Health System Review – November 7th, 2012

What will the 2nd term of the Obama Presidency mean for healthcare?

Moving Forward with Health Care Reform
The Commonwealth Fund, November 7 2012
The Affordable Care Act has been put to legal and political tests and is now indisputably the law of the land. It’s time to come together to ensure the law is speedily implemented, and to take the steps necessary to guarantee equitable access to high-quality care, while controlling costs.

Health-Care Law Spurs a Shift to Part-Time Workers
WSJ, November 2 2012
Some low-wage employers are moving toward hiring part-time workers instead of full-time ones to mitigate the health-care overhaul’s requirement that large companies provide health insurance for full-time workers or pay a fee.

Increased PA and NP Hiring
Becker’s Hospital Review, November 2 2012
A HealthECareers research found job openings for physician assistants grew by 22% in the third quarter of 2012, while nurse practitioner employment increased by 35% during the same period. Another study, conducted by The Medicus Firm revealed 82.9% of health care executives expect to increase their recruitment for physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

Price Databases Shed Light on Health Care Costs
Kaiser Health News, November 2 2012
About a dozen states have set up databases designed to help consumers compare prices when shopping for health care. An early version of Colorado’s tool sheds light on the wide variation in costs for certain procedures. For example, the price of a knee MRI ranges from $350 to $2,336. Such databases are “absolutely vitally important if we’re going to realize the magic of the market to improve outcomes in the marketplace,” says Jonathan Mathieu, of the Center for Improving Value in Health Care, which oversees Colorado’s database. The database also will incorporate quality information, allowing comparison of such metrics as post-surgery infections.

HIT Use in Drug Adherence Efforts Could Bend Health Care Cost Curve
Healthcare IT News, November 1 2012
The adoption of health IT to boost medication adherence could help reduce global medical care spending by around $500 billion, according to a report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. The rising use of health information makes this the right time for recommendations that call for using IT to help educate patients at the point of prescription, reduce errors and prevent antibiotic resistance, said Murray Aitken, the IMS Institute’s executive director.

HealthTap Develops Platform to Allow Users to Rate Docs
MobiHealthNews, November 2 2012
A two-part doctor rating platform has been created by HealthTap to assist consumers in making more informed decisions. The firm accepts votes from patients on their experiences with physicians on such metrics as personality and bedside conduct. The platform can also be used by physicians to rate their colleagues’ knowledge of medicine.