News Roundup

June News Roundup: Curbing ED Overuse in Atlanta and Physician Burnout Connected to Social Determinants of Health

June 4, 2019

Stay ahead of healthcare industry news for FQHC and Health Center leaders with our monthly roundups. We curate the most important developments around healthcare technology, underserved patient care, value-based care, social determinants of health, and more to keep you informed in your role as a healthcare leader.

 

Atlanta's Primary Safety Net Hospital Curbs ER Overuse

 

Grady Memorial was seeing too many patients coming to the ED for concerns like prescription refills, and care for chronic conditions, so they launched a program that targets ED “frequent flyers” and helps them make better use of ED services.

The program consists of a care team that has physician oversight as well as a clinic. Their Chronic Care Clinic has a goal of reducing unnecessary ED use and connecting patients — many who are poor, jobless, or homeless, and dealing with chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes — with the medical and social services that fit their needs.

 

FQHCs in Expansion States are Winning at Value-based Care

Evidence is emerging that FQHCs in states that signed on for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion are more stable and better equipped to improve patient access than their non-expansion counterparts.

A report from The Commonwealth Fund reveals that health centers were more likely to report a boost to financial stability (69% vs. 41%) and in their ability to provide their patients with affordable care (76% vs 52%) since the ACA kicked off.

 

How Community Health Centers Can Boost Patient Access at MAT

As the opioid crisis continues to pose new challenges, Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) programs are emerging as playing a major part in addressing the problem through medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that this subset of CHCs provides a disproportionately large share of buprenorphine-based MAT and a growing opportunity to identify program “champions” and improve program flexibility. They also have reported services like educating homeless service providers on the role of MAT in recovery and ensuring patients can access housing or shelter while in treatment.

 

Medicaid Agencies are Taking on Social Determinants of Health 

State Medicaid programs across the country are using their position to address social determinants of health. Currently, all states have the option to financially support healthcare organizations in connecting patients with social supports including food and housing resources. Research published in Health Affairs examines existing efforts by looking at Oregon and California Medicaid programs as examples.

 

Fighting Antibiotic Resistance with HEDIS Measures 

The war against antibiotic resistance rages on, making information about antibiotic prescribing practices even more valuable. While the information is largely difficult to come by, HEDIS measures address antibiotics and are being proposed as a method to assess antibiotic use, specifically in treating bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, and pharyngitis.

 

Connecting Physician Burnout and Social Determinants of Health 

Physicians are facing record levels of burnout, and that might be influencing their attitudes around social determinants of health.

While the majority of newer physicians believe that something like transportation assistance would help their patients, only a small minority believe it’s their office’s responsibility to help. This perspective might be partly due to doctors already feeling overwhelmed by existing administrative demands. Research is finding that addressing patients’ social needs might actually help reduce physician burnout.

 

 

Want to learn more about the steps CareMessage is taking to address social determinants of health? Start here.

Contact us using the form below.