July 30, 2004

Employers scout approaches to contain health costs

Robin J. Moody
Employers providing health benefits often feel powerless in the face of rising health care costs, and simply shift the costs to workers. But panelists at the Oregon Health Forum breakfast Thursday shared other approaches they are using to curb costs while getting better quality care for their money.

TOC Management Services, an association of wood products and manufacturing employers representing thousands of employees, uses a four-pronged strategy to approach health benefits.

It is tweaking plan designs, working to improve communication with members, beefing up disease management programs and aiming to help members be more savvy health care consumers.

For disease management and education, TOC has targeted diabetes, prenatal care, back pain and heart burn, which cost TOC employers $1 million in a recent year. Diabetes patients costs the company four times more than the average covered member, noted TOC Employee Benefits Manager Jim Walton.


Posted by gruwell at 1:54 PM

Partnership for Prevention and ACPM commend expanded coverage of preventive services under Medicare

Washington, DC – Partnership for Prevention, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping Americans prevent disease and injury, welcomes new proposed rules from the Department of Health and Human Services to expand coverage for preventive services under Medicare as "a step in the right direction." The proposed rules were also well received by the American College of Preventive Medicine, the professional society of physicians who specialize in preventive medicine.

Under proposed rules announced Tuesday, in 2005 Medicare will begin covering initial comprehensive physical examinations for new Medicare beneficiaries and will expand coverage for cardiovascular and diabetes screening. Previous legislation expanded Medicare coverage for a number of cancer screening tests, immunizations, and other preventive services proven to save lives and improve the health of seniors.


Posted by gruwell at 1:43 PM

July 29, 2004

Annals of Family Medicine July/August 2004 Tip Sheet

Annals of Family Medicine is a peer-reviewed research journal that
provides a cross-disciplinary forum for new, evidence-based information...

Annals of Family Medicine: Article Tipsheet

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-07/aofm-j2a072204.php

Posted by gruwell at 11:06 AM

July 16, 2004

Best Practice of Medicine: from Merck Medicus

Check out the new format from Merck Medicus, its free!

We are currently updating our database of articles in Best Practice of Medicine to include the following features, for quick access to the information you need:
• Briefs & Reports
Best Practice Briefs list clinical action points that link to how-and-why details in the full Report – for quick access to the level of information you need.
• Evidence Highlights
Clinical recommendations that are strongly supported by research evidence are flagged in Briefs and Reports. All evidence highlights are linked to the original research abstracts or full text, and our experts provide insightful commentary.
• News and Alerts
Breaking clinical news, with links to original literature, is added daily to relevant articles. News stories with immediate implications for your practice become Alerts—including analysis and targeted recommendations from the Best Practice Of Medicine experts. Alerts are highlighted in relevant Best Practice of Medicine articles.
• Patient Handouts and Emails
Parallel articles from our Patient Guide can be printed or emailed with your customized instructions.
• What Your Patients and Colleagues Are Asking
Questions stimulated by the article are given detailed answers by our experts.

Web Link

Posted by gruwell at 7:30 AM

July 8, 2004

Clinical Trials for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

NCAM: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

This sites extracts complementary and alternative medicine
clinical trials from ClinicalTrials.gov.


Posted by gruwell at 5:01 PM

July 5, 2004

Patient-Centered, Physician-Guided Care Must Guide Medicare's Chronic Care Improvement Program Says ACP; Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support Should be A Key Requirement

6/30/2004 9:40:00 AM


To: National Desk

Contact: Jack Pope, 202-261-4556 or jpope@acponline.org, Jacquelyn Blaser, 202-261-4572, or jblaser@acponline.org, both of the American College of Physicians

WASHINGTON, June 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The new Medicare Chronic Care Improvement (CCI) pilot program must include at least one demonstration site, which focuses on "patient-centered, physician- guided" care, said the American College of Physicians (ACP) in a June 23 letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Mark McClellan, MD.

Congress created the pilot program in recognition of the current fragmented care provided chronically ill Medicare patients under fee-for-service. Under Section 721 of the Medicare Modernization ACT (MMA) the CMS administrator must establish CCI pilot programs in ten different sites. The results of these test programs will be evaluated and ultimately become a permanent part of Medicare.

Press Release: http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=109-06302004

Posted by gruwell at 10:43 PM

Web ideal for data on clinic trials

By Laura Landro

Wall Street Journal

The current push to require drug companies to disclose their unpublished clinical trials could unleash a flood of new information for doctors and patients. But in the meantime, there is already a growing effort by medical publishers, scientific groups and government agencies aimed at helping people find and interpret the results of clinical trials online.

Existing registries are run by the National Institutes of Health and a host of private organizations. Web sites such as MedlinePlus.gov offer direct links to most published medical studies, which in some cases are free or else can be purchased directly from the journal. And more help is under development, such as an upcoming guide from the National Library of Medicine on understanding reports.

Article: http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/living/9031119.htm

Posted by gruwell at 9:40 PM