Home     About    Sign Up      H2RWebinars    Vendor Solutions     Sponsorship    Contact Us

Industry News
Despite women attending U.S. medical schools in roughly equal numbers as men since 2003, a recent study published in the BMJ raises concerns about "underrepresentation of women among the leaders of high impact original research." The study examined publications in six of the world's leading medical journals over 20 years. They found women are underrepresented in the "first author" spot which can often shape how they're evaluated at work, but may also affect research about women's health issues. (National Public Radio; BMJ) 
The largest health insurer in Texas--Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas--wants to raise its rates on individual policies by an average of nearly 60 percent, yet another sign that the Affordable Care Act hasn't been able to control price spikes, according to the Associated Press. In fact, many insurers around the country are requesting bigger premium increases for 2017. The picture will continue to unfold; data is available for only about half the states. (AP) 
Aetna and Texas Health Resources announced plans for a jointly owned heath plan company that will target consumers in North Texas. The collaboration--the first of its kind in the region between a major insurer and a major health system--will combine fully integrated care teams, coverage benefits and administrative services to reduce redundancies and streamline the consumer experience, according to the companies. This is Aetna's second joint venture with a nonprofit health system. The carrier partnered with Inova Health System in Northern Virginia in 2014. (Healthcare Dive) 
Innovation & Transformation  
Three health information exchanges are joining forces to pilot a patient-centered data home. Arizona Health-e Connection, Colorado's Quality Health Network and the Utah Health Information Network are exploring a method of sharing data among HIEs. It is based on triggering episode alerts, which notify providers a care event has occurred outside of the patient's "home" HIE, and confirms availability and specific location of the clinical data. Providers can initiate a simple query to access real-time information across state and regional lines and throughout the care continuum. The concept has been piloted among HIEs that share common borders or patients. (Healthcare Informatics)
Get the medications right:a dozen lessons, a new issue brief from Health2 Resources, explores how comprehensive medication management is transforming care delivery for patients, pharmacists and other clinicians. It identifies key lessons from the new report Get the medications right: a nationwide snapshot of expert practices--Comprehensive medication management in ambulatory/community pharmacy. The brief focuses on two of the CMM programs featured the report, HealthPartners and Goodrich Pharmacy. (issue brief;
Recovery-oriented care for substance abusers is gaining momentum. The approach uses peer-support counselors who can relate to someone in crisis because they've been through it themselves. They help the substance abuser return to the path that leads them to a productive life, shifting the focus away from medication compliance and symptom control toward practical assistance like housing, job applications and getting to doctor's appointments. Those skeptical of recovery-oriented care argue its results aren't quantifiable. But advocates stress it's generally part of a broader strategy. (Kaiser Health News
More than a dozen websites and apps are vying to help U.S. consumers find the lowest prices for prescription drugs by comparing prices and searching for deals, similar to the way Expedia works for airfare or Bankrate.com for mortgage rates. The Associated Press recently published a Q&A to understand how these discounts work. It notes the research shows more than 20 percent of prescriptions in the U.S. go unfilled, in part due to financial hardship. Yet only 17 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to check multiple pharmacies for lower drug prices. (AP)
Consumers & Providers
While insurance companies say there's a shortage of therapists, therapists are being told that the insurance networks are full. And many patients can't find providers in their network because no one is taking new patients under their plans--if they take insurance at all. Dr. Michael Klein, a psychologist in San Francisco for more than 20 years, says therapists aren't taking insurance "because the reimbursement rates don't provide a living wage," and because of the paperwork. (KQED
A story by ProPublica and NPR, and a subsequent Senate investigation, prompted Heartland Regional Medical Center, a Missouri nonprofit, to change its policies and forgive thousands of patients' debts. It's unclear whether other hospitals that sue the poor will change their policies.ProPublica reports numerous cases across the country of nonprofit hospitals filing suits by the thousands. New federal rules set clearer guidelines on this issue. But a "big question" remains, said Chi Chi Wu, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center: Who will enforce the rules? (ProPublica)
   Follow us on Twitter   Like us on Facebook 
New & Noted   
HIT beats sepsis: Huntsville Hospital in Alabama was able to reduce sepsis-related deaths by 53 percent. It created a system that uses change management, electronic surveillance and algorithms to detect sepsis and deliver specific decision support to the point of care using a mobile app, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. (FierceHealthIT; JAMIA) 

CVS, VA team up: To address long wait times, the Veterans Affairs Health Care System is partnering with CVS Pharmacy to offer urgent care services to more than 65,000 veterans. As part of the test program, veterans can visit one of 14 CVS Minute Clinics in the San Francisco Bay area and receive free care for certain conditions, and the VA will reimburse CVS. (Healthcare IT News)

Rural outreach: Intermountain Healthcare has launched its Connect Care telehealth platform for patients in Utah and Idaho. Connect Care clinicians will have access to Intermountain patients' medical files as part of a greater effort to include telehealth in the continuum of care. (HealthLeaders Media) 

A recent Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative webinar explores the role of the nurse practitioner in providing patient-centered care. It features Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, president American Association of Nurse Practitioners; and Sean Lyon, MSN, FNP-CS, APRN, family nurse practitioner, RicherWellnessMD, PLLC. (PCPCC)
MarketVoices...quotes worth reading
"Patients want to see a pharmacy that says 'every-day low prices,' but most pharmacies can't achieve that because the way prices are configured is pure mayhem. That's why consumers need to know: 'Where can I get my beta blocker for the best price?'"-- Professor Darius Lakdawalla, a health economist at the University of South Carolina, quoted by the AP. 
Subscriber Tools
Editorial Team
Roxanna Guilford-Blake
Sandy Mau




Copyright 2009-2016, H2RMinutes

Wednesday, June 8, 2016