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.
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.
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
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NCAM: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
This sites extracts complementary and alternative medicine
clinical trials from ClinicalTrials.gov.
6/30/2004 9:40:00 AM
To: National Desk
Contact: Jack Pope, 202-261-4556 or email@example.com, Jacquelyn Blaser, 202-261-4572, or firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.