Dually Noted from around the web

May 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

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

New One Care report from the Kaiser Family Foundation
On his “Health Stew” blog, John McDonough of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health comments on the Kaiser Family Foundation’s new report on the One Care program. The report, he says, “describes the evolution and structure” of One Care and highlights Massachusetts’ efforts to bring “coordinated/managed care to the disabled duals under age 65.” McDonough says the report puts “a welcome spotlight” on One Care, a program he says is “confronting one of the most important challenges facing our health care system in the ACA era.”

The changing role of paramedics
Programs to expand the role paramedics are springing up across the country. In some cases, paramedics receive “extra training to provide more primary and preventive care and to take certain patients to urgent care or mental health clinics rather than more costly emergency rooms.” Many of these programs were spurred by the Affordable Care Act, which calls for steps to reduce spending, improve access to care, and boost quality.

Closer to home, Commonwealth Care Alliance has been partnering with the ambulance company EasCare on a program that expands the role of paramedics. Launched last year, this mobile integrated home health program has been using specially trained paramedics to bring in-home treatment for minor problems and injuries, as well as the management of acute issues related to chronic conditions, to our members in Eastern Massachusetts.

Few MA patients warned about addiction risks
Only 36% of patients questioned in a recent poll said that their doctors had warned them of the risks of becoming addicted to prescription painkillers. MA Governor Charlie Baker was shocked by the poll results, considering that painkiller abuse is seen as a “gateway” to heroin use. On the positive side, the survey also found that 71% of respondents “believe heroin is an extreme or very serious problem in the state.”

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