Research reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that a comprehensive care management program for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had excess mortality, to the point that the trial was stopped early. It seems unlikely that this was actually due to the trial.
Hospital unit prices appear to be the single largest cause of increased health spending, according to several lines of research. In a new report, the National Institute for Health Care Reform examines whether state rate regulation could help address the problem.
We are on the road, but our Potpourri remains, in this issue covering malpractice claims against doctors, wellness program outcomes, the effect of drinking coffee, do EHRs help improve care and a wellness survey of employers.
Another report that looks at specialty drug spending is issued by the Center for Studying Health System Change. Due to different characteristics of this category, the authors are pessimistic about near-term opportunities to limit spending growth.
I will be traveling the next two weeks so our posts will be less frequent. Todays focuses on workers’ compensation and reviews an annual report put out by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, which summarizes its general role, as well as the specific research conducted in the last year.
Milliman tracks the average cost of health care for a family and issues an annual report. The 2012 version is out, showing that average family costs are over $20,000 for the first time. That reform law sure is working well to hold down costs.
Among government health care programs, the Part D prescription drug benefit in Medicare has been extremely successful, costing less than projected. Beneficiaries also are satisfied with the program, which consists of all private plans. A Kaiser report examines Part D spending trends.
Consumer-directed or high-deductible insurance plans continue to grow in popularity and an article in Health Affairs suggests that they could save over $50 billion annually if most people were covered under them.
The Government Accounting Office reports on initial results from the Medicare competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, finding that it appeared to have succeeded in reducing spending, while not unduly affecting beneficiary access.
This week’s Potpourri contains tasty morsels of health care nutrition, including geographic variation in cardiac procedures, barriers to shared decision-making, issues in the credibility of survey-based research, the value of a diabetes disease management program, and differences in hospital costs.
The Commonwealth Fund puts out yet another report decrying the sorry American health system, which has by far the highest per capita costs and supposedly no better outcomes. It is unclear, however, that Americans don’t actually by and large get more total value for their dollars and the higher spending is largely due to unit prices.
Our final post on the EMD Serono Specialty Digest, with reference to specialty pharmacy provider trends, oncology and outcomes and comparative effectiveness research.
A continuation of information from the EMD Serono Specialty Digest, with a focus on trends in spending and utilization management.
EMD Serono puts out an annual report on specialty drug use that is outstanding. This year’s edition carries on the tradition with a plethora of useful data and charts based on surveys and collection of other data. The report demonstrates that this fast-growing category has attracted new benefit design and utilization management efforts to rein in spending.
This edition of our data-packed Potpourri focuses on hospital readmissions, use of computer physician order entry systems, what employers will do after 2014 when all of the health law kicks in, and hospital pay-for-performance programs.
Pay-for-performance programs have enough problems demonstrating that they actually work to improve outcomes and now the Government Accounting Office has identified another potential problem for these initiatives–the federal fraud and abuse regulations.
A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examines whether greater use of health information technology has added to hospital productivity. The authors find that while the investment in technology is highly productivity enhancing, there were very modest overall benefits and very limited effect on overall productivity.
The only way to know if something really works is to have credible experimental research. A review of clinical decision support research suggests that they can improve health care processes but that the effect on ultimate outcomes is unknown.