their illnesses.

The health care system is becoming more focused on keeping patients healthy instead of waiting to treat them once they become sick or wind up in the hospital. This isn’t a new concept, but it’s growing. Insurers are expanding what they pay for to confront rising costs, realizing that a person’s health depends mostly on what happens outside a doctor’s visit.

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The Cost of Patient-Reported Outcomes

In a January 25, 2018 post in NEJM Catalyst, authors Judith F. Baumhauer, MD, MPH, Christopher Dasilva, BS, David Mitten, MD, Paul Rubery, MD & Michael Rotondo, MD outline the several options and costs of implementing patient-reported outcomes in a clinical practice.  The authors outline the costs of a custom-built, an EHR solution, and standalone commercial product, citing the costs, advantages and disadvantages of each.


Most Americans consider doctor ratings important

According to an article in JAMA, patients are increasingly turning to online experience ratings.  Although traditional methods of physician selection (such as word of mouth and insurance acceptance) still dominate, in this study fifty-nine percent of patient respondents reported that physician ratings sites to be either somewhat important or very important when choosing a physician.




How doctors select their...doctors!

In a recent Forbes interview with The Leapfrog Group CEO Leah Binder, Marty Makary, MD explains how he selected a doctor for his father's surgery—and offers tips for patients making similar choices for themselves and their families.  According to the Forbes site, Makary says patients should investigate a hospital using CMS's Hospital Compare site, Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Score, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons reports, online reviews, patient satisfaction survey results, and the surgeon's credentials.

The Forbes article is part two of an interview with Dr. Marty Makary, author of Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care.

The Joint Commission releases a tool to improve patient hand-offs

The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare is releasing a new Hand-off Communications Targeted Solutions Toolto assist health care organizations with the process of passing necessary and critical information about a patient from one caregiver to the next, or from one team of caregivers to another, to prevent miscommunication-related errors, according to a press release.
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U.S. Adults with chronic conditions more likely to forego care than those in other high-income nations

Adults living with chronic health problems who live in the U.S. are more likely to forego care than those with chronic health problems living in other high-income nations, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund.
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Physician group use of patient experience survey varies

Since 2006, Massachusetts has been publicly reporting the results of a patient experience survey where patients assess the care that they received in primary care physician offices. A study by the RAND Corporation, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine has found that physician groups’ use of this data varies greatly.
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