February 2018 EDITION
Too much of a good thing? Overuse of health care 
U-M/AARP National Poll on Healthy Aging looks at perceived overuse of tests and medicines from the patient's perspective

Doctors and older patients may disagree more often than either of them suspects about whether a particular medical test or medicine is truly necessary, according to findings from a new poll of Americans over age 50.

Only 14 percent of people over age 50 believe that more is usually better when it comes to health care, according to the new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Grass-roots effort succeeds in making colon surgery safer

A new study published by a team from the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative and IHPI members Greta Krapohl, Ph.D., R.N., Darrell Campbell, M.D., Samantha Hendren, M.D., M.P.H., and Michael Englesbe, M.D., points to a way to reduce the risk of infections after colectomies for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have such operations each year because of cancer, polyps, diverticulitis, or inflammatory bowel disease.

The findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, document an approach that was associated with a nearly 50 percent reduction in surgical site infections over four years among 5,742 patients who had colectomies at 52 Michigan hospitals. The effort used a collaborative, voluntary, evidence-driven approach to encourage hospitals to change three steps taken by patients and providers before, during, and after colectomy.

Medicare patients nationwide will get a chance to try U-M-developed insurance idea

A health insurance concept born from U-M research may soon reach millions of people covered by Medicare across the United States, and allow them to keep more dollars in their wallets while getting treated for chronic diseases such as diabetes, depression and heart failure.

The new national budget signed by President Trump instructs the agency that runs Medicare to allow Medicare Advantage plans in all 50 states to test "value based insurance design" for people with chronic health conditions. And a bipartisan bill just introduced in the House and Senate could allow private insurers to do the same for anyone with a high-deductible health plan.

The V-BID concept was developed by the U-M Center for Value-Based Insurance Design led by Mark Fendrick, M.D., professor of internal medicine and public health.

Progress, but far from perfection, on avoiding risky sedatives in older adults

They help many people sleep, or feel calmer or less anxious. But in older people, they also double the risk of car crashes, falls, and broken hips. That's why the medications known as benzodiazepines show up on international guidelines as drugs that very few people over the age of 65 should take.

Currently, about seven percent of older veterans in the United States have a benzodiazepine prescription, and the numbers are even higher in Canada and Australia, according to the study published in the  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by Donovan Maust, M.D., M.S., and Eve Kerr, M.D., M.P.H.

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The Institute brings great minds together to address healthcare's biggest challenges. More than 500 investigators come to IHPI from U-M's top-ranked schools of medicine, nursing, public health, engineering, social work, law, business, and public policy, among others, as well as members of affiliated local research organizations.
Mendez member of National Academies committee that released new report on e-cigarettes

David Mendez, Ph.D., M.S., M.S., associate professor of health management and policy, was a member of the Committee on the Review of the Health Effects of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, which released the new report, "Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes."

The report, which was congressionally mandated from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, takes a comprehensive look at evidence on the human health effects of e-cigarettes.

Opioids and the intersection between law and health

Combining detailed legal analyses with empirical investigations of the relationships between law and health, Rebecca Haffajee, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of health management and policy, explores the ways in which law facilitates or serves as a barrier to patient access to quality healthcare and improved population health outcomes. Her research emphasizes the areas of behavioral health and pharmaceutical policy, including the evaluation of mental health/substance abuse parity and laws intended to prevent opioid addiction and misuse.

Recently, Haffajee spoke about the potential effectiveness of recent opioid lawsuits, opioid public health emergency declarations, and Purdue Pharma's decision to stop promoting OxyContin to doctors. Meanwhile, her NEJM article on drug companies' liability for the opioid epidemic was referenced in  The Guardian and U.S. News & World Report.
Newborn screening recommendations expanded to include leading genetic cause of infant death

On February 8, the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) recommended that all U.S. newborns be screened at birth for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a neuromuscular disease that is currently the leading genetic cause of death for infants under two years of age. The committee's recommendation, which now goes to the HHS Secretary for approval, was based in part on evidence presented by Lisa Prosser, Ph.D., M.S., professor of pediatrics and health management and policy, who led decision analyses to evaluate the projected benefits and harms of universal SMA screening.


As CNN's medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, M.D., has covered many disasters, medical discoveries, epidemics, and catastrophes ---- enough to see the crucial role of effective and timely communication of health information.

On March 23 --- 25, he and his wife Rebecca will team up with U-M to host an innovation event aimed at generating new ideas and tools to improve health communication.

The marathon weekend event, called the Gupta Family Hackathon, will include more than 200 students and professionals from the worlds of health, digital technology, design, communication, and information science. Teams will form, work over the weekend, and present their prototypes for judging, competing for a chance to develop their ideas further with the help of U-M mentors.

Organized by IHPI, the event is co-supported by a gift from the Guptas and by Michigan Medicine, U-M's academic medical center.

Learn more and apply at guptahacks.org

In this webinar from the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation, speakers explored strategies to help patients manage pain while minimizing the danger of opioid misuse. Mike Englesbe, M.D., professor of surgery, and Tom Leyden, MBA, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, spoke on Michigan's opioid prevention efforts. WATCH HERE
Living Well with Dementia

Helen Kales, M.D., professor of psychiatry, participated in an expert panel discussion with Kaiser Health News in February on improving care and services for people with dementia and supporting their caregivers. WATCH HERE

See all upcoming events on our Events page
Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) launched 50 years ago

The longest running longitudinal household survey in the world, the PSID began at U-M's Institute for Social Research in 1968 with a nationally representative sample of over 18,000 individuals living in 5,000 families in the United States. Information on these individuals and their descendants has been collected continuously, including data covering employment, income, wealth, expenditures, health, marriage, childbearing, child development, philanthropy, education, and numerous other topics. More than 4,000 peer-reviewed publications have been based on the PSID.

The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation is committed to improving the quality, safety, equity, and affordability of healthcare services.

To carry out our ambitious mission, our efforts are focused in four areas:
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IHPI Informs is published monthly by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation.
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