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Changing Healthcare for the Better
Cheaper, faster, better healthcare will make us better people and will help save the country.
Curated by Joseph Rugg
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Americans Pay Way More For This Than People In Other Countries

Americans Pay Way More For This Than People In Other Countries | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
As anyone who's ever paid a health insurance premium or a hospital bill knows, medical care is expensive. What Americans may not know is that residents of other countries don't pay nearly as much for the same things.

The latest data from the International Federation of Health Plans, an industry group representing health insurers from 28 countries including the United States, once again illustrates that American patients pay the highest prices in the world for a variety of prescription drugs and common procedures like childbirth and hospital stays.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

Everyone seems to know this except the Republicans in Congress.

 

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Florida Blue: ACA enrollments “exceeded expectations” but premiums may rise in 2015 - Florida - MiamiHerald.com

Florida Blue: ACA enrollments “exceeded expectations” but premiums may rise in 2015 - Florida - MiamiHerald.com | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it

"A senior executive for Florida Blue, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer, said premiums may rise in 2015. Most of the consumers who bought a private health plan from Florida Blue through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges between October and April were previously uninsured — one of many factors potentially leading to higher premium rates in 2015, according to a senior executive.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/21/4072195/florida-blue-aca-enrollments-exceeded.html#storylink=cpy

 

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Florida Legislators Look to Expand, Regulate Telemedicine - Insurance Journal

Florida Legislators Look to Expand, Regulate Telemedicine - Insurance Journal | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
Florida Legislators Look to Expand, Regulate Telemedicine
Insurance Journal
The Senate bill requires doctors providing telemedicine services to patients within the state to be licensed in Florida or meet an alternative requirement.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

The natural progression of mobile health and EHR.

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Report: Practice Fusion Named the No. 1 EHR Vendor in Primary Care Practices

Report: Practice Fusion Named the No. 1 EHR Vendor in Primary Care Practices | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it

Brown-Wilson’s Black Book Rankings names Practice Fusion as the top-rated EHR platform for fifth consecutive year among primary care doctors. (Report: Practice Fusion Named the No.1 among ambulatory practices specializing in general practice, pediatrics and family practice. 

Joseph Rugg's insight:

One wonders how much easier life would have been if CMS had said, if you want an EHR incentive, you need to adopt this system (regardless of the system).  Imagine -- Everyone on one platform that actually works!

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Boston Doctors Can Now Prescribe You a Bike

Boston Doctors Can Now Prescribe You a Bike | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
The City of Boston this week is rolling out a new program that’s whimsically known as “Prescribe-a-Bike.” Part medicine, part welfare, the initiative allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to write “prescriptions” for low-income patients to get...

Via Elizabeth Rugg
Joseph Rugg's insight:

Why not?  When prevention of disease becomes as important as curing disease, then we start going in the right direction.

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#Infographic: How Android is Transforming the Medical Devices Market

#Infographic: How Android is Transforming the Medical Devices Market | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
Infographic created by HSC illustrates key trends in Android OS medical devices market and where embedded healthcare technology is headed.

Via Parag Vora
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New Hopes for Apple's HealthBook | HL7 Standards

New Hopes for Apple's HealthBook | HL7 Standards | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
Leonard Kish offers his thoughts on the promise of Apple entering the mHealth arena, which will put a spotlight on squarely on user experience.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

There are a zillion health and exercise monitoring apps.  All are relatively young, because the smart phone platform is relatively young.

 

So my question is -- are people actually getting healthier?  If they are, is the better health the result of the apps or the result of our near obsessive interest (with or without real results) in getting healthier?

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Obamacare Faces Major Struggles

Obamacare Faces Major Struggles | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public support for President Barack Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago, according to a new poll.


Joseph Rugg's insight:

At some point the liars win and progress stops.  Has there ever been a bigger campaign of deceit and misinformation than what the ACA has had to endure?

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The Next Big Health App Needs to Do More Than Just Track Our Numbers | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

The Next Big Health App Needs to Do More Than Just Track Our Numbers | Gadget Lab | Wired.com | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
This week we got a deep look at the rumored new health and fitness tracking application for Apple’s next iPhone, called Healthbook. Supposedly, Healthbook will not only track things like how much exercise and sleep you’re getting, but also your blood pressure, your blood sugar levels, and much more. All that collection will be great, but without a way to not just collate them, but make them meaningful, it runs the risk of becoming data clutter.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

Parochial restrictions on telemedicine will become irrelevant when smartphone apps effectively aggregate healthcare data to help individuals become and stay healthier. It is only a matter of time when face to face interaction between healthcare providers and their patients become the exception rather than the rule.  Physicians will be able to devote their time to sicker patients while still monitoring their healthier patients to keep them healthy.

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What the Shutdown Revealed About the Economic Divides in U.S. Politics

What the Shutdown Revealed About the Economic Divides in U.S. Politics | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
Tea Party America doesn't look much like the base of the big-business Republican Party.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

A disturbing study of Americans that gives new life to the old saying that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

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Poorest of the poor left out of Affordable Care Act’s health insurance expansion

Poorest of the poor left out of Affordable Care Act’s health insurance expansion | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
Because North Carolina rejected the Medicaid expansion earlier this year, the state’s poorest residents will go without insurance despite the national law that was intended to slash the number of uninsured.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

This is another example of the short-sightedness (or just plain meanness -- it's hard to know which) of conservative state legislatures that decided taking a stand against Obamacare was more important than the health of its citizens.  The Presdient and the ACA will be blamed by the campaign of misinformation from the Tea Party, but this is their fault, not the President's and certainly not the law's.

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To change health care, we need more physician leaders

We see our health care system not doing better because we do not have the structure or leadership to move the system because we have no system. There is no common leadership. There is no common culture. There is no common goal. Instead it is hundreds of thousands of doctors often working in small groups not having the types of conversation and the follow through needed to change norms or culture. This stunning gap of what we know works and what actually happens continues to harm patients. Whether accountable care organizations will be the right microculture to improve health care remains to be seen. What really matters is whether there is leadership at these organizations willing to have the difficult one to one conversations on a consistent basis. I believe that physician leaders, who both have clinical expertise and credibility, are best suited for this role.

 

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The Cost Disease : Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn't

The idea behind Mr Baumol’s theory revolves around the fact that “productivity is increasing in all sectors of the economy, so it takes less time, man power and money to create things.” However in industries like computing, manufacturing and biotech, productivity has increased at a much faster rate compared with service industries such as healthcare, catering & education. In these industries the product on offer or service being provided is customised, therefore has an irreducible labour component as a result.

 

Cars can be made by robots in a high tech factory because each model is almost completely standardised by the manufacturer. However, robots cannot perform neurosurgery, heart transplants or kidney replacements which are non standardised and require different processes and components every time.

 
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Healthcare Reform Update: Exchanges look more appealing to insurers second time around | Modern Healthcare

Healthcare Reform Update: Exchanges look more appealing to insurers second time around | Modern Healthcare | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
Health insurers appear to be increasingly bullish on the fledgling state and federal exchanges, in spite of disastrous rollouts in many of the online marketplaces last fall.

Via PayerFusion
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Study examines patient care patterns in Medicare accountable care organizations

Study examines patient care patterns in Medicare accountable care organizations | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
A third of Medicare beneficiaries assigned to accountable care organizations (ACOs) in 2010 or 2011 were not assigned to the same ACO in both years and much of the specialty care received was provided outside the patients' assigned ACO, suggesting challenges to achieving organizational accountability ...
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Aetna, Baptist Health System and HealthTexas Medical Group Form ... - Wall Street Journal

Aetna, Baptist Health System and HealthTexas Medical Group Form ... - Wall Street Journal | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
Tenet's Baptist Health System and HealthTexas Medical Group today announced an accountable care collaboration and the introduction of the Aetna Whole Health product in the San Antonio area. Aetna Whole Health is a collection of benefits plans that will give members access to highly coordinated care from physicians and facilities in the Baptist Health System and the HealthTexas Medical Group. The health plans are designed for fully insured customers with employees who live or work in Bexar, Guadalupe, Comal and Kendall counties. The products will be available on July 1, 2014.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

This is the direction that healthcare must continue to follow -- like it or not.  Big medicine, big data, big resources = better outcomes (hopefully).

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#Infographic: The Evolution of Medicine

#Infographic: The Evolution of Medicine | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
An infographic summarizing the entire evolution of medicine.

Via Parag Vora
Joseph Rugg's insight:

240 years lawyers were writing the Declaration of Independence, and doctors were using leeches.  Only one of these learned professions has advanced much over the last 2 centuries.

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App-Using Patients Less Likely To Be Readmitted

App-Using Patients Less Likely To Be Readmitted | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
The Mayo Clinic has found cardiac rehab patients who use apps to monitor their health were less likely to be readmitted. By Katie Wike, contributing...

Via Alex Butler
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Sven Awege's curator insight, April 11, 2014 3:10 AM

.... so yes,  going the extra mile with the CE can be worth it!

DundeeChest's curator insight, April 13, 2014 5:34 PM

Take 2 iPhone apps, three times a day.

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Medibank Private to push benefits of preventive healthcare

Medibank Private to push benefits of preventive healthcare | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
MEDIBANK Private has been given the go-ahead to launch a co-ordinated attack on the costly chronic disease burden by promoting the benefits of user-pays and preventive health schemes that could result in lower premium increases.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

Healthcare and controlling healthcare costs have become global concerns for the West. What is going on in the East -- is health and healthcare better, or is concern over healthcare an unaffordable luxury for countries whose economies are woefully behind and desperately trying to catch up?

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Health care providers embrace the challenge to do better

Iowa is a leader in providing high-quality, low-cost health care.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

-- This is what is supposed to happen under Obamacare.  Let's all admit one thing -- the serious talk of improving quality of healthcare, increasing access to care, and reducing the cost of care began in earnest as a result of Obamacare.

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Tampa pill mill pharmacist tells court his attorneys didn't get it right

Tampa pill mill pharmacist tells court his attorneys didn't get it right | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it
TAMPA — Disgraced pharmacist Christopher Switlyk shows no love for the attorneys who defended him over his key role in a Tampa pill mill ring.
Joseph Rugg's insight:

When you break the law and can't get off after turning others into addicts, I suppose it's a good time to blame the lawyers..

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Doctors on Twitter: 2006 - 2014 Worldwide growth mapped #hcsm

Video maps growth in doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals using Twitter since its launch in 2006 to 2014. Data sourced using Creation Pinpoint, the w...

Via Parag Vora
Joseph Rugg's insight:

While Facebook lends itself better as a professional social media portal, it would be interesting to know the growth in patients' following their physicians on Twitter (and other social media).  If we can get past the hurdles of HIPAA restrictions and other legal silliness, social media could become the mechanism through which patients and their physicians effectively interact.

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'Navigator' flaws compound new health care law's glitchy start

'Navigator' flaws compound new health care law's glitchy start | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it

"A program intended to help educate uninsured people in Western Pennsylvania about Obamacare started sluggishly because 'navigators' are not trained, and several positions remain vacant nearly two weeks after online insurance marketplaces went live."

Joseph Rugg's insight:

Seriously, there is no way that a program this big trying to help so many people in the face of so many obstacles would not have start-up issues.  Making things better should be the focus, rather than the rants of the Tea Party Congressmen.

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The ACP Advocate Blog

Bob Doherty, ACP's Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Public Policy, blogs about important health policy issues in The ACP Advocate Blog.

 

"But yet, is my wish list really too much to expect from elected lawmakers in Washington who take a solemn oath to a Constitution that requires them to promote the common welfare and ensure domestic tranquility?  Is it too much to ask that we provide every American with health insurance, that we free doctors from unnecessary red tape and paperwork, that we enact policies that support the value of primary care,  that physicians and nurses put aside their differences so that they can work together to provide the best possible care to patients, that we facilitate choice and completion by posting comparative information on price and quality, that we keep guns out of the hands of insane people and convicted felons and that we limit access to guns that allow murderers to kill as many people as possible in as little time as possible (including schoolchildren), that we repeal the ridiculous SGR formula, and that we reform our politics so government can actually start governing again?  Is that really too much of a fantasy to ask of the people we elect?"

Joseph Rugg's insight:

This is from Doherty's August 2 blogpost, "If I were King."  It is a thoughtful article that focuses on the issues that need to be addressed in U.S. healthcare and offers sensible approaches to resolving them.

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Accenture Doctor’s Survey: The Digital Doctor is “In”

Accenture Doctor’s Survey: The Digital Doctor is “In” | Changing Healthcare for the Better | Scoop.it

Accenture Eight-Country Survey of Doctors Shows Significant Increase in Healthcare IT Usage

 

The 2012 survey among 3,700 doctors in eight countries reveals that today’s doctors are going digital—now more than ever before. In fact, the survey shows a spike in healthcare IT usage across all countries surveyed (Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States).

 

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