What one radiologist learned when she went from doctor to patient

 

Daily Briefing Blog

The latest AHA trends report: A 'seismic transformation' in care

January 30, 2015

Clare Rizer, The Daily Briefing

Every year, the American Hospital Association (AHA) releases trends data on U.S. hospitals and health systems from the past several years. To give you a broad view of the industry, the Daily Briefing team has culled through that data to find out how current trends at hospitals and health systems in the U.S. compare to recent years and identify trends that are likely to impact the industry in the future.

Here are four key takeaways from the report, which contains data from fiscal year 2013:

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Measles is back. Could it be here to stay?

January 29, 2015

Sam Bernstein, The Daily Briefing

In 2000, health officials declared that measles was eliminated from the United States.

This meant that CDC no longer considered the disease native to the United States thanks to a highly effective vaccination program that brought the number of U.S. cases down from 3 to 4 million per year in the 1960s to the low hundreds in the 2000s.

Now, 15 years later, public health officials are warning that pockets of unvaccinated Americans may be contributing to the resurgence of the disease and it could reclaim its place as a communicable disease native to North America.

According to data from the CDC, the ongoing measles outbreak in California—which likely started at a Disney theme park—has sickened at least 87 people in seven states and Mexico. At least a quarter of the 73 patients in California have been hospitalized.

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Winter Storm Juno: How hospitals prepared—and kept patients safe

January 27, 2015

Clare Rizer, The Daily Briefing

Hospitals throughout the Northeast took the weekend to prepare for Winter Storm Juno, the much-anticipated blizzard set to drop up to three feet of snow on the Big Apple.

While the storm didn't live up to expectations in New York City, parts of New England are under more than a foot of snow and struggling with heavy flooding and blackouts. On Nantucket Island, which is entirely without power, the hospital is running on a generator. 

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What's bigger than Texas? Health care.

January 26, 2015

Dan Diamond, Executive Editor

Here's a question that we've asked a few times on the Daily Briefing: Where are the jobs?

Mark Perry, a scholar at AEI, thinks he knows the answer: In Texas.

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Why one organization is helping to BUILD

January 23, 2015

The Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and The Colorado Health Foundation recently joined together to identify and support health partnerships taking Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-driven approaches to improving health in low-income, urban communities. The joint project, known as the BUILD Health Challenge, will award community collaborations up to $8.5 million in grants, low-interest loans, and program-related investments over two years.

For more information, visit http://www.buildhealthchallenge.org.

In an interview, Brian Castrucci, de Beaumont Foundation's chief program and strategy officer, talks about why his organization got involved—and what he hopes to see out of this innovative initiative.

Q: Why did your organization and leadership team decide to become involved with BUILD? Why BUILD? Why now?

Brian Castrucci: The de Beaumont Foundation understands that improving health means focusing on the causes of disease rather than its consequences. To that end, we had already spearheaded the development of a massive learning resource for public health practitioners and primary care providers called The Practical Playbook: Public Health and Primary Care Together. That project, developed in collaboration with Duke University Community and Family Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had always envisioned funding community demonstration sites to refine and develop the methodologies we are disseminating.

When we connected first with The Advisory Board Company and later with the Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Colorado Health Foundation, we realized that we could have a much greater impact through collaboration. We see this greater impact not only in terms of the financial and in-kind resources that we’ve been able to assemble, but more importantly in the diversity of perspectives and networks each partner brings to the table as a different stakeholder in the health care landscape.

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State of the Union recap: Light on health care mentions—but not implications

January 21, 2015

Juliette Mullin, Senior Editor

In a departure from recent years, President Obama did not utter the words "Affordable Care Act," "health care reform," or even "Obamacare" during his State of the Union address last night. But it would be a mistake to ignore the speech's major implications for health care. 

The Daily Briefing focuses on covering the coverage, so we'll leave the debate about Obama's overall vision of a "breakthrough year for America" to the op/ed pages. And I refer you to my colleague Clare Rizer's for a look at the GOP response to the president's agenda, delivered by Sen. Joni Ernst from Iowa.

Here, I break down (and fact check) some of the president's statements on the state of health care and proposals that could affect the sector.

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The GOP response: 3 takeaways for the health care industry

January 21, 2015

Clare Rizer, The Daily Briefing

"I'd like to have a conversation about the new Republican Congress you just elected, and how we plan to make Washington focus on your concerns again," Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said in the 45th official response to the State of the Union address last night.

From its opening moments, this year's Republican reply was about setting an agenda—not reacting to the president's. "Rather than respond to a speech, I’d like to talk about your priorities," the freshman senator said.

See our takeaways from Obama's sixth State of the Union

And while her response only lasted about 10 minutes, Ernst was able to hit on some key issues that could affect the health care industry (and beyond) in the coming months—especially given the new Republican majority in both chambers of Congress.

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What to expect from tonight's State of the Union

January 20, 2015

Juliette Mullin, Senior Editor

The State of Union has historically been a prime-time moment for the health care industry. According to MedPage Today, every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (save one) has detailed a proposal to improve health care during their annual address.

That's held true for President Obama too: Health care has been a major component of nearly every one of his State of the Union addresses to date. Last year, he spent some time highlighting various Affordable Care Act (ACA) success stories, promising to do more for veterans' health care, and addressing GOP efforts to repeal the health law. And previous addresses have touched on the rising cost of prescription drugs, proposed raising premiums for higher-income Medicare beneficiaries, and outlined the administration's ambitious health reform goals.

Tonight, Obama is expected to tell the GOP-controlled Congress about the ACA's success stories. He may also talk about the national and global response to the largest Ebola outbreak in history. However, the policy proposals in the president's address tonight may not sound like health care proposals. Obama has made the usual move of campaigning for his State of the Union agenda before the address this year, which means we already have a good idea that he will focus on taxes, community college, housing, manufacturing, and cybersecurity.

But make no mistake: Obama's agenda for 2015 is laden with proposals that could have a major impact for health care. (And aides have suggested that the president may have some surprises up his sleeve.)

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