Blue Cross makes a $65B bet on value-based medical care

value based care

The traditional fee-for-service approach to medicine that can lead to overtreatment and unnecessary medical tests and procedures.

The country’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans say they are spending more than $65 billion annually, about 20 percent of the medical claim dollars they pay, on “value-based” care that rewards better outcomes and keeps patients healthy. This is the latest blow to fee-for-service medicine.

 

 

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Cancer care in the U.S. is failing

Communication is the key when it comes to cancer care.

A new report has been released recently by the Institute of Medicine (IOM)  on the state of cancer care in the United States.   The IOM is a non-profit, non-governmental advisory group.  To get on one of their advisory boards you have to be a national, if not international, expert in whatever field is being studied. According to the cancer advisory board, the state of cancer care in the United States is abysmal.

 

 

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Will the rise of the pharmacy clinic disrupt the American health care system?

Pharmacy clinics provide the sort of basic care that most people need at a fraction of the cost.

The U.S. is getting fatter, older, and in need of more medical care.  There’s a huge opportunity for companies to really disrupt the American health care system because of this. The opportunity waits in plain sight at your local pharmacy, and some companies like Walgreens and CVS have taken notice and hope that you will too.

 

 

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Doctors are less likely to empathize with overweight and obese patients: Study

Doctors were less likely to convey “empathy, legitimation, concern, reassurance, partnership, and self-disclosure” during the course of the patient visit.

Doctors “operate at an emotional distance” from overweight and obese patients indicated  by audio recordings make in exam rooms.

 

 

 

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51 percent of smartphone users in U.S. consult their devices for medical information

Mobile health becoming more popular among smartphone owners.

Mobile health is starting to become popular in the U.S..  In 2010, the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported that just 17 percent of cell phone owners used their devices to look up health information. But the organization said that figure has climbed to 31 percent in a new study released last week.

 

 

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Share decision making leads to better health outcomes for patients and lower costs

Shared decision making helps patients be better informed about their treatment choices and make better decisions.

Quality-improving and cost-cutting innovations don’t sit around for years while people keep muddling through with old technology in most industries. When an innovation is ready for widespread use, it disrupts the market, whether the market wants it or not. In the process, some entrepreneur usually makes a killing.

 

 

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How will doctors handle the influx of new patients in 2014?

An influx of 30 million patients will impact primary care.

I distinctly remember that in first grade I had an idea of breathtaking wisdom and profundity. Candy should be free. You may have had a similar thought at the same age. This idea was supported by an incontrovertible rationale, namely that I really liked candy. Tragically, it only took a moment for my parents to expose a flaw in my otherwise revolutionary scheme. They suggested that if candy were free, no one would bother making candy. All candy makers would do something else that allowed them to make a living. Thus exposed to the painful realities of life, I put the thought out of my head for about forty years.

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The epidemic of overtreatment is taking a harmful toll

There’s an epidemic of overtreatment.

Many patients and doctors believe more is better when it comes to medical care.

But there’s an epidemic of overtreatment.  Doctors are ordering too many scans, too many blood tests, too many procedures for their patients and it is costing the nation’s health care system at least $210 billion a year, according to the Institute of Medicine. It is also taking a human toll in pain, emotional suffering, severe complications and even death.

 

 

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The obstacles faced by transformative technologies in medicine

littlemicrosocpe

A smart-phone add-on enables at-home diagnosis of ear infections.

There is a post on The Health Care Blog written by Eric Topol where he looks to a future enabled by emerging technology: “Just as the little mobile wireless devices radically transformed our day-to-day lives, so will such devices have a seismic impact on the future of health care. It’s already taking off at a pace that parallels the explosion of another unanticipated digital force — social networks.

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