Addressing Health Professions Burnout

The American Hospital Association (AHA) Physician Alliance today released a resource to help hospital and health system leaders address burnout in their organizations. A Well-Being Playbook highlights seven key steps for success and provides real-world examples of successful interventions deployed in hospital and health system settings, as well as studies and tools others have found effective. 

The Playbook can be obtained at https://www.aha.org/system/files/media/file/2019/05/plf-well-being-playbook.pdf.

The Future Of Association Health Plans

The Trump administration made the formation of association health plans (AHPs) — those offered by business or professional associations to their members — a central focus of its health policy agenda by significantly expanding their reach, but a federal court decision made in March found the new rules violate federal tax law. A new To the Point post from the Commonwealth Fund explains the court decision, the administration’s subsequent guidance on AHPs, and what may happen next.  

The post can be obtained at https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2019/past-future-association-health-plans?redirect_source=/blog/2019/uncertain-future-association-health-plans.

Health Literacy And The Teach-Back Method

According to the Agency for Healthcare Quality (AHRQ), the percentage of adults whose healthcare providers always initiated the “teach-back” method increased from about 24% in 2011 to 30% in 2015. Teach-back, an evidence-based way of confirming understanding, begins when providers ask patients to describe in their own words what their providers just told them. 

Survey results can be obtained at https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/research/findings/nhqrdr/dataspotlight-health-literacy.pdf.

Prices Paid To Hospitals By Private Plans And Medicare

A report from the RAND Corporation reveals that in 2017, the prices paid to hospitals by private health plans averaged 241 percent of what Medicare would have paid. Notably, there was wide variation in pricing among both hospitals and states, suggesting that employers have opportunities to redesign their health plans to better align hospital pricing with the value of care provided.  

The report can be obtained at https://www.rand.org/news/press/2019/05/09.html.

Understanding Terms And Concepts Pertaining To Social Determinants Of Health

Health care systems and policymakers increasingly are exploring strategies to help address patients’ social circumstances, but there is much confusion around the terms and concepts that pertain to the social determinants of health. A Milbank Quarterly Perspective discusses how greater clarity on key terms and the concepts underlying them could advance policies and practices. 

The Perspective can be obtained at https://www.milbank.org/wp-content/uploads/mq/Volume-97/Issue-02/Meanings-and-Misunderstandings-A-Social-Determinants-of-Health-Lexicon-for-Population-Health.pdf.

House Education & Labor Committee Hearing on Higher Education Non-Completion

The House Committee on Education and Labor, Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee held a hearing on “The Cost of Non-Completion: Improving Student Outcomes in Higher Education” in which the Committee discussed barriers to enter postsecondary education and for completion:

  • Food/housing insecurity

  • Nontraditional students who have to work/take care of family

  • Changing majors which can expend Pell

  • Students short by a few hundred dollars, therefore, cannot graduate

  • “Hold-your-spot” enrollment deposit

  • FAFSA verification

Read ASAHP’s full memo here.

Capturing The Patient Experience

An essay from the Rand Corporation discusses how researchers have developed a more effective and reliable way for patients to provide narrative feedback about the care they receive. When the right questions are asked, patients' answers can help health care providers better understand the patient experience and learn how they could improve. 

The essay can be obtained at https://www.rand.org/blog/rand-review/2019/05/a-new-way-to-capture-the-patient-experience.html.

Adult Usage Of The Internet

Despite ongoing government and social service programs to encourage internet adoption in underserved areas, according to the Pew Research Center seniors are much more likely than younger adults to not go online. Among individuals ages 65 and older, 27% still do not use the Internet, compared with fewer than 10% of adults under the age of 65. Non-adoption also is linked to other demographic variables, such as educational attainment, household income, and community type. 

The findings can be obtained at https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/22/some-americans-dont-use-the-internet-who-are-they/?utm_campaign=2019-05-01+Rundown&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pew.

Key Design Components And Considerations For Establishing A Single-Payer Health Care System

A report issued today by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) describes the primary features of single-payer systems and discusses some design considerations and choices that policymakers will face in developing proposals for establishing such a system in the US. 

The report can be obtained at https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2019-05/55150-singlepayer.pdf.

Medicaid Insurers’ Plans In The ACA Marketplace

A new brief from the Urban Institute examines Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace participation by insurers that participated in Medicaid, but not in private insurance markets prior to the ACA. The focus is on the potential hurdles for increased participation from Medicaid insurers. 

The brief can be obtained at https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/100175/why_dont_more_medicaid_insurers_sell_plans_in_aca_marketplaces_0.pdf.

 

Post-Secondary Undergraduate Population: Student Income And Demographics

A report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) analyzes (1) how the income distribution of the undergraduate population has changed over time; (2) the relationship between student income and certain student demographics, such as race and dependency status; and (3) how the income distribution of the undergraduate population compares with that of the population of individuals who do not have a post-secondary degree. 

The report can be obtained at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R45686.pdf.

Underlying Causes Of Surprise Medical Bills

High health costs are of great concern to patients. A related worry is the possibility of receiving an unexpected medical bill. A new report from the Commonwealth Fund examines why consumers receive them and what this phenomenon reveals about how health care is different from other goods and services.  

The report can be obtained at https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2019/underlying-causes-surprise-medical-bills.

 

Complexities Of Physician Supply And Demand: Projections 2017-2032

A new report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) shows that the physician shortage remains real and significant, with shortfalls in both primary and specialty care. 

The report can be obtained at https://aamc-black.global.ssl.fastly.net/production/media/filer_public/31/13/3113ee5c-a038-4c16-89af-294a69826650/2019_update_-_the_complexities_of_physician_supply_and_demand_-_projections_from_2017-2032.pdf.

CMS Agenda To Re-think Rural Health And Unleash Medical Innovation

The Trump Administration on April 23 proposed changes that build on the progress made over the last two years and further the agency’s priority to transform the healthcare delivery system through competition and innovation while providing patients with better value and results. The proposed rule would update Medicare payment policies for hospitals under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for fiscal year 2020 and advances two key CMS priorities, “Rethinking Rural Health” and “Unleashing Innovation,” by proposing historic changes to the way Medicare pays hospitals. 

A fact sheet on the proposed rule can be obtained at: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/fiscal-year-fy-2020-medicare-hospital-inpatient-prospective-payment-system-ipps-and-long-term-acute.

Trends Shaping The U.S. And World 2019

From the rise of Generation Z to an ever-changing U.S. electorate,  demographic shifts are changing the U.S. and the world at large. Six major shifts are described in a report from the Pew research Center. 

The report can be obtained at https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/11/6-demographic-trends-shaping-the-u-s-and-the-world-in-2019/?utm_campaign=2019-04-17+Rundown+(first+story+in+subject+line)&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pew.

 

CMS announces five new value based models in primary care

Yesterday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar unveiled his new  “Primary Cares Initiative”, which will test five new value based payment models in primary care focused on paying for health and outcomes rather than fee for service. HHS hopes this initiative will transform primary care to deliver better value for patients throughout the healthcare system.

Read more here.