Here’s a collection of studies, reports and stories that caught our eye in the last month.
Health technology to watch in 2017: From security and compliance to informatics and mobile health, Physicians Practice covers the eight health technology challenges and opportunities in 2017. On informatics, the publication writes that the use of electronic health records leads to “dramatic reductions in malpractice claims,” “faster lab results, “ and the “potential for significant cost savings and improved quality of care.”
Are ICUs overused? More than 50 percent of patients admitted to the intensive care unit at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles may have been too well or too sick to be helped from ICU care, according to an article on MedPage Today. The article says researchers concluded that health care providers must more closely follow ICU priority ranking guidelines set by the Society of Critical Care Medicine to boost patient care and save money.
Innovation needed for senior care: A survey by CareMore found that seniors need more help navigating the healthcare system. According to the report, nearly 65 percent of seniors polled had been to three or more health care providers in the last year, but few have expert help to coordinate their care. Nearly 70 percent relied on themselves or a family member. For those hospitalized, 63 percent said nobody coordinated their care within the critical months after discharge. “Coordinating care across multiple providers who treat a single patient is a key strategy for ensuring positive clinical outcomes, while also reducing costs,” the report says.
OSHA expands reach: WC Magazine writes about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new regulations for reporting workplace injuries, which went into effect in December 2016. According to the article, OSHA has “expanded its reach to encompass almost any employment practice, policy or procedure, whether active or passive, that can be construed as deterring employees from reporting injuries and illnesses.
Claims and comorbidities: Research presented at the National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference shows that workers’ compensation claims from employees with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension and addiction come with higher price tags, longer durations and more litigation. “The workers’ compensation industry needs to do a better job of managing underlying chronic conditions along with an employee’s injury in order to better manage claims costs,” an article in Property Casualty 360.
Medical marijuana licensing: Nearly 30 states have medical marijuana programs, but states are struggling with licensing issues for new medical marijuana businesses, according to an article on PBS.org. Some states award just a few licenses. A few have no limit. And others are still developing their program or have combined licensing of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana businesses.
For more information and topics, check out our blog on MKC Medical Management.