In the News: Mar 28–Apr 4

More Joint Replacement Patients Are Recovering at Home

Kaiser Health News recently highlighted a March JAMA study finding that shows more Medicare patients are recovering from joint replacement procedures at home using home health services rather than at a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Additionally, the study found that patients who went home for recovery showed the same level of functional improvement as SNF patients. However, while costs were much lower for patients who used home health services, readmission rates were slightly higher than for the SNF group.

With the aging population and rise in obesity rates in the United States, demand for joint replacement is expected to rise rapidly. As a result, orthopedic service line leaders must prepare their programs for more volumes while working with providers to make sure appropriate sites of care are selected for procedures and recovery. To learn more about the shift to outpatient joint replacement, read the new Sg2 FAQ Outpatient Joint Replacement: Managing the Transition and Positioning for Growth.

Impact of HDHPs on Access to Timely Breast Cancer Care

A recent Health Affairs article reviewed claims data to investigate whether high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) act as a barrier to receiving care, specifically among vulnerable populations. In the study, researchers found that following an employer-mandated switch to an HDHP from a low-deductible plan, women experienced delays in the initiation of breast cancer diagnostic testing, diagnosis and chemotherapy, regardless of their vulnerability status. These results suggest the obligation of high out-of-pocket spending is a barrier to breast cancer care, as patients—regardless of their sociodemographic characteristics—experienced a 5-to-7-month delay in early-stage breast cancer diagnosis.

Sg2 believes organizations have a ripe opportunity to engage women through trust, convenience and price transparency. Likewise, breast health programs now require accessible, coordinated services and rapid turnaround time to maintain market share. Engagement and activation of women represents a sound strategic opportunity for building relationships in the health care market with immeasurable downstream impact. To learn more about how to boost market share across your organization by deploying consumerism imperatives within this population, read the new Sg2 FAQ Targeting the Health Care CEO: Deploying Consumer Strategies in Women’s Health.

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