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

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
This post was written 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.

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