Patients Receive Half of Recommended Preventive Health Services at Annual Check-Ups

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

Size does matter, at least when it comes to providing preventive services during annual check-ups.

According to a recent report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, while more than 20 percent of U.S. adults receive periodic health examinations (PHE) each year, nearly half of them weren’t receiving the recommended preventive screening tests and counseling services that may benefit their health. Researchers from the Cancer Prevention and Control program at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center were surprised at some of the findings, including the fact that the busier the physician was, the more services he provided, and the higher a patient’s BMI, the more screenings and services the patient received. The study also listed which services were most likely to be given, and which most likely to be missed. Details in this issue.

Insufficient medical treatment was also revealed to be a problem in a study on patients with mental illness. This segment of healthcare cost the United States an estimated $300 billion in 2002, and accounts for more disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease, according to the World Health Organization. The study, from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, found that just 4 in 10 people, or 39.2 percent of those experiencing mental illness, received mental health services in a 12 month period. The rate of treatment was higher — 60.8 percent — for those experiencing serious mental illness. The consequences are severe, given that one in five Americans aged 18 or older experienced mental illness in the last 12 months.

Let the ACO NCQA accreditation quest begin. Six health systems have signed on to be early adopters of the NCQA’s accreditation program, among them Crystal Run Healthcare, a frequent contributor to HIN. Benefits of starting this process early are many, including getting independent assessments of their organization’s readiness to be an ACO. The full list of participating health systems, included in this issue, have committed to undergoing a full NCQA survey of their ACO capabilities between March 1 and December 31, 2012.

All this and more in this week’s issue of the Healthcare Business Weekly Update.

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