In the News: Feb 21–28

Life Spans Increase With More PCPs

A recent study from faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School showed that every 10 additional primary care physicians (PCPs) per 100,000 people in the US was associated with a 51.5-day increase in life expectancy between 2005 and 2015. For comparison, an increase of 10 specialists per 100,000 people corresponded to a 19.2-day increase in life span.

Researchers also found that while the number of PCPs increased nationwide, the density of primary care physicians per 100,000 people actually decreased, hitting rural populations especially hard. Moreover, the Association of Medical Colleges estimates a dramatic shortfall of primary care physicians in the US by 2030.

At Sg2, we have identified and examined the latest trends and case studies in low-acuity care, including the evolving sites of primary care. For practices and tips on how to coordinate and strategize your approach to delivering low-acuity care, watch the on-demand Sg2 webinar Primary Care Ecosystem: Reconfiguring Assets to Meet Future Demands.

Tennessee’s Maternal Deaths Largely Preventable

A recent Modern Healthcare article discusses Tennessee’s high maternal death rates. Following the state’s enactment of the Maternal Mortality Review and Prevention Act of 2016, a panel convened to confirm maternal mortality cases. A report published by the panel verified 78 pregnancy-associated deaths in 2017 and determined 85% of them could have been prevented. The report also reveals that nearly 30% of the deaths were directly related to the pregnancies and were due to medical conditions such as hemorrhaging and embolisms.

An estimated 700 women in the US die of pregnancy or pregnancy-related complications annually. Incidence rates are most severe among minorities, with African American women being 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than Caucasian women. While the report did not provide an explanation for this disparity, it did encourage improvements to protocols and screenings on maternal health topics.

As hospitals across the country evaluate how to best address disparities in maternal health outcomes, a critical component will involve the high-risk pregnancy landscape. Recent trends suggest a slight increase in neonatology admissions, thereby prompting many organizations to reevaluate the levels of care they provide. To learn more about strategic considerations for capturing market demand for high-risk pregnancy services and how to leverage virtual health for extending maternal-fetal medicine programs, watch the on-demand Sg2 webinar Women’s Health Update 2017: Defining and Capturing High-Risk Pregnancy.

HIMSS Covers Consumerism, Price Transparency, Interoperability

A recent article in Forbes highlighted the themes presented at this year’s Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference. In previous years, this event showcased topics like artificial intelligence, machine learning and population health. However, this year the conference primarily focused on the patient and included topics on consumerism, price transparency and interoperability.

As outlined at the conference, the move toward digital health and the utilization of technologies such as wearable health care devices suggest that patients have higher technological and experiential expectations for the health care industry. Additionally, patients’ calls for more price transparency from both payers and providers have been met with success: as of January 1, 2019, hospital providers are required to list prices for “standard procedures.” Patients are also calling for interoperability and data sharing to increase their access to their own health care information as well as various providers’ access. The conference spotlighted the use of blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) as a method for leveraging interoperability.

As patients’ expectations rise, as price transparency and interoperability become more standard in the health care industry, and as new disrupting entrants to the field create more competition, patients will have more variables than ever to consider when choosing a provider. Join Sg2 for a live discussion during the Consumerism 3.0 webinar on the surprising findings, key considerations and out-of-the-box opportunities available for incumbent hospitals to disrupt their own thinking and build new paths toward meeting consumer needs.

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