According to survey research published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, hospital ER workers spend an astounding amount of their work time on Facebook, and actually spend more time on it when the ER is busier. Think there might be an opportunity for productivity improvement there?
While we often focus our attention on the health care problems of the developed world, lower income countries have bigger issues, many of which are being addressed with the same “innovations” used in the richer nations. An NBER paper looks at the use of pay-for-performance in these countries.
We would all like to think that receiving health care services isn’t going to make us sicker, but occasionally untoward things happen. A new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality looks at efforts to prevent one such harm, health care associated infections.
In this holiday season, it is a time for giving presents and our latest Potpourri presents you with many gifts of health information, including some positive news about an ACO program, some cautions for the success of ACOs, an apparently successful disease management program, lung cancer screening, earnings growth for physicians and other health professionals and lessons in bundled payments.
Another extensive research paper details the effects of provider consolidation and consequent market power on the health care industry in the United States, and specifically on the growth of health spending. Not a pretty picture, and the effect of the reform law is to exacerbate the problem.
Another consultant’s report on the American health system, this one from KPMG and focusing on the supposed transformation from a volume-based system to one founded on value. While leaders of health care system participants recognize the likelihood of significant change, they also seem determined not to let their share of health system spending drop.
The Health Care Cost Institute releases a report on spending and utilization in the employer-based health care coverage market for 2011. Spending continues to rise faster than inflation or economic growth and is largely driven by higher prices charged by providers, not by increases in utilization.
Bundled payments are designed to change the incentives for providers so that they manage patient care in a more cost-effective manner, hopefully without negatively affecting quality. A report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality examines the research evidence to date on the effect of bundled payment approaches, finding that spending and utilization are probably lower, with an uncertain effect on quality.
Research based on data from UnitedHealth Group’s commercial health plans finds wide variation in episode of care costs across both selected procedures and chronic diseases. The research also showed that for care provided by physicians meeting certain quality and efficiency benchmarks, episode of care costs were generally lower than for care provided by other physicians.
KPMG releases a report on the ongoing transformation of the United States’ health care system, which affects payers, providers and patients. The firm gives its perspective on the forces driving the transformation and on what responses are needed by participants if they are to continue to be successful.