health care

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The Top 5 Killers

By | May 14th, 2014|Prevention|

The Top 5 things that kill people in the US are: heart disease, cancer, lung disease such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, stroke and injuries.  In fact- these 5 conditions cause 63% of all deaths in the US — which is nearly 18,000 people each year in AZ (about 50 people/day in AZ). This week [...]

American Indian Healthcare Matrix (Part II)

By | May 9th, 2014|General|

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll continue my series on the healthcare matrix for American Indians.  Last week I covered the basics of the Indian Health Service.  This week’s write-up is about something called “638's”. Tribes and Tribal Organizations can elect to administer healthcare services that normally would be administered by the IHS. This [...]

Medicare Cost Transparency

By | April 9th, 2014|Prevention|

I’ve always believed that transparency improves the efficiency of any system.  Health care costs are no exception- and health care reimbursement costs are probably at the top of the list of systems that could be improved by applying a healthy dose of cost transparency. Today the federal government took a giant step forward when they [...]

Opening Day: Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care

By | April 4th, 2014|Behavioral Health|

This was a milestone week for our behavioral health program.  Tuesday marked the start of our contract with Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care as the regional behavioral health authority in Maricopa County.  The transition has gone well this week.  Literally 100s of things had to go right in order to have a smooth transition- including Information [...]

What’s the Medical “Standard of Care” in an Emergency?

By | January 23rd, 2014|Preparedness|

Good question.  Disasters and public health emergencies can stress health care systems to the breaking point and disrupt delivery of vital medical services. For example-  hospitals and long-term care facilities may be without power; trained staff, ambulances, medical supplies, and beds could be in short supply; and alternate care facilities may need to be used.  [...]

Obesity Declared a Disease

By | June 21st, 2013|Prevention|

The American Medical Association voted to recognize obesity as a disease this week.  This is an important change… because the term “disease” in the managed care world means that that prevention and treatment is more medically necessary, justifying reimbursement for necessary interventions.  If obesity isn't a disease then I don't know what is.  Obesity has [...]

Smokers Cost Employers $6K More

By | June 10th, 2013|Affordable Care Act, Prevention|

A new Ohio State University study found smokers cost businesses about $6,000 more than nonsmokers every year.  The researchers used the cost of increased absenteeism, lost productivity, smoke breaks and health care  to reach the $6K/year figure – not surprisingly, smoke breaks account for the biggest share of the cost.  More and more businesses are creating stronger worksite wellness programs.  Arizona, for example, has [...]

AZ Healthy Community Design Tools

By | April 15th, 2013|Prevention|

Improving the health of Arizonans is critical to improving the quality of life as well as reducing health care costs. The most effective strategies are ones that incorporate the principles of population health… which includes health outcomes as well as the determinants that influence those outcomes including the public policy that influences the social and environmental [...]

The Health Care/Public Health Continuum

By | March 13th, 2013|Prevention|

In the world of health care- the clinician works with patients individually. They examine various indicators of health for their patient including direct observations and laboratory or other diagnostic tests and implement interventions to help their patient improve their health. Providers also encourage their patients to live healthy lifestyles and take safety precautions- and help [...]

New Affordable Care Act Proposed Rules Released

By | November 23rd, 2012|Affordable Care Act|

The US Dept. of Health & Human Services released 3 new Affordable Care Act proposed regulations this week…  including: 1) A proposed Rule regarding coverage requirements for pre-existing or chronic conditions; 2) A proposed Rule outlining policies and standards for coverage of essential health benefits; and 3) A proposed Rule implementing and expanding employment-based wellness [...]