Archive for August, 2008

Weighing in on Obesity Management and Prevention

August 12th, 2008 by Melanie Matthews

A number of healthcare organizations are making significant strides in developing programs to address the obesity epidemic. In this week’s Healthcare Business Weekly Update, you’ll read how the Cleveland Clinic is helping its employees “watch their weight” and how high-risk Indiana Hoosiers are evaluated for readiness to change. What’s the impact of offering these types of programs? Well worth the effort, according to preliminary results from this month’s HIN’s e-survey. Organizations with programs targeted at reducing obesity in their populations are reporting increased patient satisfaction, improved patient outcomes, increased worker productivity and decreased PMPM costs. To hear more about these successes and the challenges to overcome in developing obesity prevention programs, take the survey and receive a free executive summary once the full survey results are compiled.

Physician Recruiters Say Doctor Shortage Is Changing Their Approach

August 12th, 2008 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare facility physician recruiters responding to 2008 LocumTenens.com Physician Recruiting & Retention Survey generally confirm there is a doctor shortage that is changing healthcare organizations’ methods of securing enough physicians to staff their facilities. When asked whether the shortage has changed their approach to physician recruitment, almost two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) said “yes.” According to LocumTenens.com Senior Vice President Pamela McKemie, “our physician recruiter survey results document what we’ve heard from physicians in recent years about the growing importance of lifestyle factors in choosing medical practice opportunities.”

  • Seventy-nine percent of this year’s respondents said their organizations offer physicians some type of job flexibility to assist with recruitment efforts.
  • Thirty percent of survey respondents’ organizations offer physicians part-time hours, while 25 percent hire additional physicians to cover staff on-call or weekend coverage, 12 percent offer flex-time and 12 percent offer a variation on the above.
  • Convenience of Retail Clinics Draws More Kids

    August 11th, 2008 by Melanie Matthews

    Convenience and lower costs are driving even more parents to seek routine healthcare for their children — including vaccinations and physicals — at retail clinics in their communities, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

  • The number of retail clinics is growing. Nearly 30 percent of parents report having a retail clinic in their community, making this emerging source of healthcare for children often simpler and more accessible than an appointment at a doctor’s office.
  • In communities with nearby retail clinics, one in six parents have taken their children there for care, while one in four parents are likely in the future to take their children to a nearby retail clinic for care.
  • Obesity Issues in the United States

    August 7th, 2008 by Melanie Matthews

    Obesity is a major epidemic: More than 1 billion adults are overweight globally and an estimated 300 million are obese. Furthermore, overweight or obese patients are at a greater risk for chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, CVD, hypertension, stroke and even some forms of cancer. This week’s Disease Management Update looks at America’s weight problem — an alarming study predicts almost 90 percent of Americans will be obese in the next 20 years.

    GI Bleeding After Stroke May Increase Risk of Death

    August 6th, 2008 by Melanie Matthews

    People who have gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding after a stroke are more likely to die or become severely disabled than stroke sufferers with no GI bleeding, according to a study published in the August 6, 2008 online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study involved 6,853 people who had ischemic strokes. The most common type of stroke, ischemic strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is reduced or blocked. Of those, 829 people died during their hospital stay, and 1,374 had died within six months after the stroke.

  • A total of 100 people, or 1.5 percent, had GI bleeding, or bleeding in the stomach or intestines, while they were in the hospital from the stroke. In more than half of the cases, the GI bleeding occurred in people who had mild to moderate strokes.
  • The people with GI bleeding were more than three times more likely to die during their hospital stay or be severely dependent on others for their care at the time they left the hospital than people who did not have GI bleeding.
  • American Hospital, Doctor Visits Top 1 Billion in 2006

    August 6th, 2008 by Melanie Matthews

    Patients in the United States made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital outpatient and emergency departments (EDs) in 2006, an average of four visits per person per year, according to new healthcare statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The data come from various components of CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics National Health Care Survey and are featured in a series of new National Health Statistics Reports.

  • The number of visits to physician offices and hospital outpatient and EDs increased by 26 percent from 1996 to 2006, faster than the growth of the U.S. population, which rose by 11 percent. The rise in visits can be linked to both the aging of the population, as older people have higher visit rates than younger people in general.
  • In 2006, seven out of 10 visits had at least one medication provided, prescribed or continued, for a total of 2.6 billion medications overall. Analgesics (pain relievers) were the most common, accounting for 13.6 percent of all drugs prescribed, and were most often used during primary care and ED visits.
  • Degenerative Neurological Conditions

    August 4th, 2008 by Melanie Matthews

    In the United States alone, 6 million individuals suffer from some form of a degenerative neurological condition. An estimated 1.5 million suffer from Parkinson’s Disease (PD), while 30,000 mdash; an estimated one in 10,000 mdash; suffer from Huntington’s Disease (HD). Moreover, an additional 150,000 individuals face at least a 50 percent risk of developing HD. With these numbers in mind, this week’s Disease Management Update looks at PD and HD and some new findings that may lead to better treatment of these near-fatal neurological diseases.