Authors evaluate patient activation in a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries, using the Patient Activation supplement in the 2012 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Access to Care file. Increasing patient activation among Medicare beneficiaries may improve quality of care and lower national healthcare costs.
Insurance Coverage & Whither Thou Goest for Health Information in 2012
Researchers examined a Pew Charitable Trust survey to study use of the Internet (eHealth) and mobile health (mHealth) technologies in 2012 by U.S. adults with different types of health insurance—private, public (Medicare/Medicaid), or uninsured. Most respondents prefer offline to online (Internet) health information sources; over half across all segments use the Internet.
Medicare’s Hospice Benefit: Analysis of Utilization and Resource Use
A study of Medicare hospice episodes indicate service use is more intensive during initial days of the episode and last few days prior to death. The results provide useful information for potential discussions on hospice payment reform.
Availability and Usability of Behavioral Health Organization Encounter Data in MAX 2009
Authors assessed the availability, completeness, and quality of Behavioral Health Organization encounter data in MAX 2009, finding inpatient (IP) data from four states usable for research and complete encounter data in the other (OT) file for only two states. Findings suggest that only limited encounter data are available and usable for behavioral health plans in MAX 2009.
Use of Hospitalists by Medicare Beneficiaries: A National Picture
Researchers developed the MD-PPAS database using claims data to identify the emerging hospitalist physician specialty. In 2011, 4.4% of all physicians serving Medicare beneficiaries and 13.3% of primary care physicians acted as hospitalists. Between 2009 and 2011, medical admissions with a hospitalist attending increased from 26% to 32%. Identifying hospitalists from claims data helps research on the impact of hospitalist use on quality and cost.