December 2019 | Volume 2
Reframing our priorities in healthcare is critical to curtailing waste and creating and delivering truly patient-focused care. We won’t spend our time building what matters to, and is most effective for, actual patients until we see unified leadership for key principles. Define outcomes and access that matters to patients WITH patients. Design care and services for the whole person. Be transparent (applies to everyone). Expand our view and usage of relevant evidence. Measure the effect on health. There are so many incentives and distractions that draw us away from these fundamental commitments. I look forward in 2020 to seeing (and leading) change in these areas. Happy Holidays!
There’s Nothing Wrong With US Health Care That Less Money Couldn’t Fix
The US health care system delivers a mix of the admirable and appalling, and most Americans are happy with it. Because most people are fairly healthy at any given time and therefore use relatively few medical services, it can be difficult for politicians to make the case for big change. On the other hand, big change, in response to a perennial health care “crisis,” has been the focus of well-documented initiatives now spanning more than 50 years.
Uncompensated care up significantly at US hospitals, led by Southeast
Uncompensated care is always something hospital managers keep an eye on. It can be a sign of the economic vitality of the communities they serve, but also reflective of the healthcare policies of the state and region in which they reside. The survey by Definitive Healthcare provides a snapshot of both, noting that the uninsured rate in the U.S. last year ranged from 9% to 13.5%.
The $11 Million Dollar Medicare Tool That Gives Seniors the Wrong Insurance Information
The federal government recently redesigned a digital tool that helps seniors navigate complicated Medicare choices, but consumer advocates say it’s malfunctioning with alarming frequency, offering inaccurate cost estimates and creating chaos in some states during the open enrollment period.
Unpacking the Black Box in Artificial Intelligence for Medicine
In clinics around the world, a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning is starting to supplement or replace humans in common tasks such as analyzing medical images. Already, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, “every one of the 50,000 screening mammograms we do every year is processed through our deep learning model, and that information is provided to the radiologist,” says Constance Lehman, chief of the hospital’s breast imaging division.
Hospital Groups Sue to Block Price-Transparency Rule
Hospital groups sued to block a Trump administration rule forcing them to disclose secret rates, for the first time laying out the industry’s legal strategy for defeating the president’s central health-policy initiative.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday says the rule compelling the hospitals to publish their negotiated rates with insurers violates the First Amendment and goes beyond the statutory intent of the Affordable Care Act.
Effect on Treatment Adherence of Distributing Essential Medicines at No Charge: The CLEAN Meds Randomized Clinical Trial
Question  Does providing a comprehensive set of essential medicines at no charge to primary care patients who have difficulty affording medicines improve treatment adherence?
Findings  In this randomized clinical trial of 786 primary care patients, free distribution of essential medicines vs usual access resulted in greater adherence to treatment with medicines (absolute risk difference, 11.6%).
Considering the Needs of Older Patients in Value Assessments
When we consider health care value, how can we assess the challenges faced by older patients with multiple diseases and their caregivers when making unique choices about their treatment options? It’s a question that is top of mind for Sue Peschin, MHS, President and CEO at the Alliance for Aging Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health.
How Patient-Centeredness Dramatically Benefits Research
This is a busy time for us here at PCORI. In the month or so since I joined the PCORI team as Interim Executive Director, I’ve had the great pleasure of learning more about the amazing portfolio of science supported by PCORI and of meeting many staff members and stakeholders to discuss our work. One of the things that has impressed me the most is the shared commitment to PCORI’s mission and the shared conviction that PCORI is having a transformative impact on the research enterprise.
Are We Really Measuring Quality?
Dr Wong responds to the commentary by Dr Valuck and colleagues, contemplating and evaluating the current quality measures used in care today. He posits that, rather than trying to develop, revise, and modify quality measures that are driven by innovation, we may be able to simplify the monitoring process with the development of high-level quality measures that do not require revisions as new innovations are developed and which are supported by process measurements to be used internally by practices to achieve their quality goals.
Michael Dowling: When it comes to health disparities, gaps in mental health treatment are the worst
One in 5 adults experience a mental illness, ranging from mild to severe. Of those 46.6 million adults, only 43 percent received care for their mental health over the course of a year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. For those who do seek care, there's often a long delay between the onset of symptoms and the healthcare they receive — 11 years on average, to be precise.

Passion + Quality = Change That Matters
I embrace the powerful opportunities in our evolving health care landscape. I founded Momentum Health Strategies to be a catalyst for change through continuous learning, diverse engagement and thoughtful policy and practice initiatives. I deliver innovative, strategic thinking and a passion for improving the patient experience. My personal drive and dedication to high-quality results will help you navigate the competitive terrain you face and convert your vision to action.

Momentum Health Strategies

Jennifer L Bright, MPA
(703) 628 - 0534