AHRQ Study: Web-Based Mapping Platform Can Identify Areas for Health Insurance Outreach
About 36 percent of Hispanics under age 65 were uninsured in the first part of 2013, substantially more than blacks, Asian or Pacific Islanders, whites and other non-Hispanics. Among all age groups, young adults ages 19 to 29 had the greatest likelihood of being uninsured, with more than one-third of them lacking health care coverage. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #447: The Uninsured in America, First Part of 2013: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population under Age 65.)
- AHRQ Study: Web-Based Mapping Platform Can Identify Areas for Health Insurance Outreach.
- New Study Examines Early Elective Newborn Deliveries in 22 State Medicaid Programs.
- New AHRQ Report Describes Framework for Measuring Diagnostic Error.
- Register Now: January 28 AHRQ Webinar on Meeting Stage 3 Meaningful Use Objectives.
- Register Now: January 29 Webinar on How Practice Facilitators Can Support Patient Engagement in Primary Care.
- AHRQ in the Professional Literature.
Web-based mapping tools to visualize and identify geographic areas where patients have low rates of health insurance can enable more effective outreach that can lead to uninsured patients obtaining coverage, a new AHRQ study concludes. It used electronic health records from 52 Oregon health clinics, segmented by ZIP code. Differences in coverage were observed within smaller geographic areas using Web-based mapping tools than would be possible using publicly available data. The visualizations were particularly helpful in identifying areas where the need for outreach might be unexpected. For example, more than 34 percent of patients in one ZIP code were uninsured, despite living in an area with incomes near the national average. The authors concluded that the technology shows potential for broader use in identifying areas of uninsured patients, as well as identifying other health care practice and community needs. "Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Identify Communities in Need of Health Insurance Outreach: An OCHIN Practice-based Research Network (PBRN) Report" and the abstract were published in the November-December issue of The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.
Early elective deliveries can lead to poor health outcomes for both women and their newborns, while generating additional costs for patients and insurance providers, according to results of a new AHRQ-funded study that examined the incidence of early elective deliveries in 22 State Medicaid programs. Medicaid pays for up to 48 percent of all births in the United States each year. Early elective deliveries are non-medically indicated labor inductions or cesarean deliveries of infants with a confirmed gestational age of less than 39 weeks. The 22 states that participated in the project provided data on elective deliveries in the period 2010–2012. After finding that approximately 9 percent of Medicaid single births were early elective deliveries, researchers estimated that 160,000 early elective Medicaid deliveries nationwide occur each year. The study offers additional evidence and tools to further reduce the number of such deliveries. An article and abstract, "Early Elective Deliveries Accounted for Nearly 9 Percent of Births Paid for by Medicaid," were published in the December 2014 issue of Health Affairs.
A new AHRQ-supported report published in BMJ Quality & Safety describes a conceptual model called the Safer Dx Framework that is designed to systematically measure and monitor diagnostic errors. The Safer Dx Framework examines diagnostic safety from three perspectives: variables within the environment in which diagnoses take place (such as the internal physical/organizational medical setting), the process for making diagnoses (such as interpersonal aspects between clinician/patient) and patient outcomes (patient health status or behavior). The authors said the Safer Dx Framework is intended to facilitate feedback and learning that can improve diagnostic safety and help make it a safety priority within the medical organization. They said that diagnostic error is a relatively understudied and unmeasured area of patient safety and that most health care organizations lack the tools and strategies to address it or make it a patient safety priority. The report, "Advancing the Science of Measurement of Diagnostic Errors in Health Care: The Safer Dx Framework," was published online January 14.
AHRQ is hosting a webinar January 28 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. ET on meeting stage 3 meaningful use objectives. This presentation will outline findings from research on meaningful use of clinical decision support, care coordination and the use of electronic health records in pediatric primary care settings. Determination of continuing medical education credit with the American Academy of Family Physicians is pending. Registration is open.
AHRQ is hosting a webinar January 29 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. ET about how practice facilitators can support patient engagement. Practice facilitators can help practices improve how they engage patients by helping them gather feedback and ideas from their patients and use the information to redesign visits and services to support better patient engagement and improved patient experience. The webinar will feature the experiences of a practice facilitator who worked successfully with practice leaders and patients to transform diabetes care visits in primary care. Patient engagement is a central element of the patient-centered medical home as well as a patient's own experience of their care. Speakers include:
- Lyndee Knox, Ph.D., CEO, LA Net Community Health Resource Network, Los Angeles.
- Cindy Brach, M.P.P., senior health policy researcher, AHRQ.
- Adrienne Deswert, R.N., B.S.N., R.N. Care Manager, Annville Family Medicine, Annville, Pennsylvania.
This is the fourth in a series of webinars hosted by AHRQ's Prevention and Chronic Care Program to share the Agency's tools and resources for training primary care practice facilitators. The first three webinar topics were practice facilitation case studies, use of health information technology and supporting leaders to promote patient safety. Registration is open.
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