Thursday, April 28, 2011

Snapshots: Health Care Spending in the United States & Selected OECD Countries - Kaiser Family Foundation

Health spending is rising faster than incomes in most developed countries, which raises questions about how countries will pay for their future health care needs. The issue is particularly acute in the United States, which not only spends much more per capita on health care, but also has had one of the highest spending growth rates. Both public and private health expenditures are growing at rates which outpace comparable countries. Despite this higher level of spending, the United States does not achieve better outcomes on many important health measures. This paper uses information from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to compare the level and growth rate of health care spending in the United States to those of other OECD countries.

Rural Health Information Technology Network Development (RHITND) Program

The purpose of the RHITND Program is to expand access to, coordinate and improve the quality of essential health care services, and enhance the delivery of health care in rural areas. The program will support rural providers who work in formal networks, alliances, coalitions or partnerships in their effort to effectively acheive "meaningful use" requirements. Funds provided through this program are not used for direct delivery of services. Upon completion of the grant program, a network should have completed a thorough strategic planning process, business planning process, and have a sounds strategy in place for sustaining its operations. Applications are due May 27, 2011.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Opportunities and Challenges for Rural Hospitals in an Era of Health Reform

Rural hospitals are a vital yet vulnerable component of the American health care system. They provide their patients with the highest quality of care while simultaneously tackling challenges due to their often remote geographic location, small size, limited workforce, and constrained financial resources. Courtesy of the American Hospital  Association.  Download the brief here and a MS PowerPoint "chartpack" here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Directions in Medical Liability Reform

This study in the New England Journal of Medicine reviews what is known about the effectiveness of various strategies for liability reform and the implications for the future direction of reform.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Regina Holliday's Medical Advocacy Blog

Regina Holliday, patient rights art advocate and keynote speaker at the 2011 Oklahoma Rural Hospital Conference, discusses the role of the patient in relation to quality and health information technology.  Regina discusses her trip to Oklahoma and a painting she drew while attending the conference in this entry in her blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Health Information Technology in Support of Patient-Centered Medical Homes Is Low among Non-metropolitan Family Medicine Practices

This rural health policy brief from the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis finds that the use of HIT applications that support patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) is low among family medicine practices; non-metropolitan physician practices are less likely than metropolitan practices to be using HIT applications that support PCMHs, and that current use of electronic information is predominantly for administrative purposes, not patient care.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Health Resources County Comparison Tool

Provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Health Resources Comparison Tool allows users to access an array of health and socioeconomic data for every county in the U.S. Further, the tool permits a simultaneous comparison among four different counties and generates a list of "peer counties" which have similar data profiles.

2011 State Physician Workforce Data Release

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published its 2011 State Physician Workforce Data Release.  In the release, the AAMC reports that Oklahoma ranks 45th in the country for its rate of active physicians per 100,000 population.  Without Oklahoma's extremely high rate of active osteopathic physicians per 100,000 population (3rd in the nation), Oklahoma would have ranked last in the country for active physicians per 100,000 population.

Presentations & Handouts from the 9th Annual Oklahoma Rural Hospital Conference

Download copies of the presentations and handouts from the 9th Annual Oklahoma Rural Hospital Conference held in Oklahoma City (April 11-13, 2011). Courtesy of the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reducing Hospital Readmissions - Lessons from Top-Performing Hospitals

The Commonwealth Fund has published four case studies on hospitals that have been successful at reducing hospital readmissions.  Review these case studies from the Commonwealth Fund's health care quality improvement website, "Why Not The Best," to learn how your hospital can reduce readmission rates.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Place­based Policies and Public Health: The Road to Healthy Rural People and Places

Effective place-based policies can influence how rural and metropolitan areas develop, how well they function as places to live, work, operate a business, preserve heritage, and more. Properly  designed public policies can integrate federal programs and contribute to the prosperity, equity, sustainability, and livability of places. Published by RUPRI.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Changes in Obstetrical Services among Critical Access Hospitals

Obstetrical services are important health services to communities. Previous surveys by the Flex Monitoring Team have found that obstetrical services are a line of service commonly discontinued by Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Furthermore, in a recent survey of financial improvement strategies, administrators of CAHs reported “increasing OB beds” as having a negative impact on financial performance.