Thursday, February 9

Health

Jefferson Health restructures organization amid financial challenges
Health

Jefferson Health restructures organization amid financial challenges

Jefferson Health is the latest system to undertake a restructuring amid a challenging financial environment. The Philadelphia-based nonprofit is consolidating five divisions into three - the north, central and east regions. A spokesperson said the changes will "streamline processes and optimize our health system." The spokesperson did not respond to questions regarding job cuts resulting from the reorganization. More health systems are choosing to reorganize as labor pressures and inflation continue to squeeze hospital operating margins. Washington-based nonprofit Providence said in July it was consolidating its seven divisions into three to help reduce overhead costs. A few months later, Nashville, Tennessee-based for-profit HCA Healthcare announced it was changing its corporate struc...
Health

Reducing the bias from on the inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) – Healthcare Economist

When using observational data, assignment to a treatment group is non-random and causal inference may be difficult. One common approach to addressing this is propensity score weighting where the propensity score is the probability that a person is assigned to the treatment arm given their observable characteristics. This propensity is often estimated using a logistic regression of individual characteristics on a binary variable of whether the individual received the treatment or not. Propensity scores are often used that to by applying inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) estimators to obtain treatment effects adjusting for known confounders. A paper by Xu et al. (2010) shows that using the IPTW approach may lead to an overestimate of the pseudo-sample size and i...
One family’s disastrous experience with a growth-driven long-term care company – The Health Care Blog
Health

One family’s disastrous experience with a growth-driven long-term care company – The Health Care Blog

by “E-PATIENT” DAVE DEBRONKART Continuing THCB’s occasional series on actual experiences with the health care system. This is the first in a short series about a patient and family experience from one of America’s leading ePatients. I’ve been blogging recently about what happens in American healthcare when predatory investor-driven companies start moving into care industries because the money’s good and enforcement is lax. The first two posts were about recent articles in The New Yorker on companies that are more interested in sales and growth than caring. I now have permission to share the details of one family’s disastrous encounter with such a company’s “respite care” service. The National Institute of Health says respite care “provides short term relief for primary careg...
Montana lawmakers prioritize Medicaid, hospital oversight, abortion
Health

Montana lawmakers prioritize Medicaid, hospital oversight, abortion

Eleven Montana nursing homes announced closures in 2022, with officials citing staffing shortages and low Medicaid reimbursement rates as the primary reasons for the industry’s ongoing struggles. Lawmakers will debate raising reimbursement rates for nursing homes and many other types of health providers after a state-commissioned study found they were too low to cover the cost of care. “Increasing provider rates at the study’s recommended level will ensure a strong healthcare workforce and should be a priority for this legislature,” said Heather O’Loughlin, executive director of the Montana Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit organization that analyzes the state budget, taxes, and economy. Gianforte’s budget proposal includes reimbursement rate increases that fall short of what the s...
Health

Public health agencies fight misinformation though marketing

OKLAHOMA CITY — By the summer of 2021, Phil Maytubby, deputy CEO of the health department here, was concerned to see the numbers of people getting vaccinated against covid-19 slipping after an initially robust response. With doubt, fear, and misinformation running rampant nationwide — both online and offline — he knew the agency needed to rethink its messaging strategy. So, the health department conducted something called an online “sentiment search,” which gauges how certain words are perceived on social media. The tool found that many people in Oklahoma City didn’t like the word “vaccinate” — a term featured prominently in the health department’s marketing campaign. “If you don’t know how your message is resonating with the public,” Maytubby said, “you’re shooting in the dark.” Acros...
Impact of medication cost-sharing on adherence, clinical outcomes, health care utilization, and costs – Healthcare Economist
Health

Impact of medication cost-sharing on adherence, clinical outcomes, health care utilization, and costs – Healthcare Economist

This is the paraphrased title of a paper by Fusco et al. (2023). The authors conduct a systematic literature review of studies published between 2010 and 2020 and find that among the 79 articles screened: The majority of publications found that, regardless of disease area, increased cost-sharing was associated with worse adherence, persistence, or discontinuation. The aggregate data suggested the greater the magnitude of cost-sharing, the worse the adherence. Among studies examining clinical outcomes, cost-sharing was associated with worse outcomes in 1 study and the remaining 3 found no significant differences. Regarding HRU [healthcare resource utilization], higher-cost-sharing trended toward decreased outpatient and increased inpatient utiliz...
Healthcare, Meet Southwest – The Health Care Blog
Health

Healthcare, Meet Southwest – The Health Care Blog

BY KIM BELLARD Customers experiencing long, often inexplicable delays, their experiences turning from hopeful to angry to afraid they’ll never get back home.  Staff overworked and overwhelmed.  IT systems failing at the times they’re most needed.  To most people, that all probably sounds like Southwest Airline’s debacle last week, but, to me, it just sounds like every day in our healthcare system. Southwest had a bad week.  All the airlines were hit by a huge swath of bad weather the weekend before Christmas, but most airlines recovered relatively quickly.  Southwest passengers were not so lucky; the airline’s delays and cancellations numbered in the thousands and stretched into days.  Overnight, it seemed, Southwest went from being one of the most admired airlines – loyal cu...
Envision Health-California lawsuit tackles private equity in medicine
Health

Envision Health-California lawsuit tackles private equity in medicine

A group of emergency physicians and consumer advocates in multiple states are pushing for stiffer enforcement of decades-old statutes that prohibit the ownership of medical practices by corporations not owned by licensed doctors. Thirty-three states plus the District of Columbia have rules on their books against the so-called corporate practice of medicine. But over the years, critics say, companies have successfully sidestepped bans on owning medical practices by buying or establishing local staffing groups that are nominally owned by doctors and restricting the physicians’ authority so they have no direct control. These laws and regulations, which started appearing nearly a century ago, were meant to fight the commercialization of medicine, maintain the independence and authority of ...
Reflections on the healthcare environment in 2022, and thoughts on the year ahead
Health

Reflections on the healthcare environment in 2022, and thoughts on the year ahead

The past 12 months have allowed the nation and our healthcare organizations to work toward achieving a new normal in terms of patient care delivery and the management of our information services teams. Two of the most significant trends of 2022 were the transition of COVID-19 toward endemic status and the impact of the "great resignation" – particularly within our clinical communities. Many healthcare systems faced the departure of front line clinicians, who bore the brunt of the pandemic, and left the healthcare space in droves. A significant void in personnel remained with the significant task to maintain clinical operations. While leaders in the industry addressed this situation by using the services of temporary staffing agencies to supplement and provide the necessary clinical tale...
$1.7T spending bill gets support, some criticism from healthcare groups
Health

$1.7T spending bill gets support, some criticism from healthcare groups

The House of Representatives passed the $1.7 trillion spending bill Friday, which drew mixed reactions from healthcare industry associations.  The legislation, which passed the Senate on Thursday, includes a number of healthcare policy adjustments that range from easing Medicare cuts to guaranteeing 12 months of continuous eligibility for children covered under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It also prolongs telehealth waivers enacted as part of the CARES Act in 2020 until Dec. 31, 2024. It heads to President Joe Biden's desk where he has said he will sign it into law. Here are some statements from associations. “We applaud Congress for passing the omnibus package which includes key Medicaid and CHIP policies that will fortify health coverage for low and middle-i...