Entries in Thayer, Claire (104)

Thursday
Mar122015

Medical Identity Theft Impact on Health Care

By Claire Thayer, March 12, 2015

According to findings from The Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft, published by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, the number of patients affected by medical identity theft increased nearly 22 percent in the last year, an increase of close to half a million since 2013. Many of us by now have heard about the massive Anthem breach, affecting up to 80 million people and considered to be the largest security breach involving a major health organization. Anthem notes that "the information accessed may have included names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, health care ID numbers, home addresses, email addresses, employment information, including income data."  However, while, yes, the breach at Anthem was massive, they’re far from alone! 

Since 2009, 109 health-plan related security breaches have been reported to the Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights.  Breaches affecting 500 or more individuals is public information and accessible directly via the aptly named Breach Portal, where you can search by covered entity, state, type of entity (i.e., health plan, healthcare provider, etc), individuals affected, breach submission date, type of breach (theft, hacking/IT, improper disposal, etc., location of breached information).

MCOL's infoGraphoid this week highlights health plan related security breaches since 2009 and how patients found out that their medical identity was exposed:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.

Thursday
Mar052015

Medicare Obesity Counseling – it’s Free!

By Claire Thayer, March 5, 2015

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows alarming obesity trend rates among the elderly population within the United States.  Thirty-six percent of men aged 65-74 are considered obese, along with slightly over 44% of women in this same age bracket, as highlighted on the CDC’s FastStats for Older Persons’ Health web page:

These findings continue to trend upward from the data previously available from the National Center for Health Statistics that found more than one-third of older adults aged 65 and over were obese in 2007–2010. 

Consider that over the next thirty years, the number of U.S. older adults is expected to more than double, rising from 40.2 million to 88.5 million. Primary care providers are critically important in helping to reverse these trends. The Kaiser Family Foundation reminds us in an article published this week, Few Seniors Benefiting From Medicare Obesity Counseling, that the Affordable Care Act included a new Medicare benefit offering face-to-face weight-loss counseling in primary care doctors’ offices. Doctors are paid to provide the service, which is free to obese patients, with no co-pay.  Surprisingly, as reported in USA Today, a mere 1% of Medicare's 50 million beneficiaries have used the free counseling benefit.

Thursday
Feb122015

Predictable savings when health plan members are engaged in preventative care

By Claire Thayer, February 12, 2015

There are many approaches to patient care intervention, in terms of managing chronic disease. Several years ago an important study, that is still widely referenced, finds that some of the most successful patient care intervention approaches include those that are customized for each individual patient, allow for intensive time commitment in terms of time multi-disciplinary teams spent face-to-face with patient, and use of technology that is highly interactive with patients.  These approaches to engaging patients in preventative care, along with the payoff in financial savings and health outcomes is the focus of MCOL's infoGraphoid this week:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here

Wednesday
Feb042015

The Value of Maternity Management in Mitigating Legal Risk

By Claire Thayer, February 4, 2015

Almost 85% of women in the U.S. receive maternity services when giving birth. According to a report presented by Childbirth Connection, "Maternity Care and Liability: Pressing Problems, Substantive Solutions," childbirth is the nation's leading reason for hospitalization and most expensive hospital condition. It is also estimated that 19 of 3,000 hospital births result in an adverse outcome. The importance of maternity management in mitigating legal risk is the focus of MCOL's infoGraphoid this week:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.

Thursday
Jan222015

Population Health Management - Integration of Medical and Pharmacy Benefits 

By Claire Thayer, January 22, 2015

A new Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) study examined yearly medical costs of 1.8 million members of Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® (BCBS) independent companies, whose pharmacy benefit services were divided between “carve-in” and “carve-out” benefit options.  This study finds that members integrating the pharmacy benefits experienced:

  • 9% fewer hospitalizations
  • 4% fewer emergency room visits
  • 11% lower medical costs

HealthPartners, in their Pharmacy Integration Study, estimated that integrating medical and pharmacy benefits can save a group with 9,000 continuously enrolled members more than $1 million per year.  These and other data points are featured in MCOL’s infoGraphoid this week:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.