Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

International perceptions of ability to manage complex patients

In an international study using data from the Commonwealth Fund, Robin Osborn and co-authors survey primary care doctors in the United States and nine other industrialized countries on how well they are able to treat patients with complex needs. They found that the percentage of doctors that feel that their practice is well-prepared to manage […]

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Multiple Chronic Conditions

Patients with multiple chronic conditions are difficult to treat. As people continue to live longer, the number of chronic conditions they must cope with often increases. A Robert Wood Johnson report on chronic conditions reaches the following conclusions. The number of people with chronic conditions is rapidly rising. Between 2000 and 2030, the number of […]

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Usual Source of Care Increases Spending

Does having a specialist as your usual source of care (USOC) increase costs? “Among high-cost beneficiaries, the 27.8 percent attributed to a medical specialist as their USOCphysician had U.S.$1,839 greater costs than those attributed to primary care physicians, representing roughly 4 percent of the mean cost of care. Although this may reflect unmeasured patient preferences […]

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Long-term care hospitals (LTCHs)

Today I review how Medicare pays for long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) based on information from MedPAC’s 2011 Report to Congress. LTCHs furnish care to patients with clinically complex problems—such as multiple acute and chronic conditions—who need hospital-level care for relatively extended periods. These facilities can be freestanding or colocated with other hospitals as hospitals within […]

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