Dually Noted from around the web

April 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

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

Why we need “care coordinators”
Whether they are called “care coordinators,” “care managers,” or “navigators,” individuals who support and organize care for elderly or disabled individuals are growing in number and importance. A piece in the New York Times takes a long look at care coordinators, stating that “checking in with patients to help them manage chronic illnesses, find the services they need, understand their drug regimens, order medical equipment and adopt healthier habits could improve their well-being and ward off intensive and costly medical interventions.”

“Video advance directives” could improve end-of-life care
In a Boston Globe editorial, Dr. Angelo E. Volandes of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital calls for the use of “video advance directives.” Volandes says that paper forms commonly used for advance directives are often inadequate in guiding end-of-life care. Video directives, however, can “allow people to hear a patient’s emotional inflections and see their facial expressions,” as well as hear their words, helping families and care teams gain a better sense of the patient’s desires.

For more on end-of-life planning, listen to our Dually Heard podcast, featuring Dr. John Loughnane, Commonwealth Care Alliance’s Senior Vice President of Medical Services.

Report looks at behavioral health discrimination in health insurance
The Community Catalyst blog looks at a recent report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness on behavioral health discrimination in health insurance. According to the study, “health insurance denials for substance use and mental health care in private insurance plans were nearly twice those for other medical care in the last year.” The report also found a shortage of substance abuse and mental health providers in many insurance networks and “discriminatory drug tiering,” which creates barriers to needed treatments.

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