What We’re Reading | Week of 6.26.2017

Healthcare is a rapidly evolving industry – it’s difficult to read up on everything that matters to you. But the success of your practice can depend on how knowledgeable you are about changes in the healthcare landscape. Privia has compiled a weekly list of important articles we are reading on healthcare industry trends, clinical best practices and legislative updates for your convenience. Here are some of the important articles and blogs on healthcare that stood out this week:

>> “The Daily Briefing team put together the below chart to compare several key provisions and effects of the Affordable Care Act, House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), and newly updated Senate healthcare bill discussion draft. The chart isn’t a comprehensive list of all the changes from the ACA—both the House and Senate bills, for instance, would repeal most of the health law’s taxes (including on insurers, medical device makers, and high wage earners) and provide market stabilization funds.”

>>BONUS: The Rundown: The Senate healthcare bill – 5 things you need to know

>> “Most doctors today communicate with their patients the same way the Greek physician Galen did 2,000 years ago: one-on-one, in person. Why is that? One reason is unwise legislation. Another is resistance to change by the American Medical Association and state medical societies. A third reason is Medicare, whose payment practices tend to be copied by most employers and private insurers. But the biggest problem is that rank-and-file doctors have been unwilling to step into the modern age. Thanks to the most recent legislative session, Texas became the last state in the union to allow doctors to consult by phone with patients they have never met. And that only came about after a long, hard struggle.”

>> “Waiting has emotional effects on patients. Uncertainty causes anguish, particularly in patients concerned that disease may be progressing and intervention opportunities may be lost. Other variables such as teamwork, communication, and empathy are more powerful drivers of patients’ likelihood of recommending clinicians to others, but no one likes to wait. Data reveal a dose–response effect: the longer the wait, the lower patients’ satisfaction with care. When patients have to wait weeks for a specialist appointment, their satisfaction falls off a cliff.”

>> “Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefits management firm that is one of the largest managers of Medicaid drug benefits in the country, analyzed data on 1.8 million opioid prescriptions given to 3.1 million Medicaid enrollees in 14 states. It found that 6% of all Medicaid prescriptions were for opioids. Of those that acquired opioids, nearly one-third took the medications for more than 30 days.”

>> “Organizations across the country have tried to tackle the problem of high-cost superusers. When the University of Illinois Hospital noticed that its most frequent superusers were chronically homeless patients, it launched an initiative to provide them with furnished apartments and support services. The organization’s $250,000 investment in the program has resulted in a 35% drop in monthly hospital visits and a 40% decrease in the annual cost of their care.”



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