Both a call to action and a roadmap for progress, Families USA’s latest report, Health Reform 2.0 lays out a path for securing high-quality, affordable health care to all Americans—regardless of income, age, race, or ethnicity—and for achieving the “Triple Aim”: improving health, enhancing quality of care, and reducing health care costs.
Early last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced a new initiative designed to support state efforts to improve the health of Medicaid beneficiaries and the care they receive.
As part of the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP), the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) will develop new resources for and provide technical assistance to states engaged in efforts to reform their Medicaid programs. The IAP seeks to achieve the triple aim of better care, better health outcomes, and lower costs.
Although the Affordable Care Act now offers individuals greatly expanded access to health coverage, simply having an insurance card does not guarantee access to high-quality health care.
Effective medical treatment requires that physicians apply the best available evidence, rely on their clinical expertise, and consider individual patient preferences and values to make decisions about patient care. Yet across most areas of medicine, practice consistently lags behind evidence. Even when physicians have access to evidence in usable formats, like clinical practice guidelines, it can take more than five years for them to adopt these guidelines into routine clinical practice.
In sectors from banking to car maintenance, immediate electronic access to data is the industry standard. The health care sector is different. Old-fashioned paper records are still the norm in most doctors’ practices across the country, and the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has been slow even in hospitals.
The health care sector’s reliance on paper charts makes it difficult for health care providers to track patient information over time and share this information with other providers. It also makes administrative tasks such as billing more challenging. As a result, the system isn’t as safe, efficient, or effective as it could be.
Health information technology (HealthIT) offers many powerful tools in the fight to eliminate disparities in the delivery of care and health outcomes. From identifying variation in care delivery and outcomes by demographic group to harnessing the power of mobile devices to collect and share health data, the opportunities to leverage HealthIT in the promotion of health equity are plentiful.
Today, we’re kicking off an occasional series of posts that will focus on the intersection of health and technology. Over the coming months, we’ll explore ways in which technology is helping to improve the way that doctors and other providers deliver health care to their patients.
In this first post, we’re going to explore how telemedicine can be used to increase access to specialist care. In future posts, we’ll explore topics that range from pills with sensors that track when they have been swallowed to electronic health records.
Today, we’re kicking off a series of blogs that examine the intersection between health and technology. Why? In many ways, the U.S. health care system has been remarkably conservative when it comes to technology. We know that the health care field is often quick to adopt innovative treatments for disease and illness.
When student volunteers at the Baltimore Rescue Mission—a free clinic in East Baltimore that serves low-income and homeless individuals—recognized that the clinic was providing a lot of duplicated, unnecessary, and costly services to its patients, they took action. Part of the problem, they recognized, was that it was challenging to keep up-to-date records on such a transient population and that there was little to no record sharing between clinics similar to the Mission.