New web site for USHIK database

The United States Health Information Knowledgebase (USHIK) is an on-line, publicly accessible registry and repository of healthcare-related data, metadata and standards. USHIK is funded and directed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) with management support in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The web site was recently redesigned for clarity and … Continue reading New web site for USHIK database

Is the recent health care spending growth slowdown sustainable over the long term?

From the Health Affairs blog: Following the third straight year in which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated the growth in national health expenditures to be a record-low 3.9 percent, considerable speculation on the causes of slower spending growth has come from a variety of sources. There seems to be a consensus among actuaries, academics, and … Continue reading Is the recent health care spending growth slowdown sustainable over the long term?

Using patient-reported data to improve chronic disease care

From AHRQ's Innovations Exchange: According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, chronic diseases are responsible for 70% of deaths in America each year, and 75% of the nation's health care spending focuses on chronic conditions. Using patient-reported data to help manage chronic disease care and reduce costs is a strategy that many … Continue reading Using patient-reported data to improve chronic disease care

Hospital stays in the US–New Statistical Brief from AHRQ

From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Statistical Brief # 144, Overview of Hospital Stays in the United States, 2010: Highlights The total number of hospital stays in the United States increased 12 percent between 1997 and 2010, but the rate of hospitalization remained stable at about 1,260-1,270 stays per 10,000 population. The average … Continue reading Hospital stays in the US–New Statistical Brief from AHRQ

Health care and profits, a poor mix

From the New York Times: Thirty years ago, Bonnie Svarstad and Chester Bond of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison discovered an interesting pattern in the use of sedatives at nursing homes in the south of the state. Patients entering church-affiliated nonprofit homes were prescribed drugs roughly as often as those entering … Continue reading Health care and profits, a poor mix

Lower emergency room use from patients with after-hours physician access

From Health Affairs: The first study to use a nationally representative sample to describe after-hours care in the US demonstrated that emergency room usage is significantly lower when patients have access to after-hours services with their primary care provider. According to the study, 30.4 percent of patients with after-hours access to their primary care providers … Continue reading Lower emergency room use from patients with after-hours physician access

High-deductible health plan enrollees avoid preventive care unnecessarily

From the Health Affairs blog: Consumer-directed plans typically exempt recommended preventive visits and tests from the plan’s deductible, or require only a small copay. These plans have grown in popularity, increasing to 19 percent of all covered workers in 2012 from 8 percent just three years prior. In the newly released December 2012 issue of Health Affairs, Mary … Continue reading High-deductible health plan enrollees avoid preventive care unnecessarily

An Integrated Framework for Assessing the Value of Community-Based Prevention

The National Academies Press has just released a prepublication edition of An Integrated Framework for Assessing the Value of Community-Based Prevention. During the past century the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States have shifted from those related to communicable diseases to those due to chronic diseases. Just as the major causes of morbidity … Continue reading An Integrated Framework for Assessing the Value of Community-Based Prevention

New MeSH terms for PubMed 2013

The National Library of Medicine has released a list of the new MeSH terms for the coming year.  Among the terms of interest to public health are: Dual MEDICAID MEDICARE Eligibility Food Quality Fukushima Nuclear Accident Geographic Mapping Meaningful Use Motivational Interviewing Patient Medication Knowledge Patient Navigation Public Health Surveillance Racism Smoke-Free Policy Social Marginalization … Continue reading New MeSH terms for PubMed 2013

Health Care Innovations Exchange – End-of-Life Care

The new issue of Health Care Innovations Exchange focuses on end-of-life care, including Two programs that used palliative care to help elderly and terminally ill patients make greater use of hospice and home care services. A Quality Tools that provide educational, clinical, and organizational resources and information to help ensure better care for patients and their … Continue reading Health Care Innovations Exchange – End-of-Life Care