Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Infographic: The Link Between Smoking and Depression

August 13th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

There is a ’cause and effect’ relationship between smoking and increased symptoms of depression, according to the CDC. Evidence suggests that the effects of nicotine on the brain’s neurotransmitters from smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of symptoms of depression.

Among adults with moderate or severe depressive symptoms, women and men have similar high rates of smoking ranging from 39 to 48 percent, according to a new infographic from the Psychological Care & Healing Treatment Center.

This infographic also includes statistical analysis of the correlation between smoking and depression by age and gender, the smoking habits and history of adults with and without depression, and more.

The Link Between Smoking and Depression

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Illness Management and Recovery (IMR): Personalized Skills and Strategies for those with Mental Illness.

Healthcare Business Week in Review: Depression Management, Value-Based Benefits, Dual Eligibles

July 2nd, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

It takes a village to help those suffering from depression. Even a barber shop.

According to a new study from the RAND Corporation, when community-based support groups such as churches, substance abuse counselors, and yes, even barber shops, offered support to lower-income people suffering from depression, the patients’ mental health improved, their level of physical activity increased, and their hospitalizations decreased.

Researchers targeted lower-income neighborhoods because help is frequently unavailable or hard to find. Many suffering from depression also go undiagnosed; called the “silent monster,” it affects almost one out of five people from all cultural groups at some point in their lives. You can find more details in our story.

It takes a value-based benefits plan, and a disease management program, to help diabetics better control their health.

According to a new study from Truven Health Analytics™ and the Florida Health Care Coalition, patients enrolled in value-based benefit design in conjunction with a disease management program showed higher adherence to both brand and generic oral medications and a higher uptake of insulin over the three-year study period.

The study, Value-Based Design and Prescription Drug Utilization Patterns Among Diabetes Patients, which appears in the May/June issue of The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, examined the three-year effect of value-based design and disease management programs on diabetes patients. Value-based insurance design is a medical benefit plan design that reduces patient out-of-patient costs for treatments that are known to be effective, and increases out-of-pocket prices for lower value services.

It takes a combination of factors, including financial hardship and disability or old age to meet the criteria that defines dual eligibles, a population that nears 9 million in the United States.

You can find these facts and more in our new HINfographic, Defining the Dually Eligible: 16 Things to Know for Population Health Management, which illustrates a wealth of metrics on the dual eligibles population. Managing this population successfully is key to keeping healthcare costs low; and the HINfographic lists six keys to successful management of duals, including medication management and patient education.

Lastly, we’d like to ask you to take some time to fill out our third e-survey on Telehealth.

A clear majority of healthcare organizations are using telehealth in clinical and non-clinical settings, according to preliminary results from survey. Your response will be kept strictly confidential and will only be used in the aggregate.

Healthcare Business Week in Review: Patient Surveys Revealing, Integrated Care Certification, Drug Plans Confuse Seniors

May 21st, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

Completing a quality-of-life questionnaire at a healthcare provider’s office could help patients live longer and better, according to a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Patient surveys can help reveal depression, which can significantly worsen cardiovascular health, but is often underdiagnosed despite being common among cardiovascular (CV) patients, researchers say. Healthcare providers can assess their patients’ CV health by using standardized patient surveys, which focus on a patient’s quality of life. These surveys can directly measure the impact of heart disease on patients, including their symptoms, quality of life, and ability to function physically and mentally. For those patients diagnosed with heart disease, the surveys can directly measure its impact, including their symptoms, quality of life, and ability to function physically and mentally. They can also predict other events, including future cardiac episodes, and should become a part of routine care.

In another example of integrated care, new Behavioral Health Home Certification from the Joint Commission will make many patients’ lives better. Designed as part of a nationwide effort to expand and improve healthcare services, behavioral health homes integrate physical and behavioral healthcare services to provide treatment to address the needs of the whole person. The certification program will provide a framework for this, emphasizing care coordination and quality. Health home providers do not need to provide all the services themselves, but must ensure that the full array of primary and behavioral healthcare services is available and coordinated.

Postponing mammography screenings could help women live longer and better, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

Data shows that routine screening in women younger than 40 increases rates of cancer detection in young women, but only reduces mortality risk by a very small percentage. Instead, the tests are more likely to result in over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment, including biopsies, lumpectomies and mastectomies, and weeks of radiation and potentially toxic drugs. And false positives could result in avoidable procedures and psychological trauma.

Despite these findings, and recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to postpone mammography screenings until age 50, younger women continue to undergo the routine breast cancer test.

The fact that insurance companies continue to pay for these mammograms for women in their 40s is most likely the reason for the persistently high rate of screening, researchers state.

Examining Medicare prescription plan benefits more closely could help beneficiaries to manage their money and health better, according to a new Walgreens survey.

Prescription drug costs are among the top concerns for more than one-third of Medicare Part D beneficiaries, with one in five admitting they’ve had to delay filling a prescription or skip doses to help manage medication costs.

Survey respondents revealed that only half realized that co-pays for Part D prescriptions can vary by pharmacy; and less than one fourth were aware of whether their plan offered a preferred pharmacy option. Beneficiaries can save hundreds of dollars each year on co-pay costs by using a preferred network, researchers state.

Care to tell us how case managers are helping to make your organization run better? There are only a few more days before we close out our Healthcare Case Management survey, so why not take a moment and fill it out; we will send you a free executive summary of the compiled results.

Infographic: Facts About Depression

January 25th, 2013 by Patricia Donovan

Depression is a condition that reportedly affects one in 10 Americans at one point or another, but the incidence of depression is actually higher in some states than others. For example, Oklahoma, Louisiana and West Virginia are among the U.S. states with the highest rates of adults meeting the criteria for depression, as depicted in this infographic from Depression Facts.

Certain ethnicities also report higher depression rates than do others. Individuals currently diagnosed with some symptoms of depression incur medical costs of approximately $23,000 annually.


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