A new poll suggests that many older adults still aren't using online systems to communicate with the doctors and other health care providers they rely on - despite the widespread availability of such systems.

Only about half of people aged 50-80 have set up an account on a secure online access site, or "patient portal," offered by their health care provider, according to the new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Michigan statewide drug takeback event brings in over one ton of unused medications

On April 28, Michigan residents in 17 counties had a chance to get opioids and other unused and expired prescription medicines out of their medicine cabinets through 27 simultaneous events held around the state. The collective effort resulted in safely removing 2,000+ pounds of medication, including approximately 54,000 opioids.

Chad Brummett, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and co-director of the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network, said, "These events make our communities safer for everyone by removing these pills from potential diversion while also increasing awareness in the community about safe medication disposal."

Medicaid expansion leaves more money in recipients' pockets

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act reduced out-of-pocket medical expenses, allowing the poorest Americans to allocate their money for other life necessities, according to a new U-M study.

Joelle Abramowitz, Ph.D., M.A., an economist with the U-M Institute for Social Research, examined the extent to which the expansion alleviated the burden of out-of-pocket costs of getting health insurance and then using it. These include costs such as monthly premiums, doctor's visit copays and copays for medication, medical supplies and vision aids such as glasses or contacts.

To scan or not to scan: Research shows how to personalize lung cancer screening decisions

A new U-M study shows how to personalize the lung cancer screening decision for every patient. The results could help doctors fine-tune their advice to patients, so that it's based not just on a patient's individual lung cancer risk and the potential benefits and harms of screening, but also a likely range of patient attitudes about looking for problems and dealing with the consequences.

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the study, led by Tanner Caverly, M.D., M.P.H., U-M clinical lecturer of internal medicine, forms the backbone for new free online decision tools. Lung Decision Precision is aimed at physicians and their teams, while the website is for patients and their loved ones.

Behavioral health workforce faces critical challenges in meeting population needs

In a special supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, experts including Guest Editor Angela J. Beck, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of public health at the U-M School of Public Health and Director of the U-M Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center, focus on the key issue of behavioral health human resources for which substantial investment is needed to effect change. The set of articles collectively proposes strategies and best practices to guide success of the current and future behavioral health workforce. In one, U-M's Rebecca Haffajee, JD, Ph.D., M.P.H., and colleagues propose specific policies to address workforce barriers in several domains such as insufficient training and experience; lack of institutional and peer support; poor care coordination; stigma; and burdensome reimbursement and regulatory procedures.

Obstructive sleep apnea in older adults: Often present, seldom investigated

Older Americans are often at a high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, yet this illness remains vastly underdiagnosed, a new study finds. U-M researchers Tiffany Braley, M.D., and Ronald Chervin, M.D., M.S., found evidence that more than half of people ages 65 and older have a high risk of OSA, a sleep disorder in which the throat collapses during sleep, causing the patient to repeatedly stop breathing for periods of 10 seconds or longer throughout the night.

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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.
Points of Impact: Caroline Richardson, M.D.

Caroline Richardson, M.D., is the Dr. Max and Buena Lichter Research Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan. Her work focuses on preventing diabetes and promoting physical activity through low-cost programs and tools, including a line of research on wearable technology that well predates the advent of Fitbits, iPhones, and Apple Watches. Dr. Richardson discusses how her research is informing some key policy and practice issues related to diabetes prevention on a national scale, with an eye toward the ambitious goal of one day eliminating adult onset diabetes altogether.

Precision Medicine World Conference

Date: June 6 --- 7, 2018
Location: U-M Ross Business School

The 14th Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) will take place at U-M and coincides with the recent launch of  Precision Health at the University of Michigan.

This forum will showcase practical content that helps close the knowledge gap among different sectors. It will also feature innovative technologies and analyze the success of already thriving initiatives and clinical case studies that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care.

Conference co-hosts include Duke University, Duke Health, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford Health Care, and University of California San Francisco.
1998: U-M Child Health Evaluation and Research Center founded

The U-M Child Health Evaluation and Research Center (CHEAR), a multidisciplinary health services research unit based in the U-M Medical School's Division of General Pediatrics, was established 20 years ago. CHEAR brings together faculty from multiple pediatric subspecialty disciplines, other departments from the Medical School, and across U-M to address today's most pressing child health issues.

Discover more U-M health services milestones through our interactive timeline.
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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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