#WWBR Week of September 14, 2015

by | Sep 18, 2015

Is patient-centered care part of the problem?
Reba Peoples in KevinMD
“This post could have been yet another physician rant focused on why patient-centered care is a bad idea, complete with an anecdote about a patient with a history of methamphetamine dependence likely leaving a bad review after the author refused to send him home with more Adderall. But the author goes on to point out that good care must move beyond its “profit-driven notion of good customer service” and focus instead on building relationships between patients and their physicians.” – Brian E.

The Solution to Drug Prices
Ezekiel J. Emmanuel in The New York Times
“Prescription drug prices have contributed substantially to the high cost of U.S. healthcare. This article overviews several alternatives: the merits of a single-buyer regime for drug purchasing as Australia has used for 60+ years as well as the Swiss system which caps the price for drugs that work. It also underscores the need for a more rigorous approach to value. The author also implies that the current pricing schemes are just examples of the manufacturers making hay while they sun shines.” – Brian M.

What I Learned While Wearing a Heart Monitor
Austin Frakt for The New York Times
“What happens if a health economist wears a heart monitor? Great read here by Austin Frakt, detailing the economic, technological, and personal aspects of remote patient monitoring. His conclusion is that while things are bound to improve, the ultimate question of whether these sorts of interventions are “worth it” or not may remain forever uncertain.” – Naveen

Putting “health” in the electronic health record: A call for collective action
American Academy of Nursing on Policy
“The American Academy of Nursing is calling on providers and vendors to put “heath” into electronic health records–specifically social and behavioral health, which are inadequately addressed in clinical care, inconsistently documented through the care process and, thanks to widespread customization, largely absent from EHR workflows. It’s a bold call to action but also a necessary one, as social determinants often play a greater role in health and well-being that healthcare itself.” – Brian E.

When the doctor and the grocer team up to heal a community
Michael Rubinger and Bob van Meter in CommonWealth
“Nutrition plays an outsize role in ongoing health and in the outcomes of various interventions. This article describes the efforts of a primary care practice and a grocer to educate patients about better nutrition. Physicians write “veggie scripts” the include not only food recommendations but cooking classes at the grocery store. Financing was key and the article demonstrates how provider can piece together funding sources to build a comprehensive program.” – Brian M.

When The Hospital Is Boss, That’s Where Doctors’ Patients Go
Jay Hancock in Kaiser Health News
“When a hospital owns a physician practice, doctors are more likely to send patients to that hospital. That’s all well and good–unless the patient could have received higher-quality, lower-cost care elsewhere. And researchers from Stanford University have concluded that doctor’s hospital referral pattern is headed “in the direction that might make us concerned,” especially as hospitals buy practices and incorporate them into accountable care organizations.” – Brian E.

$750,000 HIPAA settlement reinforces need to be proactive
Arthur J. Fried, Patricia M. Wagner, Adam C. Solander for Epstein Becker Green
“HIPAA has teeth as this oncology practice discovered. This is a story of a stolen laptop bag containing a “backup device” with unencrypted PHI for 55,000 people. Result: $750,000 fine and a multistep, expensive sounding corrective action plan. Compared to other breaches involving payers and millions of people this sounds draconian but we must wait to see what happens with Anthem and Excellus.” – Brian M.

A cure for health care inefficiency? The value and geography of venture capital in the digital health sector
Ian Hathaway and Jonathan Rothwell for Brookings
“Yes, the Bay Area, the Boston area and New York City dominate digital health venture capital, but a Brookings analysis of deals made from 2009 to 2014 found that areas such as Salt Lake City, Worcester, Mass., and Boulder, Co. also attract a good deal of investment. That’s because it turns out that digital health investment tends to arise from advanced service industries, Brookings says. There’s almost no correlation between a high concentration of healthcare workers and higher digital health investment.” – Brian E.


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