February 22, 2018

ACO roundup: Pairing superusers with navigators cuts health care encounters, study finds

Daily Briefing
    • Pairing superusers with navigators cuts health care encounters, study finds. Pairing superusers with community navigators curbed health care encounters by so-called "superusers" by 39%, according to a new study in the American Journal of Managed Care. For the study, researchers from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare paired 159 superusers with community navigators and compared them with a control group of 280 superusers who were not paired with navigators. The researchers found that while both groups cut their hospital use over the study time period, superusers who were paired with navigators experienced an additional 13% decline in hospital visits and an 8% drop in days spent in the hospital. In addition, the number of days elapsed between encounters increased by 9% among the navigator-assisted group.

    • HHS not adhering to Obama admin's 2018 value-based payment goals. HHS officials have signaled support for efforts to transition the U.S. health care system toward value-based payment models, but they are not adhering to payment goals set by former President Barack Obama's administration, according to CMS spokesperson Raymond Thor. Instead of aiming for the Obama administration's goal of tying 50% of Medicare payments to alternative payment models by the end of 2018, Thor said CMS plans to review existing value-based programs run by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to see whether they are achieving their stated goals.

    • Study: Nearly 50% of community health center patients report housing issues. Nearly half of community health center patients say they have a current issue, or have had a past issue, maintaining stable housing, according to a study in JAMA. For the study, researchers between September 2014 and April 2015 surveyed more than 3,100 adults who use community health centers. Among other findings, found that patients who reported housing difficulties were more likely than those with stable housing to report health issues, use ED services, and experience delays accessing care and medication.

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