Dually Noted from around the web

April 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

The growing popularity of “care coordinators”
More and more, health systems, accountable care organizations, and medical practices are relying on care coordinators. Sometimes called “navigators,” care coordinators help patients manage their medications, arrange transportation to appointments, clarify confusing medical language, and more –like the “care managers” who are part of care teams for Commonwealth Care Alliance members. Many of the care coordinators working with healthcare organizations across the country have backgrounds as “medical assistants, social workers, emergency medical technicians and pharmacy technicians.”

217 suspected heroin deaths in MA so far this year
The Massachusetts State Police reports that the number of suspected heroin overdose deaths in the state now stands at 217 for 2015. The numbers, however, do not include statistics from the state’s three largest cities – Boston, Worcester, and Springfield – so, overall numbers are almost certainly higher.

In Lowell, where 12 have died over the last 90 days, local leaders, law enforcement, and health officials are calling for an increase in inpatient beds and a new, modern, comprehensive treatment facility.

Socioeconomics linked to poor outcomes in dual eligibles
A recent report found a strong link between poor health outcomes and the economic and social status of patients. Dual eligibles, many of whom face socioeconomic disadvantages, “have worse overall health outcomes even after controlling for their health coverage’s service quality,” according to the report. What’s more, the study states that measures used by the CMS star-quality system “don’t provide the full picture of dual eligibles’ healthcare circumstances, nor do they illustrate the complexity involved in their care needs.”

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