2015 Alphabet Soup

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 20:57

A new list: Your Healthcare Lexicon for 2015 from A to Z tries to tackle listing a litany of issues, from little to big - in alphabetical order - that we will be facing during 2015. So check it out, and slide down the alphabet as the year progresses. Want a full explanation of each item from A to Z? Visit the corresponding mcolblog post which elaborates on this alphabet soup.

2014: The Top Five Healthcare Trends

Fri, 01/02/2015 - 12:40

This week, a healthsprocket list was posted that displayed the top five trends in healthcare from last year (Kalorama Information). The healthsprocket list was derived from the Drug Store News website and was shown online a few days ago. According to Kalorama information, there is a growing demand for telemedicine and and biopharmaceutical medications based on last year. They are interesting and significant due to events that certain companies would have to adjust to.

Brazil, Russia, India and China demonstrated that economic growth was quicker than the United States markets but not as fast as in previous years. There is high interest in the healthcare industry in using lower cost, smaller size and fast DNA sequencing for better understanding of disease and specific abnormalities such as enhancing the study of tumors. For better outcomes and more efficient care. Remote patient monitoring systems inside hospitals or connecting health care workers to patients at home continue to demonstrate revenue growth and customer demand. The need to produce new biopharmaceutical drugs is driving the market for the companies that will handle the production and for the equipment used in the process. Several large device mergers were concluded or announced in last year, such as Medtronic and Covidien.

Recently, a healthsprocket list was posted which five different ways that ICD-10 (10th edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems) will make an impact on physician practices and the need for cost of care transparency as of next year. The list comes from the Physicians Foundation.

Many changes continue to change the United States healthcare system and critical areas will have a large impact on current practicing physicians and their patients over the duration of next year. Consolidation hits the gas pedal in regards to hospitals and health systems are driving smaller medical practices into larger systems. The physician and patient relationships are strained by the external pressures coming from emphasis on value-based payment models and effects of medical consolidation. According to the Foundation's 2014 Biennial Physician Survey, access to physician care will be limited due to <50% of physicians planning to take steps such as: cutting back on patients seen, retiring, working part-time, closing practices to new patients, and seeking non-clinical type work.

This week, a healthsprocket list was posted that displayed a couple of tips that can assist people during their selection of a cost-effective and comprehensive plan for their family. The list was derived from the Huffington Post website and was shown online a few days ago.

Should consumers choose high or low deductible health insurance plans? Well, there are some tips to help with the selection process. Firstly, look at your eligibility for discounts and make sure that you can explore possible discounts before writing off a plan due to the amount. Secondly, condense your options to just a few plans. Perhaps just one low and high-deductible health plan. Thirdly, estimate your future medical costs for the coming year and compare coverage. Fourthly, consider extra features because deductibles are only one consideration among a plethora of them when shopping for health insurance. Lastly, determine your priorities. If you are comparing a high and low-deductible plan, your decision may come down to what you value most (saving cash on premiums or having to meet a deductible when expenses arise).

Recently, a healthsprocket list was posted which displayed four Emergency Medical Services that have added value within an integrated health care system by using innovative non-acute care models. The list comes from the Medlert website.

Hospital readmission penalties, healthcare consumers and EMS are all under the Affordable Care Act. There is an opportunity for EMS to reconfigure the role of EMS within an integrated health care system. In regards to healthcare consumerism, patients, health care providers, hospitals, and health care organizations are all included in the ambulance service industry. Today, consumers expect convenience and a user friendly experience. Also, consumers expect proven value for a paid service, personal connection, and an accessibility of services anytime. For a full understanding of how to meet consumer demand, the ambulance service industry has to recognize how consumer needs are shifting.

This week, a healthsprocket list was posted that displayed how hospitals improve based on eight different heart care measures. The list was derived from the Becker's Hospital Review website and was shown online this month.

Heart care quality in hospitals accredited by The Joint Commission continues to improve over time. According to America's Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety: The Joint Commission's 2014 Annual Report. Heart attack care composite measure of the hospitals reviewed improved by about 1.3% from the period of 2009-2013. The improvement percentage was calculated by taking the number of times the measure was met by the hospital and dividing it by the number of opportunities the hospital had to meet the measure. The eight additional heart attack or heart failure measures upon which hospitals have improved over that time period.

Recently, a healthsprocket list was posted which displayed 11 healthcare positions that were not around about 10 years ago. The list comes from the Healthcare Dive website. A recent study has shown that new clinical and leadership jobs are now available due to transformation of the healthcare system.

Clinical positions that did not exist in the past include the following: care coordinator, navigator, health coach, medical scribes and telehealth practitioner. Emerging leadership roles include chief population health officer, chief experience officer, chief clinical transformation officer and chief strategy officer. Also, technical roles now have clinical documentation specialists and ICD-10 coders. Despite the expanding need for positions such as the ones listed, only a small percentage of healthcare leaders said that they are preparing to meet these job needs for their respective organizations.

This week, a healthsprocket list was posted that displayed four tips for being able to obtain the greatest amount of savings from Medicare Plans in 2015. The list was derived from the Beacon website news area and was shown online this month.

The annual open enrollment is until December 7th of this year. Typically, it is the only time that people can change their own Medicare Drug and/or Medicare Advantage plan for next year unless they qualify for a special period where they are recognized. Which Medicare Advantage plan will work for you? Typically, these are PPO/HMO style plans. Also, evaluate your Part D prescription drug plan because there are about 30 of them to choose from at this point in time. Furthermore, many people have Plan F or C which are the ones with the most benefits so be able to re-shop your Medicare Supplement Plan to remain flexible.

Recently, a healthsprocket list was posted showing off three various keys for a successful approach to population health management. The list was made from the Fierce Healthcare website story section and was posted during the end of last month. When organizations tranisition to manage the health of specific types of populations, they are met with challenges.

There are about three different types of strategies that can improve an organization's chances of creating an effective approach to population health management. Leaders must be able to come up with a set of clear objectives that they expect an organization to achieve in terms of their outcomes, marketshare, and margin. That will assist with defining the organization's purpose. Also, asking physician leaders to take ownership of the change really hinges on the success of the transformation. The system's strengths need to be built upon by considering roots in the community and the charitable mission at stake. Small meaningful improvements go a long away in determining how much of a success your organization can become in terms of improving population health management. There are many more strategies based on previous reports.

This week, a healthsprocket list was posted showing five different tips for choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. The list comes from the Senior Journal website news section and was displayed during this month.

There is a plethora of tools to assist senior citizens with making the right choice during Medicare Open Enrollment. Some tips would be to look for quality ratings because Medicare gives star ratings for health plan quality. The top rating is maxed at five stars. Co-pays and deductibles would be wise to look at if you click on a plan's name due to being able to see the details of a specific plan. Also, getting a grasp of the list of participating doctors and hospitals. These may have few exceptions but Medicare Advantage have provider networks as well. Making sure to have dental and vision coverage because Medicare Advantage plans come with some kind of coverage for those items. Finally, making sure that you can have coverage while traveling because many plans will only pay for emergency care when you are away from home.