Posts Tagged ‘health outcomes’

What the US health care system assumes about you

The difficulties low-income patients have when trying to receive healthcare can be easily overlooked. Katz points out the many assumptions healthcare in the United States makes­—that patients can take off of work in the middle of the day to get care, can speak English, are literate, have enough food, have a home with a refrigerator, a bathroom, and a bed where they can sleep without worrying about violence while they are resting. As he says, “Healthcare is built on a middle-class model that often doesn’t meet the needs of low-income patients. That’s one of the reasons why it has been so difficult for us to close the disparity in healthcare that exists along economic lines despite the expansion of health insurance under the ACA.”
Having run the safety net programs in many of the country’s largest cities, Mitchell Katz has dedicated his career working to improve health outcomes for some of the most vulnerable patients in urban settings. Watch Mitch’s TEDMED 2018 talk, “What the US health care system assumes about you” to learn more about his work to eliminate the effects of economic disparities in healthcare and find ways to meet all patients on their own terms.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 18, 2019 at 11:20 am

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Culture and healthcare: When medicine and culture intersect

This video from The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) provides advice and key learnings on culture and physician care.

Culture incorporates a mix of beliefs and behaviours that define the values of communities and social groups. All physicians have their own cultural background, and most doctors practising in Canada are accustomed to providing care to patients from different backgrounds. Moreover, physicians are increasingly aware of the way in which culture can shape the practice of healthcare and influence health outcomes.

While it is common to speak of cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity, physicians and other providers are increasingly recognizing the importance of cultural competence and providing cultural safety to patients.

For more information on culture competence, cultural safety, and the CMPA, visit:

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:20 am

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Does More Social Spending Reduce Healthcare Costs?

We spend a lot of money on social programs. Studies indicate that a lot of those programs work to improve health outcomes for people who receive the benefits. So, does that social spending reduce healthcare costs? Not really. But cutting social spending doesn’t help with health. As usual, it’s complicated, but there’s a lot of evidence these programs are doing good. Spending is worth it sometimes.

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Social Determinants of Health:

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 9, 2019 at 3:22 am

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Why your healthcare costs so much

There are various opinions surrounding healthcare spending in the US. According to Health Economist Irene Papanicolas, the theories behind high spending – over-utilization, lack of social spending, number of primary care physicians – are also accompanied by real data. When Irene and her team dove into the data and compared trends to other high income countries, they uncovered hidden factors that influence spending.

Watch Irene Papanicolas’ TEDMED 2018 Talk to understand why healthcare spending is so much higher in the US than other comparable countries. By tackling topics like non-transparent pricing and administrative complexity, Irene leads the way to a new sustainable health system in the US.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 17, 2019 at 3:23 am

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ICON and the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement Unveil the World’s First Global Patient Outcomes Benchmarking Platform | Business Wire

ICON and the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement Unveil the World’s First Global Patient Outcomes Benchmarking Platform | Business Wire

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ICON plc, (NASDAQ: ICLR) a global provider of drug development solutions

and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device

industries, and the International Consortium for Health Outcomes

Measurement (ICHOM), a non-profit organization with the mission of

driving value based health care, shared the findings of a global patient

outcomes benchmarking platform at this week’s ICHOM’s

annual conference in Washington DC. The platform aims to catalyse

physician driven learning and improvement of the outcomes that matter

most to patients.

ICON and ICHOM first partnered to advance value-based healthcare through

the launch of a global

healthcare outcomes benchmarking pilot program called GLOBE in March


The pioneering work of the GLOBE pilot program, through its

collaboration with a global network of participating sites who provided

de-identified data, has enabled the development of a global platform for

collecting, storing, aggregating, analysing and visualising health

outcomes data. In just under 18 months, ICON and ICHOM have processed in

excess of 200 data transfers, collected data from 70 health care

facilities and developed risk-adjustment algorithms based on over 75,000

procedures. This work was done in close collaboration with the provider

organizations who have full ownership of the data and the clinical

leaders and patients in the working groups who defined the datasets in

the first place.

The platform will provide decision support tools and insights to

participating health care organizations for optimising and improving

patient outcomes, using ICHOM developed Standard

Sets. ICHOM Standard

Sets provide a common language and approach to measuring outcomes at

the medical condition level – ICHOM currently has Standard Sets for 21

conditions that cover approximately 47% of the global disease burden.

Professor Ola Rolfson, Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical

Sciences Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden,

expressed: “The GLOBE pilot program brings good news. It is possible

to engage institutions globally in collecting ICHOM standard set data.

The results have helped understand variation and factors determining

outcomes. By continuous feedback and re-measuring, the program will keep

striving to improve outcomes by benchmarking as a network.”

The platform has been developed using the widely accepted OMOP framework

to effectively benchmark outcomes across diverse health care

organizations. The Standard Set specific benchmarking visualizations

will be unveiled at ICHOM’s annual conference on the 25th and 26th of

October 2017 and will be available via a provider portal in Q1 2018.

Professor Mats Lundstrom, Department of Clinical Sciences,

Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden stated: “The

use of a patient reported outcomes measure in cataract surgery is not

yet an established best practice. However, collecting and evaluating

important patient-reported data is of paramount importance in

understanding the patient’s perspective of care. ICHOM’s GLOBE pilot

program brings informed perspectives that cannot be overlooked in the

journey toward improving value for the patient.”

Christina Rångemark Åkerman, President of ICHOM, commented: “The

GLOBE benchmarking pilot is an exciting example of outcomes in action.

For the first time, outcomes data from multiple hospitals around the

globe are collected and compared. The insights will provide great

opportunities to drive improvements in patient care via learning and

sharing of best practices between hospitals.”

Dr. Steve Cutler, Chief Executive Officer, ICON plc, commented: ““Today’s

launch marks a major milestone towards the realisation of ICHOM’s and

ICON’s shared vision of improving patient care. The measurement

and sharing of outcomes will ultimately improve the clinical development

process by enabling better protocols that will lead to the development

of treatments that will be of most benefit to patients. We are proud to

have brought our clinical and technical expertise in health outcomes and

real-world data to help ICHOM create the first global healthcare

outcomes benchmarking platform.”


The International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) was

founded by Michael E. Porter, PhD, Bishop William Lawrence University

Professor at Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group and

Professor Martin Ingvar, Karolinska Institutet with the mission to

unlock the potential of value-based health care by defining global

Standard Sets of outcome measures that really matter to patients for the

most relevant medical conditions and by driving adoption and reporting

of these measures worldwide. In January 18 2017 ICHOM and the

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) signed a

Letter of Intent to collaborate on the collection, analysis and

publishing of patient reported outcomes for international comparison. To

date ICHOM have published Standard Sets covering 47 percent of the

global disease burden.

Further information is available at

About ICON plc

ICON plc is a global provider of drug development solutions and services

to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. The

company specialises in the strategic development, management and

analysis of programs that support clinical development – from compound

selection to Phase I-IV clinical studies. With headquarters in Dublin,

Ireland, ICON currently, operates from 97 locations in 38 countries and

has approximately 13,100 employees.

Further information is available at

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These

statements are based on management’s current expectations and

information currently available, including current economic and industry

conditions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance or

actual results, and actual results, developments and business decisions

may differ from those stated in this press release. The forward-looking

statements are subject to future events, risks, uncertainties and other

factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those

projected in the statements, including, but not limited to, the ability

to enter into new contracts, maintain client relationships, manage the

opening of new offices and offering of new services, the integration of

new business mergers and acquisitions, as well as economic and global

market conditions and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time

to time in SEC reports filed by ICON, all of which are difficult to

predict and some of which are beyond our control. For these reasons, you

should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements when

making investment decisions. The word “expected” and variations of such

words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking

statements. Forward-looking statements are only as of the date they are

made and we do not undertake any obligation to update publicly any

forward-looking statement, either as a result of new information, future

events or otherwise. More information about the risks and uncertainties

relating to these forward-looking statements may be found in SEC reports

filed by ICON, including its Form 20-F, F-1, S-8 and F-3, which are

available on the SEC’s website at

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 25, 2017 at 11:44 am

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Two Groundbreaking Cancer Care Programs from UnitedHealthcare Help Improve Patients’ Access to Quality Treatment | Business Wire

Two Groundbreaking Cancer Care Programs from UnitedHealthcare Help Improve Patients’ Access to Quality Treatment | Business Wire

Photo by: Scott Webb / Unsplash

MINNETONKA, Minn.–()–UnitedHealthcare is advancing new approaches to cancer treatment with

two groundbreaking programs that help put patients’ needs at the center

of care.


<p style="text-align: center"> demonstrated this program reduced overall

cancer expenses by more than a third while improving quality outcomes.

Five additional oncology practices – including 550 oncologists – are now

joining the program, bringing the total number of oncologists to

approximately 650 in seven states.

Additionally, UnitedHealthcare is launching a first-of-its-kind

chemotherapy approval program that will provide real-time decision

support and approvals for therapies based on National Comprehensive

Cancer Network® (NCCN®) treatment recommendations from the NCCN Clinical

Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®). NCCN is the leading

independent source for clinical recommendations that guide chemotherapy

treatments. UnitedHealthcare provides online displays of all recommended

treatments for a patient’s specific condition during the approval

process, accelerating access to life-saving treatments for people with

cancer and helping speed coverage approvals.

Both programs underscore UnitedHealthcare’s commitment to new approaches

to cancer care that encourage best practices for effective treatment in

cancer care.

Fast-Track Drug Approval Program
The fast-track drug

approval program gives oncologists a new way to get to “yes” with an

intuitive online tool that quickly verifies benefits coverage for drug

regimens that meet NCCN Guidelines for injectable chemotherapy drugs

administered on an outpatient basis. Real-time approvals are possible

because the tool automatically populates the NCCN-recommended treatments

based on the patient’s specific clinical condition. Once the physician

confirms the treatment is consistent with NCCN Guidelines,

UnitedHealthcare issues an immediate coverage approval. This ensures the

patient gets fast access to the best treatment. The tool was developed

by NCCN and eviCore Healthcare.

“This new online tool tailors recommendations to the patient’s specific

condition,” said Lee Newcomer, M.D., UnitedHealthcare senior vice

president of oncology. “In many cases, patients can now get

instantaneous approval for their treatments because the smart technology

automatically links the relevant cancer treatment guidelines with the

requested chemotherapy.”

Since the program was launched in June, UnitedHealthcare has completed

more than 17,000 reviews with only one appeal. Among those reviews,

physicians received an instant approval for nearly 70 percent of the

requests. Only 1 percent of the requests were not approved by the end of

the process.

Some requests may require additional clinical information or review by

an oncologist, but are still completed within three business days or


“NCCN is dedicated to advancing high-quality, high-value cancer care

through the publication of evidence-based treatment recommendations that

enable clinicians to work alongside their patients to make well-informed

treatment choices,” said Robert W. Carlson, M.D., CEO of NCCN. “We

commend UnitedHealthcare’s effort to accelerate patients’ access to the

best and most appropriate care available based on their individual

clinical conditions as outlined by the NCCN Guidelines.”

UnitedHealthcare has been using this new online tool in a pilot program

in Florida since May 2014. Physician response to the Florida pilot has

been favorable, with some oncologists describing the new process as “the

most logical, easy-to-use and appropriate system in the market.”

The online tool also will help advance cancer research and patient care

by building a database that will enable UnitedHealthcare to analyze

comparative effectiveness among different chemotherapy treatments for

the same type of cancer; the company expects to publish the first

comparative-effectiveness results in two years.

Episode Payment Program Leads to Better Care for Patients

is expanding its episode cancer care payment initiative, another program

to improve cancer care treatment. The program pays participating medical

oncologists more if they demonstrate superior clinical results and

reduce the total costs of care.

The episode payment model shifts reimbursement away from the current

“fee-for-service” approach that emphasizes volume of care delivered

regardless of a patient’s health outcomes. The episode payment is based

on the expected cost of a standard treatment regimen for the specific

condition, as predetermined by the doctor. Similar payment models have

shown to enhance care coordination and improve health outcomes for

patients, while reducing overall costs.

UnitedHealthcare first implemented its episode payment program between

October 2009 and December 2012 in a pilot study, which produced a

significant reduction in hospitalizations for patients and a 34 percent

reduction in total costs while improving quality. Click here

to read results of the study.

The more than 550 physicians joining the program are from five practices

nationwide: Texas Oncology, with multiple locations in Texas; Rocky

Mountain Cancer Centers, with multiple locations in Colorado; OHC,

Specialists in Cancer and Blood Disorders in Cincinnati; Cancer

Specialists of North Florida with multiple locations in Florida; and

Tulsa Cancer Institute in Tulsa, Okla.

“We applaud UnitedHealthcare for enhancing its cancer care payment

approach,” said E. Randolph Broun, M.D., president and chairman of OHC.

“Our partnership complements our mission of ensuring that patients

receive optimal care, when and where they need it, and in the most

cost-effective manner.”

UnitedHealthcare’s episode payment initiative is part of a growing

national movement to explore new care and payment models. This marks the

program’s second expansion, following the successful

pilot that began with five oncology groups and a second

pilot established at MD Anderson in December 2014.

“This streamlined payment process, coupled with oncologists sharing best

practices and learning from one another, put patients’ interests at the

forefront of cancer treatment,” said Dr. Newcomer. “It also results in

significant cost savings. We look forward to working with additional

medical practices to expand our efforts to identify best practices for

treating cancer and deliver effective science-based care to more people

who are dealing with this complex disease.”

About UnitedHealthcare

is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by

simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and

wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care

providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit

programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees

and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and

contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care

professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide.

UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:

UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more

information, visit UnitedHealthcare at

or follow @myUHC

on Twitter.


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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 3, 2017 at 10:19 am

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HDMS Enables Health Plans to Demonstrate Improved Quality and Outcomes at Centers of Excellence

HDMS Enables Health Plans to Demonstrate Improved Quality and Outcomes at Centers of Excellence

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) March 13, 2012

HDMS announces the release of its first-to-market Centers of Excellence (COE) reporting tool which demonstrates the effectiveness and improved health outcomes for health plans’ COE programs. The module, which looks at six categories of critical care, is focused on leveraging evidence-based criteria for achieving better health outcomes for members and employers. HDMS, through collaboration with its Health Plan Advisory Board, is offering health plans innovative ways to leverage data at the individual facility-level to clearly articulate the value of such programs to the marketplace.

HDMS’ COE reporting capability allows health plans to easily analyze performance data from approximately 1,900 Centers of Excellence around the country. Reporting focuses on six core areas of specialty care: Bariatric Surgery, Cardiac Care, Complex and Rare Cancers, Knee and Hip Replacement, Spine Surgery, and Transplants. HDMS worked closely with focus groups and its Health Plan Advisory Board to ensure future clients could easily implement and utilize the COE tool by leveraging a shared platform.

“When our health plan clients told us that they needed to more effectively communicate the incredible power of their Centers of Excellence to the marketplace, we were eager to work with them to develop a targeted solution,” said Rick Abbott, Vice President of Health Plan Services for HDMS. “We have a long history of supporting local health plans’ participation in national quality programs and we’re excited to further that relationship by working closely with them to improve health outcomes for their members through the Centers of Excellence.”

Each health plan adheres to a set of national evidence-based measures that focus on overall quality of care and outcomes that determine which facilities are chosen as Centers of Excellence. The new COE offering from HDMS focuses on identifying the overall quality of care delivered by these COEs as opposed to their facility counterparts. This new reporting capability will continue to grow and expand to ensure that the COE program’s effectiveness is driven by evidence-based, data-driven insights.

“The guiding principal of our solution is helping our clients deliver better health outcomes for patients and members,” says Abbott. “HDMS is proud to partner with our clients to help their members find and receive better care through Centers of Excellence.”

About HDMS

Health Data & Management Solutions, Inc. (HDMS) is a software development company offering data warehouse, management and analysis tools for the healthcare industry. HDMS’ web-based products and services provide flexible, high value reporting, empowering both employers and health plans to maximize the value of their health care data and support benefit decisions.

For more information about Health Data & Management Solutions, please visit or contact inquiry(at)hdms(dot)com.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 26, 2017 at 10:59 pm

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OptumRx and Walgreens Partner to Improve Consumer Convenience, Cost Savings and Outcomes | Business Wire

OptumRx and Walgreens Partner to Improve Consumer Convenience, Cost Savings and Outcomes | Business Wire

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. & DEERFIELD, Ill.–([NYSE:UNH])–OptumRx and Walgreens are partnering to create a new pharmacy solution

to meet consumers’ changing prescription drug needs and help employers,

health plans and their members achieve better health outcomes and

greater cost savings. OptumRx is UnitedHealth Group’s [NYSE:UNH]

free-standing pharmacy care services business, managing more than one

billion prescriptions annually. Walgreens is one of the nation’s largest

drugstore chains and part of the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of

Walgreens Boot Alliance, Inc. [Nasdaq:WBA].

Your Favorite Comedians Can't Pronounce JHPIEGO from Will Ferrell

Through a more convenient, accessible and connected pharmacy experience,

the companies will collaborate to deliver clients and members enrolled

in the program an integrated pharmacy care offering that:

  • Provides eligible OptumRx members the option to fill 90-day

    prescriptions at home delivery copay levels at any of Walgreens nearly

    8,200 pharmacies nationwide or through OptumRx home delivery.

  • Produces higher treatment adherence rates and better patient outcomes

    by giving patients the choice of how to receive their medications

    along with 24/7 pharmacist availability.

  • Connects members to clinical guidance that addresses specific disease

    classes, such as diabetes, and increases drug adherence.

  • Enables OptumRx and Walgreens systems to better connect and

    communicate health data and analytics to ensure members receive the

    most effective prescription drugs at the right cost.

“By integrating Walgreens industry-leading in-store pharmacy

capabilities and convenient retail locations with OptumRx’s advanced

pharmacy care services, we expect to create significant value for our

clients and members,” said Larry Renfro, chief executive officer of

Optum. “We are excited to be working with Walgreens to create a new

pharmacy solution that provides convenience and cost savings, and goes

beyond filling prescriptions to deliver a more valuable pharmacy and

health management experience for consumers.”

“OptumRx’s differentiated pharmacy care services model creating smarter

health care connections will be a strong fit with the more than 27,000

Walgreens pharmacists who interact with and support millions of patients

on a daily basis,” said Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens. “Together,

we will build upon our complementary capabilities and shared vision to

offer this new pharmacy solution delivering true value to the customers

that we serve.”

The joint pharmacy care offering is also designed to meet the goals of

payers and health care sponsors seeking to better manage drug benefits

and address the rising cost of care. By providing members with the

choice of how to fill their 90-day maintenance medications, Walgreens

and OptumRx can offer better access and prescription drug cost

management to clients to help improve adherence rates for eligible

members, resulting in better health outcomes and total health care cost


OptumRx and Walgreens expect the new pharmacy solution to be available

to commercial clients implementing new 90-day prescription benefit

designs, beginning January 1, 2017.

About Walgreens

Walgreens ([Nasdaq:WBA]),

one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail

Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA),

the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More

than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities

across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to

consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health

and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,173 drugstores

with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico

and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes,,, and Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic

and provider practice locations around the country.

About OptumRx

OptumRx is a pharmacy care services company helping clients and more

than 66 million members achieve better health outcomes and lower overall

costs through innovative prescription drug benefits management services,

including network claims processing, clinical programs, formulary

management and specialty pharmacy care. Leveraging expertise, flexible

technology and a network of over 67,000 community pharmacies and

state-of-the-art home delivery pharmacies, OptumRx is putting patients

at the center of the pharmacy experience and making health care more

connected and less fragmented – ensuring patients get the right

medication at the right time at the best cost. OptumRx is part of Optum,

a leading information and technology-enabled health services business

dedicated to making the health system work better for everyone. For more

information, visit .



<b>About Optum</b>



Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services

business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for

everyone. With more than 100,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers

intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health

system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH). For more information, visit .


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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - February 2, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Categories: Health   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,