In the News: May 30–June 6

Population Health Platform Helps Prevent Strokes, Heart Attacks

A recent Healthcare IT News article highlights how the Arizona Care Network, an accountable care organization (ACO) with a network of 310,000 patients and 6,000 providers, sought to achieve improved clinical outcomes through appropriate and efficient use of the network’s resources. Using a proprietary algorithm created with a population health platform, the ACO was able to stratify patients based on their health status. The ACO also uses biometrics, which feed a summary informing providers on patient demographics, health risks and medication compliance.

Using predictive modeling, the ACO also provides a recommended care plan providers can customize, with a “semi-custom referral platform” that assists them in managing patient care. Over the 3 quarters the ACO implemented the data and analytics–enabled care coordination model, they prevented 98 strokes and 39 heart attacks.

Health systems have continued to experiment with different value-based care models, but organizational structures managing these efforts have not kept pace. Sg2 believes that more advanced analytics capabilities, coupled with complementary organizational structure, can enable health systems to achieve more ambitious value-based care goals. To learn more about different organizational structures for the various stages of value-based care adoption, read our newest Sg2 report Organizational Structures to Advance Value-Based Care.

Only 1 in 5 Hospitals Meet Maternity Care Performance Measures

A recent Modern Healthcare article highlights a study conducted by The Leapfrog Group that surveyed more than 2,000 hospitals around the US and found numerous hospitals and providers failed to meet the organization’s standards for maternity care best practices, including c-sections, early elective deliveries and episiotomies. Approximately only 1 in 5 hospitals fully met standards for performing these medical interventions, which may unnecessarily increase health risks for both mothers and infants.

C-sections, which have been linked with longer hospital stays and increased risks of respiratory issues, are performed in 1 out of every 3 births in the US, remaining relatively unchanged from 2015. However, the group did note a decline in episiotomy rates and early elective deliveries, which also may contribute to increased health risks for both mothers and infants.

Ob/gyn emergencies are not uncommon, and they threaten patient safety. Sg2 believes that contracting or employing ob/gyn hospitals can ensure these emergencies are handled in a timely and effective manner. To learn more about how organizations are utilizing ob/gyn hospitalists to address organizational challenges and improve patient outcomes, check out the Sg2 FAQ Ob/Gyn Hospitalists Help Address Organizational Challenges.

Study Demonstrates Improved Outcomes for TAVR Patients

In a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, clinical trial results indicate that Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) was found to be noninferior, and in some TAVR was found to be superior, to surgical aortic valve replacement in patients with severe aortic stenosis at low risk for surgical complications and fatality. The continued positive results from clinical research could spark an uptick in the number of TAVR procedures, thereby pressuring hospitals to address future loss of surgical volume to TAVR and potentially lower profitability.

In the first randomized trial, approximately 1,400 patients received TAVR, and 30 days after the procedure, these patients had lower estimated incidence of stroke, bleeding complications and atrial fibrillation compared to the surgical group. The second randomized trial included 950 patients receiving either TAVR with a balloon-expandable valve or surgery. For both intervention groups, there were no reported differences in major vascular complications, new permanent pacemaker insertions or moderate or severe paravalvular regurgitation. Both trials intend to follow patients for the next 10 years to better understand the longitudinal advantages and disadvantages of TAVR vs surgery.

As minimally invasive approaches replace traditional open surgical procedures, it will be vital for organizations to stay current on training, education and available technologies. Consensus remains that TAVR should not be a stand-alone procedure but should be an integrated component within an organization’s larger cardiovascular program. To learn more about programmatic elements including decision making, leadership and developing procedural volumes, please review the Sg2 FAQ  Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).

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