Healthcare IT News of the week: Blumenthal and Berwick sound off; the benefits of Medicaid, medical homes and clinical analytics
The Affordable Care Act is the start of a "prevention revolution" in America
Susan Blumenthal, MD, Public Health editor at HuffPost and Former U.S. assistant surgeon general, wrote a post in the Huffington Post titled, “Healing America’s Health Care System,” which casts a vote of confidence for the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Blumenthal explains the issues and challenges facing our current healthcare system including the three pandemics – tobacco use, obesity and lack of physical activity. She discusses why health reform is necessary, outlines PPACA and the insurance coverage program. She concludes by saying that “The Affordable Care Act is the start of a "prevention revolution" in America. It stands as a mark of progress towards healing America's ailing health care system, providing a roadmap for ensuring a healthier future for us all.”
Is there a doctor in the state?
Annie Lowry and Robert Pear of the New York Times reported on the urgent matter of doctor shortages around the country. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. Health experts say there is little that the government or the medical profession will be able to do to close the gap by 2014, when the healthcare law begins extending coverage to about 30 million Americans. As it is, the pool of doctors has not kept pace with the population growth and the aging of the baby boom generation. In addition, the proportion of medical students choosing to enter primary care has declined in the past 15 years. Primary care physicians do not make as much money as specialists do. So, like any other business, it will be a matter of working smarter, and emphasizing new ways of treating patients, such as walk-in clinics and a team approach to care.
Medicaid expansion may lower death rates, study says
A Harvard University study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine titled, “Mortality and Access to Care among Adults after State Medicaid Expansions” found that when states expanded their Medicaid programs and gave more poor people health insurance, fewer people died. This is timely as states are deciding whether to expand Medicaid by 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s health care law. The Supreme Court ruling on the law effectively gave states the option of accepting or rejecting an expansion of Medicaid that had been expected to add 17 million people to the program’s rolls.
Physicians praise the patient-centered medical home model
Two large physician organizations are praising the patient-centered medical home model as a way to provide more-coordinated care, engage patients and families, and improve healthcare quality. In a paper by the American College of Physicians and the Society of General Internal Medicine, physicians analyzed how the medical-home model meets medicine's overarching goals of patient-centeredness, ready access to care and continuous improvement.
Clinical analytics 'next big thing' for health IT
Clinical analytics and business intelligence tools have emerged as a top priority for hospital IT leaders who are moving towards accountable care adoption, according to a Black Book Rankings survey released last Wednesday. According to survey findings, more than 1,340 hospital IT leaders nationwide indicated clinical analytics to be their highest prioritized system to acquire over the next year.
Stage 3 Meaningful Use to focus on better coordination, more clinical decision support
Doctors and hospitals will have to better coordinate care and incorporate more clinical decision support to meet Meaningful Use Stage 3 requirements, according to a Government Health IT report of this week's meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee. The new measures will call for electronic health record systems to integrate with external medication lists to flag drug interactions and to catch "never" combinations.
Posted by Davida Dinerman on August 4, 2012 at 9:29 AM