Entries in Announcement (109)

Wednesday
May202015

Impact of Stress on Health Risk

By Claire Thayer, May 20, 2015

Stress is prevalent, and at some point, all of us are faced with some type of stress in our lives.  What is considered as a stressful situation to one person may be inconsequential to another.  A recent WebMD study finds that 43% of all adults suffer adverse affects from stress. WebMD tells us that a little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. However, it’s the ongoing chronic stress that can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:

  • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
  • Obesity and other eating disorders
  • Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon

MCOL’s infoGraphoid for this week takes a look at the impact of stress on health risk, outlining three different types of stress and the impact on both overall physical and mental health:

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
May072015

Four Factors Fueling Demand for Telehealth

By Claire Thayer, May 7, 2015

Telehealth, as defined by the Health Resources and Services Administration, is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications. 

MCOL’s infoGraphoid for this week identifies these four factors as the key components fueling the increasing demand for telehealth:

  • Reduce Health Care Costs
  • Improve Access to Care
  • More Productive Workforce
  • Better Patient Experience

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
Apr162015

Provider Networks Referral Leakage

By Claire Thayer, April 16, 2015

Containing patient referrals within a provider network is easier said than done, even with electronic health records.  According to Joel French, CEO of SCI Solutions, "more than 25 percent of orders and referrals from employed providers leak out of network."  Chief Financial Officers across the country cite referral leakage as a top concern. According to a recent survey, 51% of CFOs list reducing network leakage as the most successful methods for generating future revenue growth. 

MCOL’s infoGraphoid for this week takes a look at some of the root causes of referral leakage as well as identifies seven ways to contain the leakage:

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
Apr082015

New Interactive Tool to Monitor U.S. Health Care Spending

By Claire Thayer, April 8, 2015

A week or so ago, The Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation unveiled a cool new interactive tool for public access to measure quality and cost components of the country's health care system on their new site, The Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker.  “This interactive tool provides up-to-date information on U.S. health spending by federal and local governments, private companies, and individuals. It was developed by analysts at the Kaiser Family Foundation using data from the National Health Expenditure Account and will be updated annually with each data release.”  Using the Health Spending Explorer interactive tool, data can be tracked as far back as 1960, with most recent data as of 2013 (which will be updated annually).  Search by single year, compare two years, or customized you own parameters.  Here are a couple of examples, comparing all types of services and hospital spending by health insurance and out-of-pocket costs in 1993 and twenty years later in 2013.

In addition to the option to use the interactive feature to create your own reports, the “Chart Collections” section has a bunch of charts and supporting slide decks to choose from:

Drilling down to the question of “How do health expenditures vary across the population?” here are a couple of related supporting slides available for download:

In addition to the interactive tool and chart collections, The Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker site provides access to their Insight Briefs and regular blogs.

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.