The Employee Benefit Research Institute provides a quick look at two interesting topics. The new reform law requires that employer health plans provide coverage for adult children up to the age of 26. Early evidence suggests that the number of uninsured adults in the 19-25 age group has declined. Older Americans are also found to often make changes in health spending in response to financial distress.
A Journal of the American Medical Association article, based on work sponsored by AHRQ, reviews the off-label use of atypical antipsychotics, which are usually very expensive and have significant side effects. While there are occasional benefits to such use, adverse events are common, particularly in the elderly.
The leaves fall but not the quality of our Potpourri, this week covering beneficiaries’ use of Medicare Star ratings, quality of care guidelines and older patients, compassionate care, asthma care guidelines and outcomes, infection control in hospitals and informal caregivers in California.
End-of-life care is a significant contributor to overall health expenditures. New research in the Journal of the American Medical Association probes the effect of advance directives on end-of-life spending, with a particular focus on geographic variations both in the use of directives and care.
The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality released a report on the Comparative Effectiveness of Case Management for Adults with Medical Illness and Complex Care Needs. This metareview found limited evidence for positive effects of any care management intervention.