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Care Delivery

 

In 2014, Maryland adopted an all-payer, global budget program for most of its hospitals, making a fixed payment to facilities for services provided in inpatient, outpatient and emergency departments. In its first two years, the concept contained costs, but didn’t appear to change utilization by patients.

Seventeen more accountable care organizations (ACOs) have joined CMS’s Next Generation ACO model, the most advanced and high-risk available to ACOs in Medicare.

Intermountain Healthcare, Ascension Health, SSM Health and Trinity Health announced they’ll create their own not-for-profit generic drug company, called Project RX, with the goal of increasing pharmaceutical competition and making “essential generic medications more available and more affordable.”

Older diabetic patients are living longer as they and their physicians get better at managing the condition, but with longer lifespans comes additional years of incurring higher healthcare expenditures than non-diabetics.

The number of Americans without health insurance saw its biggest increase in nine years in 2017, rising 1.3 percentage points from the year prior, representing an estimated 3.2 million more people being uninsured.

 

Recent Headlines

How delivery system innovations can succeed: ‘Do fewer projects, but do them better’

The need for changing healthcare delivery is clear, according to David Bates, MD, MSc, chief of the general internal medicine division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Allowing those changes to succeed in the world of value-based care, however, may require organizations to devote more of its own resources to delivery system reforms. 

HIMSS 2017: Prior authorization flaws require collaborative response

A multi-stakeholder conversation about the burden of prior authorization requirements offered a consensus that something has to change with these policies, but the parties could not offer a silver bullet on how the process can improve.

Telehealth increases utilization instead of replacing office visits

Using direct-to-consumer telehealth, where a patient was direct access to a physician on the phone or through videoconferencing, may be a tool to increase access to care. According to a study published in the March 2017 issue of Health Affairs, it also increases utilization and spending. 

Need for real-world evidence in value-based care could be advantage for pharma

With more physicians employed in larger organizations than private practices, and those larger groups being more likely to be reimbursed through models which involve financial risk, more physicians are looking to real-world evidence to inform their clinical decisions—a shift which could be beneficial for pharmaceutical companies.

New Jersey law limits initial opioid prescriptions to five days

New Jersey has enacted what its governor calls the strictest anti-opioid law in the country, affecting how long the length of initial prescriptions and waiving prior authorization requirements for those seeking treatment for addiction.

Uninsured rate at 8.8 percent; high-deductible plans on the rise

The latest National Health Interview Survey figures on health coverage show the number of people without health insurance fell to a new low through the first nine months of 2016.

California insurers reported inaccurate provider info to regulators

According to a review released by the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), 90 percent of California insurer reports on which providers were in their network contained inaccurate information.

Lower wages change utilization, even in employer-sponsored insurance plans

Workers who make $24,000 or less annually, but still have employer-sponsored health insurance, have higher hospital and emergency department admissions rates and lower utilization of preventive care compared to higher-paid coworkers.

Physicians warn Trump immigration order will worsen doctor shortage, affect care

Two University of Pennsylvania Medical Center physicians said suspending immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries will have a negative impact on graduate medical education (GME) and the U.S. healthcare system as a whole.

Major organizations aim to change prior authorization requirements

A coalition of medical organizations led by the American Medical Association has released a 21-point plan to change when health insurers require pre-approval before patients can receive certain treatments, drugs or devices.

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