July 22, 2011
AHRQ News and Numbers
Nationwide, private-sector employees with single coverage contributed 21 percent of the cost of their health insurance and employees with family coverage paid 27 percent. Health insurance premiums nationwide averaged $4,940 for single coverage and $13,871 for family coverage in 2010. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Statistical Brief #329: State Differences in the Cost of Job-Related Health Insurance, 2010.]
- AHRQ releases MONAHRQ Version 2.0
- New report and designer's guide outlines the role of human factors in home health care
- New series on Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science
- New Data Points report on prevalence and Medicare reimbursement is available
- AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange highlights health IT and care coordination
- A national agenda for research in collaborative care
- Highlights from our most recent monthly newsletter
- AHRQ in the professional literature
1. AHRQ Releases MONAHRQ Version 2.0
AHRQ has released Version 2.0 of MONAHRQ, its unique, desktop, Windows ®-based software application for developing Web sites for hospital quality public reporting or research use. MONAHRQ 2.0 gives users the ability to report the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Hospital Compare measure results along with or instead of, their own inpatient discharge data. AHRQ has also updated the 2.0 Web page design to be more streamlined and user friendly. Web sites created with MONAHRQ 2.0 provide information in four areas:
- Quality of care for specific hospitals.
- Provision of services by hospitals for health conditions and procedures.
- Potentially avoidable hospitalizations.
- Rates of health conditions and procedures.
Select to download MONAHRQ 2.0. To explore a live MONAHRQ-generated Web site generated using MONAHRQ 2.0 and synthetic data, visit AHRQ's new MONAHRQ demo. For any questions or comments, please send an E-mail to MONAHRQ@ahrq.gov.
2. Report and Designer's Guide Outlines the Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care
A new report and consumer health IT designer's guide published by the National Academies of Science and AHRQ outline the impact of technology, environment, policy and human factors on the growing field of home health care. The report, Health Care Comes Home: The Human Factors, describes the areas in which human factors can influence health care in the home; what devices and tools are available; and the changes health information technology has created in the delivery of home health care. It also discusses the ways different cultures approach health care in the home and the effects that policy and regulations can have on health care in the home. The report offers recommendations on next steps to ensure quality health care in the home setting. As a companion to the report, a consumer health IT designer's guide, Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home: A Guide for Human Factors Design Considerations, was also published. This guide offers consumer health IT developers and vendors guidance on issues to consider for health IT systems to be used in the home and provides home health professionals guidance in selecting tools to complement professional home care services.
Select to read the report and recommendations and select for the designer's guide .
3. New Series on Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science
AHRQ has released a new series on Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science. In 2004, AHRQ launched a series of reports on quality improvement strategies, tools, and processes aimed at reducing gaps in quality in a number of areas, including hypertension, diabetes, coordination of care, and other topics. This new series of reports continues the focus on improving the quality of health care with the goal of applying and advancing the state of the science for improving the health care system for the benefit of all patients. Select to read about the new series of reports.
4. New Data Points Report on Prevalence and Medicare Reimbursement Is Available
A new Data Points report, Prevalence and Medicare Reimbursement by Recurrent International Classification of Diseases Categories, 2006-2009 is available. This report examines disease burden among Medicare beneficiaries and associated reimbursement costs within inpatient, outpatient, and skilled nursing facility claims. It also examines geographic trends in reimbursement per claim for high-cost conditions that are common in the Medicare population. Select to access the new report.
5. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Highlights Health IT and Care Coordination
This week's issue of AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange features three profiles of programs that use electronic systems in the coordination of care, with a focus on patient referrals and care transitions. One such innovation is the electronic handoff note sent by community physicians to emergency department (ED) physicians when referring patients to the ED. The note, which includes demographic information, expected arrival time, and a clinical summary, is entered into the patient's electronic medical record so that hospital clinicians can easily access the patient's information at the point of care. This issue also features an article on addressing health disparities. Select to read more innovations and tools about health IT and care coordination on AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site.
6. A National Agenda for Research in Collaborative Care
Three research papers from an AHRQ-funded Collaborative Care Research Network Research Development Conference are available on AHRQ's Web site. The papers describe the creation of a research agenda for collaborative care among primary care and mental health clinicians. Collaborative care is an important function of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), and one avenue toward achieving PCMH goals for health, patient experience, and affordability. Select to access the research papers.
7. Highlights from Our Most Recent Monthly Newsletter
The July issue of Research Activities is available online. Key articles include:
- Some patients hospitalized for stroke more likely to keep taking drugs to prevent another stroke.
There are 180,000 recurrent strokes each year in the United States. Patients hospitalized for stroke are more likely to continue taking their medication to prevent another stroke after hospital discharge depending on their knowledge of the medications, self-reported quality of life, and access to health insurance. Select to read this article.
Other articles include:as
- Communication problems between hospitalists and primary care providers lead to post-discharge problems for seniors.
- No link found between chemotherapy in older women with breast cancer and later cognitive impairment.
- Antibiotics are modestly more effective than no treatment for middle ear infections in children.
Select to read these articles and others.
8. AHRQ in the Professional Literature
We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.
Wong CY, Chaudhry SI, Desai MM, et al. Trends in comorbidity, disability, and polypharmacy in heart failure. Am J Med 2011 Feb; 124(2):136-43. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.
Woreta TA, Sutcliffe CG, Mehta SH, et al. Incidence and risk factors for steatosis progression in adults coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus. Gastroenterology 2011 Mar; 140(3):809-17. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.
Fleming NS, Culler SD, McCorkle R, et al. The financial and nonfinancial costs of implementing electronic health records in primary care practices. Health Aff 2011 Mar; 30(3):481-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.
Sarkar U, Schillinger D, López A, et al. Validation of self-reported health literacy questions among diverse English and Spanish-speaking populations. J Gen Intern Med 2011 Mar; 26(3):265-71. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.
Pahel BT, Rozier RG, Stearns SC, et al. Effectiveness of preventive dental treatments by physicians for young Medicaid enrollees. Pediatrics 2011 Mar; 127(3):e682-e689. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.
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Current as of July 2011
AHRQ Electronic Newsletter, July 22, 2011, Issue #321. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/enews/enews321.htm