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Survey: Many Unaware How Ebola Is Spread

Posted by Matthew Smith on Oct 16, 2014 2:17:00 PM
Article courtesy of Kaiser Health News.

Ebola, Population Health, SurveyA new survey finds the public has a lot to learn about how the Ebola virus is transmitted, which could help explain the growing fears of the disease.

The survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that while nearly all adults (97%) know a person can become infected through direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of someone who is sick with Ebola, there are still misconceptions. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

One third of respondents are unaware they cannot become infected through the air.  About 45% are unaware they cannot contract Ebola by shaking hands with someone who has been exposed to the virus but who does not have symptoms.

And only slightly more than a third (36%) of respondents know that a person must be showing Ebola symptoms to transmit the infection, the poll found.

The survey, which was fielded after a Liberian man was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas, and remained in the field after a nurse who helped care for him contracted the disease, finds most Americans say they trust local, state, and federal health authorities to contain the disease  in the U.S.

The public was near evenly split on the federal government’s response to the crisis. About 45% said the government was doing enough to fight the disease in Africa and 48% said it was doing enough to protect Americans.

The telephone poll of 1,503 adults was conducted from October 8-14 and has a margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

To view the full results from this survey, please click here.

Ebola, Survey, Population Health

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Topics: Population Health, Survey, Ebola Virus, Infection Control

Quick Survey: Participation in a Clinically Integrated Network

Posted by Matthew Smith on Sep 17, 2014 3:42:00 PM

Survey, online surveyAs healthcare costs continue to rise, payers are putting pressure on all providers to deliver more coordinated care. Hospitals and physicians are now expected to collaborate to improve outcomes, reduce utilization and control costs.

What does this mean for medical practices? Physicians have only a few options.

One alternative is to seek employment by a hospital or health system. The benefit of employment is a certain level of income security for physicians. The downside, of course, is loss of autonomy.

The second alternative is to remain independent. While this option preserves physician control, it exposes doctors to new risks. In the coming years, payers will continue to put pressure on physicians to accept lower reimbursement. Physicians’ negotiating leverage will continue to decline.

Fortunately, a third alternative is now emerging—clinical integration between physicians and hospitals. A clinically integrated network allows physicians to work collaboratively with a hospital, other physicians and post-acute providers. Under the right legal structure, clinical integration allows physicians to maintain independence while benefiting from joint contracting based on quality outcomes and cost management.

Please answer this quick survey regarding your organization's participation in a clinically integrated network. Your responses are anonymous. Questions 1 & 2 pertain to hospital personnel. Questions 3 & 4 pertain to medical practice personnel.
 
Results will be shared in a HD Insights Blog post next week. Thank you for your participation. (Please note scroll bar within survery.)

 

Topics: Clinical Integration, CIN, Clinically Integrated Networks, Survey, Medical Practice, Employed Medical Practice

Two-Question Survey: Walmart Launches Primary Care Clinics

Posted by Matthew Smith on Aug 25, 2014 12:31:00 PM

Walmart, Primary Care, Primary Care ProviderWalmart has a new take on retail clinics. These newly launched clinics will charge patients $40 for a visit—but only $4 for Walmart associates. Anybody, with or without insurance, can go into one of these clinics and be seen by a qualified health professional, without the usual paperwork. Although the mega-retailer has operated clinics in its stores for a few years now, the new ones are different in a couple of ways.

First, Walmart’s previous clinics were collaborations with local hospitals, which are described as having mixed success. It appears the Walmart is embarking in the primary care market alone at this time. In line with its usual branding, Walmart's touted the low prices available in its clinics: $40 to get a walk-in check-up, and even lower costs (possibly $4) for employees. "For our associates and dependents on the health plan, you can come and see a provider in the Wal-Mart Care Clinic for $4. Four dollars!" Jennifer LaPerre, a company official, said earlier this month. "That is setting a new retail price in the health care industry," she added.

Second, Walmart looks to be rolling out these clinics in states that have not expanded the number of residents dependent on Medicaid (such as South Carolina). Insurance is irrelevant to these clinics, which accept cash payments directly. 

And unlike most primary care providers, they will be open 12 hours a day on weekdays and at least eight hours a day on weekends, Forbes reports. 

What's your take? Please answer the following 2-question survey (make sure to scroll down for Question #2 and submit). Once you submit your answers, you will be directed to a link to see live polling results. If you choose to share comments on the blog, please be respectful and keep the conversation moving forward. Thank you for your feedback. We will publish the results at the end of the week.

Topics: Population Health, ACA, Survey, Primary Care, Obamacare, Accountable Care Act, Walmart, Primary Care Provider

A Profile of Physicians' Practice Environments & Ownership Status

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jul 18, 2014 4:17:00 PM

Survey, Employed PhysiciansFollowing are the results of physicians' employment and ownership status, according to a survey by Jackson Healthcare, a healthcare staffing company. The survey examined practice environments (including participants' employment and ownership status) as well as practice capacity and workload.

The survey data is based on responses from 1,527 physicians gathered between April 18 and June 5, 2014.

Practice Environments

Here is a breakdown of participants' employment and ownership status:

    • Hospital Employee (21 percent)
    • Solo Practice Owner (21 percent)
    • Ownership Stake in Single-Specialty Practice (17 percent)
    • Single or Multi-Specialty Practice Owned by Hospital/Health System (14 percent)
    • Employed by Privately Owned Single or Multi-Specialty Practice (14 percent)
    • Independent Contractor or Locums (9 percent)
    • Ownership Stake in Multi-Specialty Practice (4 percent)

    Specialists most likely to own a solo practice include:

    • Dermatologists (55 percent)
    • Ophthalmologists (43 percent)
    • Behavioral Health (34 percent)
    • Women's Health (29 percent)
    • Primary Care (28 percent)
    • Musculoskeletal (27 percent)
    • Surgery Subspecialists (22 percent)

    Primary Care Statistics

    The number of hospital-employed primary care physicians increased from 10 percent in 2012 to 20 percent in 2014. And the number of primary care physicians with an ownership stake in a single-specialty practice decreased from 12 percent in 2012 to 7 percent in 2014.

    When asked why they chose hospital employment over private practice, 37 percent of physicians said they did not want to deal with the administrative hassles of owning a practice. Thirty-three percent said they wanted to be a doctor, not a businessperson. Overall, the lifestyle that employment offers is the underlying factor driving physician preference.

    For physicians who left private practice, the majority attributed their decision to high overhead costs. Reimbursement cuts, lack of resources to comply with ACA requirements and the administrative hassles of ownership were other significant reasons cited.

    Practice Capacity & Workload

    When asked if their medical practice was at capacity, half said yes and half said no. This has remained unchanged since 2012.

    The medical practices of behavioral health and internal medicine subspecialists were more likely to be at full capacity. General surgeons, pediatricians and surgery subspecialists were least likely to be at full capacity.

    The majority of physicians surveyed (61 percent) work between nine and twelve hours per day. Eighteen percent reported working eight-hour days.

    The following are mean numbers from this year's survey:

    • Patients seen per day: 22
    • Minutes spent with each patient: 20
    • Patients seen/rounded on during hospital shift: 13
    • Surgeries on surgery day: 5

    Topics: Employed Physicians, Survey, Physician Employment, Practice Environments

    People with Chronic Conditions Value Access to Personal Health Data

    Posted by Matthew Smith on May 6, 2014 3:53:00 PM

    Accenture, Healthcare Study, Chronic Diseases, EHR, EMRA new survey by Accenture claims that more than half of people with chronic conditions say the ability to get their electronic medical records online outweighs the potential privacy risks.

    Two-thirds, meanwhile, believe patients should have the right to access all of their healthcare information.

    The results of the poll suggest a public increasingly frustrated by lack of ownership over their own health data.

    The vast majority people surveyed (87%) say they want to control their health data. But 55% report they don't have very much or any control over their medical information.

    Accenture polled 2,011 individuals – 918 of them healthy, and 1,093 with either asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, clinically diagnosed obesity, osteoporosis and stroke.

    The survey found chronic patients to be less concerned about the privacy of their electronic health records, 65%, than they were about other personal information stored digitally, such as online banking (70%), in-store credit card use (69%) and online shopping (68%).

    Still, although they're eager to have access to their records online, roughly half of those with chronic conditions said the top barrier to seeing the data was not knowing how to do so.

    Accenture's findings also suggest, depending on the type of chronic illness they have, there are differences in a patient's ability to exercise control over his or her healthcare data. For example, 65 percent of consumers with heart disease reported having some level of control, compared to just 49 percent of individuals with COPD.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 47% of Americans have at least one chronic disease, but they account for 76% of all physician visits.

    Nonetheless, these individuals are some of the most actively engaged patients at most stages of patient care, according to the poll – including:

    • during medical diagnosis (91%);
    • managing treatment (87%); and
    • maintaining general health on a day-to-day basis (84%).

    Access the Accenture report here.

    Patient Engagement, Patient Service

    Topics: EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Record, Electronic Medical Record, Survey, Accenture

    Survey Says: Year of the Great EHR Vendor Switch is Underway

    Posted by Matthew Smith on Feb 20, 2013 10:21:00 AM

    EHR optimization, EHR switch"Meaningful use incentives created an artificial market for dozens of immature EHR products," says Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book Rankings, in a recent news release. With more electronic health record systems continuing to fall short of providers' expectations, a new report by Black Book Rankings suggests that 2013 may indeed be the "year of the great EHR vendor switch." 

    Underperforming Systems

    After polling some 17,000 active EHR adopters, report officials found that as many as 17% of medical practices could be switching out their first choice EHR by the end of the year.

    “The high performance vendors emerging as viable past 2015 are those dedicating responsive teams to address customers’ current demands,” said Brown.

    And in light of Stage 2, officials say provider demands are only increasing. EHR users polled cited numerous cases of software firms underperforming badly enough to lose crucial market share as the industry evolves, with vendor solutions often struggling to keep pace.

    The independent insight gathered indicates that many EHR vendors have been preoccupied with backlogged implementations and selling product that development issues have been neglected as a priority. Most concerning to current EHR users are unmet pleas for sophisticated interfaces with other practice programs, complex connectivity and networking schemes, pacing with accountable care progresses and the rapid EHR adoption of mobile devices, the survey finds. 

    Specialties Looking for More

    The survey also reveals that some popular "one size fits all" EHR products have failed to meet the needs of several medical specialties and cannot continue to satisfy their client base with a lack of customizable or bespoke tools. As far as EHR systems meeting the expectations of various medical specialities, nephrologists reported the highest rate of discontent, with 88% saying their EHR systems fail to meet their needs. Providers in urology, ophthalmology and gastroenterology also reported high rates of discontent. Contrastingly, a much lower number of small practice physicians (54%) reported that their system failed to meet their needs.  

    Considering a System Switch

    With high numbers of providers indicating that EHR systems have failed to meet their needs, more are considering a system switch. Some 31% of survey respondents indicated they were "dissatisfied enough" with their EHR to consider making a switch. Thirty-four percent said they were neither overly satisfied or dissatisfied.

    Out of those EHR users considering a system switch:

    • 80% said the solution does not meet the practices' individual needs;
    • 79% indicated that the medical practice had not adequately assessed the group's needs before choosing the EHR;
    • 77% of respondents cited solution design as ill-fitted for their medical practice or specialty; and
    • 44% said vendors have been unresponsive to requests.  

    Red Flags

    In addition to the EHR user survey, phone interviews revealed three red flags current users see that would deter them from switching EHR vendors. The majority (32 percent) pointed to mergers and acquisitions; 26 percent cited senior management issues; and 22 percent said declining marketing share/value and internal staff system training issues were of concern.

    Electronic Health Records EHR Assessment

    Topics: EHR, EMR, Meaningful Use, Health IT, Survey, Medical Practice, Black Book Rankings

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