Current Health Care News and Events

Current Health Care News and Events, Health Care News Articles.
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Does where older US adults die affect their wellbeing at the end of life?
Where people die can affect the quality of their deaths and the end-of-life care that they receive. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that satisfaction with end-of-life care was rated highest when individuals died at home. (2021-01-21)

Primary care plays key role in managing COVID-19 in three Asian cities
Despite having some of the densest living spaces and the highest number of international visitors, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Beijing have utilized their respective primary health care systems to keep their COVID-19 cases and deaths relatively low. (2021-01-12)

Fewer patient encounters drive decline in total primary care office visits
Despite seeing gains in insurance coverage for preventive health services under the Affordable Care Act, the US has seen a declining rate of primary care visits over the past fifteen years. Are fewer individuals seeing primary care physicians? (2021-01-12)

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth. In a study published in Birth, researchers evaluated the usability, feasibility, and acceptability of the new Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers in six countries. (2020-11-20)

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions. (2020-11-10)

Where you get depression care matters, study finds
Research shows that collaborative care programs in which primary-care providers work with a depression care manager and a designated psychiatric consultant can more than double the likelihood of improving depression outcomes. But a new study published in Health Affairs shows that not all care is equal. (2020-11-02)

Hospital-based specialist palliative care may slightly improve patient experience and increase their chances of dying in their preferred place (measured by home death)
A Cochrane Review into the effectiveness of hospital-based specialist palliative care has found evidence that when compared to usual care, it may slightly improve patient satisfaction and depression, and increase the chances of patients dying in their preferred place (measured by home death). (2020-09-30)

Rural counties with access to obstetrics have healthier infant birth outcomes
This study does not prove a causal link between access to obstetrical care and infant health outcomes, but it does suggest that obstetrical access may play a role in these disparities. These findings have broader implications for the more than half of all rural counties in the United States that do not have access to hospital-based obstetrical care. (2020-09-15)

Telehealth supports collaborative mental health care in the needs of rural patients
Traditionally, primary care clinics connect patients who have mental health care needs to specialists like psychiatrists in a collaborative care model. However, rural clinics often lack the workforce capacity to provide collaborative behavioral health services. In a new qualitative study, rural Washington primary care clinics adopted telehealth methods to connect remotely with specialists. The study found that telepsychiatric collaboration prepared primary care physicians and rural clinic staff to deliver high quality mental health care in underserved areas. (2020-09-15)

Patient access to after-hours primary care could prevent some less urgent ER visits
Patients who receive in-home nursing care have lower emergency room utilization if they have access to after-hours primary care. Previous research found that home nursing patients in Ontario, Canada, have an increased risk of visiting the ER after normal clinic hours on the same day they receive a home nursing visit. These ER visits may be linked to the visiting nurse identifying a health issue they are unable to appropriately address during the visit. (2020-09-15)

Young gay men's health care needs not being met
Young gay men who are uncomfortable discussing sexual issues with their primary care providers and experience health care discrimination are less likely to seek coordinated care, leading to missed opportunities for early diagnosis of chronic and mental health issues, according to Rutgers researchers. (2020-08-19)

Majority of US men want their doctors to ask about intimate partner violence
Nine out of 10 US men ages 18 to 35 support health care providers asking about intimate partner violence, according to new survey analysis. Data from a 2014 nationally representative survey showed that while most men support health care-based intimate partner violence screenings, only about 10 percent reported being asked by their doctor. (2020-07-14)

The five phases of pandemic care for primary care
The authors present a roadmap for necessary primary care practice transformations to care for patients and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-07-14)

International conference on social determinants of health identified change needs
In November 2019, clinicians, health administrators, educators and researchers from around the world gathered in Toronto to discuss how to best address social determinants of health from a primary care perspective. (2020-07-14)

Capital funding of health care in Canada is critical, yet declined in last 20 years
Capital funding of health care, used to build new hospitals, redesign or upgrade existing facilities and invest in new technologies, has declined in Canada over the last 20 years, according to an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191126. (2020-06-22)

What we can learn from Singapore's COVID-19 containment response in primary care
Singapore, a global hub for international travel and business, was among the first countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Jan. 23, 2020, the country mounted aggressive public health and containment measures. The country's network of primary care clinics were at the front lines of these measures. In this new report, those physicians share their triage, containment and infection control measures -- including protocols they put in place to ensure the safety of health care workers. (2020-05-12)

A hidden history of artificial intelligence in primary care
Artificial intelligence methods are being utilized in radiology, cardiology and other medical specialty fields to quickly and accurately process large quantities of health data to improve the diagnostic and treatment power of health care teams. Compared to other medical specialty fields, primary care physicians deal with a very broad spectrum of illnesses, taking a person-centric approach to care, with fewer diagnostic instruments or tests available. The nature of primary care may pose unique challenges to the meaningful application of AI. (2020-05-12)

Trouble getting a doctor's appointment may drive Medicaid enrollees to opt for the ER
The expansion of Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, gave millions of low-income Californians access to health insurance, but this study conducted in Northern California found that new patients may have to wait up up to a month for an appointment with a participating primary care provider, depending on their county of residence. It is not uncommon for Medi-Cal enrollees to visit emergency rooms if they require more immediate care. (2020-05-12)

Primary care practice transformation introduces different staff types
The Comprehensive Primary Care initiative was launched in 2012 by the CMS Innovation Center as a four-year multi-payer initiative designed to strengthen primary care. This study examines shifts in staffing patterns, from 2012 to 2016, at 461 primary care practices participating in the CPC transformation initiative with those at 358 non-CPC practices. (2020-05-12)

Primary care case management among frequent users with chronic conditions
Case management is an effective, collaborative, and cost-effective way to help frequent users of health care services integrate all aspects of their care. The research team behind this study developed a program theory to investigate how, and in what circumstances, case management in primary care works to improve outcomes among frequent users who have chronic conditions. (2020-05-12)

After cancer: The role of primary care in cancer survivorship care
Primary care physicians are treating an increasing number of cancer survivors, yet they have no clear guidance on how best to care for such patients. This study considers how primary care physicians perceive their role in delivering care to cancer survivors. (2020-05-12)

The COVID-19 pandemic reveals the potential of telehealth to improve care
Two new articles provide insights on the use of telehealth or virtual care in the age of COVID-19 and beyond, pointing to its value to not only prevent contagious diseases but also to provide access to effective and equitable care. (2020-05-12)

Call for palliative care to be adapted for severely ill Covid-19 patients
Emergency-style palliative care needs to implemented to meet the needs of Covid-19 patients who wouldn't benefit from a ventilator say researchers. This is the first time that palliative care has been examined in the light of the current global pandemic. The researchers describe the challenges of providing palliative care where resources are stretched and demand is high, based on their experiences at a hospital. (2020-04-16)

A blueprint for building transgender health programs in primary care
Leading educators and clinical experts on transgender health care from Harvard, Fenway Health, and The Fenway Institute address access issues for transgender patients seeking care by providing a plan to integrate gender-affirming hormone therapy, surgical referrals, or wrap-around services into primary care. (2020-02-18)

New score measuring multiple chronic illnesses performs better than current method
A new score that measures multiple long-term health conditions performs better than the current Charlson Comorbidity Index and may help in health care planning and delivery, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). (2020-02-03)

Contacts with primary care physicians did not increase after the Affordable Care Act
At the same time the Affordable Care Act increased the number of insured Americans, analysis of health care industry data shows a continued decline in contact with primary care physician services. (2019-11-12)

Perspectives and suggestions in caring for high-need, complex patients
High-need high-cost patients, many of whom are experiencing poverty, use a large portion of health care resources. Despite receiving more care, such patients often experience poor health outcomes. (2019-11-12)

A national decline in primary care visits associated with more comprehensive visits and electronic follow-up
The number of primary care visits may be declining nationally, but analysis reveals that in-person visits have become more comprehensive and follow-up care has moved online. (2019-11-12)

Collaboration may improve access to HIV testing, primary care
Getting better access to testing and proper primary care for individuals vulnerable to HIV could be as simple as a telephone call or email among health providers. (2019-10-01)

Case management in primary care associated with positive outcomes
In a systematic review, researchers identified three characteristics of case management programs that consistently yielded positive results: case selection for frequent users with complex problems, high-intensity case management interventions and a multidisciplinary care plan. This review included data from 20 studies, 17 of which were quantitative, of adult frequent users with chronic diseases in primary, secondary and tertiary care settings. (2019-09-09)

Addressing food insecurity in health care settings
A review of articles covering food insecurity interventions in health care settings from 2000-2018 found that interventions focused on either referrals or direct provision of food or vouchers both suffered from poor follow-up, a general lack of comparison groups, and limited statistical power and generalizability. (2019-09-09)

Factors associated with longer wait times in colorectal cancer specialty care referrals
Delay in referral to specialty care for patients who have symptoms of colorectal cancer may lead to poor health outcomes. A retrospective cohort study in the Netherlands reviewed the time to specialty referral for a group of 309 patients with colorectal cancer who initially presented with symptoms to their primary care doctor. (2019-09-09)

Mental health specialists boost vets' access to outpatient services
A Veterans Health Administration program that added mental health specialists, care managers or both in primary care clinics significantly improved access to mental health and primary care services to veterans with behavioral health needs. The practice also resulted in 9% higher average annual costs for each patient. (2019-08-09)

A structured approach to detecting and treating depression in primary care
A questionnaire-based management algorithm for major depressive disorder in primary care is feasible to implement, though attrition from treatment is high. (2019-07-10)

Nonphysician practitioners absorbing more new patient requests post Affordable Care Act
The advent of the Affordable Care Act has led to millions of new patients seeking primary care. Because the number of primary care physicians has remained stable, access to care has been a concern. (2019-07-10)

A new approach to primary care: Advanced team care with in-room support
In this special report, the authors argue that the current primary care team paradigm is underpowered, in that most of the administrative responsibility still falls mainly on the physician. Jobs not requiring a medical education, such as entering data into electronic health records, should not be handled by physicians and advanced practitioners. (2019-07-10)

How primary care physicians can make Astana work
The Astana Declaration, adopted by the World Health Organization in October 2018, acknowledges the importance of primary health care to achieve better health outcomes globally. But how, the authors ask, can physicians make this declaration work? (2019-07-10)

VA study backs use of physician assistants, nurse practitioners in diabetes care
VA patients with diabetes have similar health outcomes regardless of whether their primary provider is a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, according to a Durham VA Health Care System study. (2019-06-07)

New tool measures primary care as a whole
There are a number of measures to assess aspects of primary care, but a new measure breaks new ground by combining experiences of patients, clinicians, and payers and allowing the most informed reporter -- the patient -- to assess vital primary care functions that are often missed. (2019-05-14)

Does health care help us live longer?
A widely cited statistic suggests that health care services account for only a small percentage of the variation in American life expectancy. However, the methodology supporting the finding has been challenged. (2019-05-14)

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