Barriers still exist to improving population health but political leaders increasingly understand why it is important as health care costs escalate, Dr. Mark Smith told the Thomas Jefferson University Population Health Colloquium. New reimbursement models that focus on value instead of volume and new technologies that provide large data sets to guide approaches also are factors in the increased prominence of population health, Smith said.
The "no pain, no gain" adage for workouts may be true, but it's important to discern good pain from the bad, fitness experts say. Short-term muscle soreness or fatigue is acceptable, but sharp or long-term pain, or stiffness and swelling, fall into the bad pain category.
Public schools in Kansas City, Kansas, deliver more than 1,000 suppers each day to after-school programs in the area. The suppers are prepared at the district's central kitchen and delivered by truck across the county, and the Food and Research Action Center said the initiative could be a model for other school districts.
Men who had a firearm injury were 3.3 times more likely than women to be readmitted to the hospital for cardiovascular-related problems, and 40% more likely to be readmitted for any reason within three months, researchers reported in the American Journal of Men's Health. "Since hospitals are financially penalized for admissions, these results may lead to male-specific programs to improve health outcomes after firearm injuries," said researcher Dr. Bindu Kalesan.
A significant number of US pediatric transcatheter valvuloplasty procedures did not follow current guidelines, according to a study in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions that showed hospitals in the East and South were more likely to adhere to 2011 guidelines than those in the Midwest and West. Whether the variations affected quality of care is unknown, but guideline thresholds are based on surgical outcomes from more than 40 years ago, Dr. Thomas Jones of Seattle Children's Hospital said in an accompanying editorial.
A proof of concept study in JAMA Cardiology found a screening app used with the Apple Watch was "very accurate" in detecting atrial fibrillation in the cardioversion therapy group and "moderately accurate" for the group of persistent arrhythmia patients, when compared with a standard electrocardiogram. Researchers said the app needs refinement before being widely used.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar told hospitals and health insurers to speed up the transition from volume-based health care reimbursements to value-based payments. Azar said efforts to reduce costs were "lackluster" and pledged to fundamentally change how Medicare and Medicaid pay for patient care.
Altarum's Health Sector Economic Indicators report showed hospital prices increased 3.8% in February, compared with the same month in 2017, the highest growth rate seen in more than 10 years. The biggest factor was prescription drug price increases, while physician and hospitals service spending slowed.
The pregnancy outcome of chronic hypertension is influenced by the need and response to anti-hypertensive agents at the time of the first prenatal visit.
Although offering employee health plans with financial incentives has encouraged participation in disease management for employees, fewer than 10% of employers have opted to offer these plans. Worksite wellness programs that include financial incentives and focus on lifestyle changes were associated with effective diabetes prevention. Such a program was associated with improvements in weight and hemoglobin in prediabetic employees compared with matched non-employees.