Patients With Multiple Chronic Diseases Incur High Out-of-Pocket Expenses

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Grace Sum Chi-En National University of Singapore

Dr Grace Sum    Chi-En

Dr Grace Sum Chi-En
National University of Singapore

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Chronic diseases are conditions that are not infectious and are usually long-term, such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, chronic lung disease, asthma, arthritis, stroke, obesity, and depression. They are also known as non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Multimorbidity, is a term we use in our field, to mean the presence of two or more NCDs. Multimorbidity is a costly and complex challenge for health systems globally. With the ageing population, more people in the world will suffer from multiple chronic diseases.

Patients with multimorbidity tend to need many medicines, and this incurs high levels of out-of-pocket expenditures, simply known as cost not covered by insurance. Even the United Nations and World Health organisation are recognising NCDs as being an important issue.

Governments will meet in New York for the United Nations 3rd high-level meeting on chronic diseases in 2018. Global leaders need to work towards reducing the burden of having multiple chronic conditions and providing financial protection to those suffering multimorbidity.

Our research aimed to conduct a high-quality systematic review on multimorbidity and out-of-pocket expenditure on medicines.  Continue reading

Seniors Entering Old Age Will Increasingly Have Multiple Complicated Health Conditions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Carol Jagger AXA Professor of Epidemiology of Ageing and Deputy Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA) Institute of Health & Society Campus for Ageing and Vitality Newcastle

Prof. Jagger

Prof. Carol Jagger
AXA Professor of Epidemiology of Ageing and
Deputy Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA)
Institute of Health & Society
Campus for Ageing and Vitality
Newcastle 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: As part of a larger study (MODEM – modelling outcome and cost impacts of interventions for dementia) we have developed a microsimulation model called PACSim which forecasts the number of older people aged 65 years and over along with their health and lifestyle factors as they age over the next 20 years. Crucially these are the first projections that include the health and lifestyle profiles of younger people as they age into to older population, rather than just assuming they have the same health profiles as existing young-old.

Other studies have already reported that the proportion of older people with multimorbidity (two or more concurrent diseases) has increased. Our study shows that not only will this continue but that the largest increase over the next 20 years will be for complex multimorbidity (four or more diseases). Much of the gain in life expectancy over the next 20 year for a 65 year old will be years spent with complex multimorbidity. And more importantly the future cohorts of young-old entering the older population will have successively more multimorbidity. Continue reading

Anesthesia, Sterility Measures Contribute To Large Carbon Footprint of Health Care Systems

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
 <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/6127836005">“surgery”</a> by <i> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/people/armymedicine/">Army Medicine</a> </i> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0"> CC BY 2.0</a>Andrea MacNeill MD MSc FRCSC

Surgical Oncologist & General Surgeon
University of British Columbia
Vancouver General Hospital
BC Cancer Agency

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Climate change is one of the most pressing public health issues of the present era, responsible for 140,000 deaths annually.  Somewhat paradoxically, the health sector itself has a considerable carbon footprint, as well as other detrimental environmental impacts.  Within the health sector, operating rooms are known to be one of the most resource-intensive areas and have thus been identified as a strategic target for emissions reductions.

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Most Adolescents Not Receiving Important Health Care Preventive Services

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sally H. Adams, PhD, RN Specialist, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult  Medicine Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, CA 94118

Dr. Adams

Sally H. Adams, PhD, RN
Specialist, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult  Medicine
Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center
University of California, San Francisco
Benioff Children’s Hospital
San Francisco, CA 94118

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Major causes of adolescent illness and mortality are preventable. To address this, in the 1990s, professional medical organizations developed healthcare provider guidelines for the delivery of adolescent preventive healthcare. These include the receipt of anticipatory guidance and risk screening services in the effort to promote healthy behaviors and avoid risky behaviors that are intended to be covered within a preventive care visit, but could be addressed in other healthcare visits.

The adolescent developmental period is an important time for adolescents to be engaged with the healthcare system. Transitioning from childhood to adulthood, adolescents are becoming increasingly independent – having more responsibility and freedom for decision making in many areas, including healthy choices in behaviors and activities. While families and community settings (schools, churches) play strong roles in this process, the healthcare system also plays an important role.

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Trends in Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays Shifted After Switch to ICD-10 Coding

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Anne Elixhauser, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Rockville MD 20857

Dr. Elixhauser

Anne Elixhauser, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Rockville MD 20857

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Hospital inpatient data began using ICD-10-CM (I-10) codes on October 1, 2015.  We have been doing analysis using the new codeset to determine to what extent we can follow trends crossing the ICD transition—do the trends look consistent when we switch from I-9 to I-10?  Tracking the opioid epidemic is a high priority so we made this one of our first detailed analyses.  We were surprised to find that hospital stays jumped 14% across the transition, compared to a 5% quarterly increase before the transition (under I-9) and a 3.5% quarterly increase after the transition (under I-10).  The largest increase (63.2%) was for adverse effects in therapeutic use (side effects of legal drugs), whereas stays involving opioid abuse decreased 21% and opioid poisoning (overdose) decreased 12.4%.

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Nearly Half of All US Medical Care is Delivered by Emergency Departments

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Marcozzi, MD, MHS-CL, FACEP Associate Professor  Director of Population Health Department of Emergency Medicine Adjunct Associate Professor Co-Director of the Program in Health Disparities and Population Health Department of Epidemiology and Public Health University of Maryland School of Medicine Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Acute Care University of Maryland Medical Center

Dr. Marcozzi

David Marcozzi, MD, MHS-CL, FACEP
Associate Professor
Director of Population Health
Department of Emergency Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor
Co-Director of the Program in Health Disparities and Population Health
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Acute Care
University of Maryland Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered by emergency departments has grown. The study highlights what many experts argue is a major flaw in American health care: the use of emergency care in non-urgent cases, where clinics and doctor’s offices would be more appropriate.

“I was shocked by this result. This really helps us understand health care in this country. This research underscores the fact that emergency departments are critical to our nation’s healthcare delivery system, particularly for Americans who have no access to care.” said David Marcozzi, MD, MHS-CL, FACEP, an associate professor in the UMSOM Department of Emergency Medicine, and co-director of the UMSOM Program in Health Disparities and Population Health. “Patients seek care delivered in emergency departments for many reasons, and we need to face this fact this is a significant segment of healthcare and actually it may be delivering the type of care that individuals want and need—24/7, 365 days.”  Although he now focuses on population health and hospital throughput, Dr. Marcozzi is an emergency room doctor himself, and works one or two days a week in the University of Maryland Medical Center emergency department, treating patients.

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Patients With Social Risks Are More Expensive and Require Greater Medicaid Resources

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-arlene-S-Ash.jpg

Dr. Ash

Arlene S. Ash, PhD
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Worcester 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: State Medicaid programs (and other health care purchasers) often contract with several managed care organizations, each of which agrees to address all health care needs for some of their beneficiaries. Suppose a Medicaid program has $5000 to spend, on average, for each of its 1 million beneficiaries. How much should they pay health plan “A” for the particular 100,000 beneficiaries it enrolls? If some group, such as those who are homeless, is much more expensive to care for than the payment, plans that try to provide good care for many such people will go broke. We describe the model now used by MassHealth to ensure that plans get more money for enrolling patients with greater medical and social needs. In this medical-social model, about 10% of total dollars is allocated by factors other than the medical-morbidity risk score.

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Study Finds Disconnect Between Price and Quality in Health Care

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Eric Roberts, PhD

Post-doctoral fellow
Department of Health Care Policy
Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Increasing consolidation of health care providers has raised regulatory concerns that less competition will lead to higher health care prices and possibly lower quality care for patients. On the other hand, some industry observers have contended that larger and higher-priced practices are better able invest in systems to support care management, and ultimately, better patient care. In this study, we examined whether larger and higher-priced physician practices provided better and more efficient care to their patients.

Higher-priced physician groups were paid an average of 36% more by commercial insurers, and were substantially larger than lower-priced practices located within the same geographic areas. Despite large differences in practices’ prices and size, we found few differences in their patients’ quality and efficiency of care. For example, when we compared patients who received care in high-priced versus low-priced practices, we found no differences in patients’ overall care ratings, physician ratings, access to care, physician communication, and use of preventive services. We also found no differences in patients’ hospital admissions or total spending, suggesting that higher-priced practices were not managing their patients’ care more efficiently than their lower-priced counterparts.

We did find that patients in higher-priced practices were more likely to receive recommended vaccinations, review of their medications, and results of medical tests, and that they spent less time in the waiting room for a scheduled doctor’s appointment. However, once practice prices exceeded the average for their geographic area, we observed no further gains in quality on most of these measures.

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Early Findings on Care Coordination in Capitated Medicare-Medicaid Plans under the Financial Alignment Initiative

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Angela Greene

Deputy director of Aging, Disability and Long Term Care Program
RTI International

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office and the Innovation Center at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services created the Financial Alignment Initiative to test integrated care models for Medicare -Medicaid enrollees (dual-eligible beneficiaries). CMS contracted with RTI International to monitor the implementation of these demonstrations and to evaluate their impact on beneficiary experience, access, quality, utilization, and cost.

Care coordination is a key component of all demonstrations under this Initiative. Specifically, CMS and participating States believe that care coordination will improve quality and cost outcomes by increasing preventive and timely care, reducing avoidable hospitalizations, improving the beneficiary experience, and delaying institutionalization.
Our report provides an update on the status of care coordination activities and early findings on successes and challenges of providing care coordination services for the nine capitated model demonstrations implemented between October 2013 and February 2015.

Our early findings around care coordination suggest that although states are implementing demonstrations that differ in some ways, participating plans in each state are implementing new care coordination approaches designed to integrate care across medical, long term services and supports, and behavioral health systems and that they have overcome several challenges in doing so. Once dual-eligible beneficiaries become familiar with their care coordinators and develop relationships with them, they find them to be useful in coordinating care and improving access to services.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: In addition to the findings mentioned earlier, our study shows care coordinators are providing a new service that dual-eligible beneficiaries generally feel is beneficial. CMS, States, and participating plans are all invested in this process and are working to make it succeed despite several challenges.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: A major goal of the evaluation is to monitor how care coordination is affecting the beneficiary experience, access to needed services, quality of care and cost. Our team will continue to track beneficiary experience with care coordination in several ways, including through focus groups and the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey. We will also be using Medicare and Medicaid claims and encounter data to assess the effect on utilization, quality and cost.

This research was funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:
Early Findings on Care Coordination in Capitated Medicare-Medicaid Plans under the Financial Alignment Initiative

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Health Care Attitudes: How Do The Generations Compare?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mitch Rothschild MA, MBA Co-founder of Vitals

Mitch Rothschild

Mitch Rothschild MA, MBA
Co-founder of Vitals

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There’s so much in the news about health care today. It’s on people’s mind more than ever before due to rising costs and deductibles and, of course, the repeal debate.

With that in mind, we wanted to see how the current landscape affects two things: 1) People’s trust in the health system in general; and 2) Their attitude towards the doctor-patient relationship.

It shouldn’t be surprising that different generations had different perceptions. But we were amazed by how some generational stereotypes held true when it came to doctor-patient relationships and the health care attitudes.

Millennials – Health Care Idealists

Being in their 20s and 30s, Millennials are young and in general a healthy bunch. For the most part, they’ve utilized less health care services than other generations. Only 35 percent have a primary care provider, and one in four say they use an alternative care facility, like an urgent care center, when they are sick.

Often characterized as optimistic and idealistic, those traits may help explain why they have a high degree of trust in the system and in their doctors. They’re the least likely to question their doctor’s authority or their integrity when it comes to fessing up to medical mistakes.

Confident and idealistic, Millennials are often labeled as over-sharers for their habits both on social media and in the real world. But this translates into an open doctor-patient relationship. Millennials are more likely than other generations to say they can tell their doctor “anything.” Perhaps a byproduct of their parents raising them to believe their voice matters, Millennials have an expectation that they can and should engage authority. Yet, that collaborative and open dialogue leads to another positive: They’re the most likely to follow their doctor’s medical advice.

Millennials have grown up as digital natives. As such, they’re the most likely to use online reviews to “check up” on a new doctor. Yet, their familiarity with technology leads them to be the least suspicious of pitfalls. More than other generations, Millennials trust health facilities with their personal health information.

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