MANAGED CARE March 2010. ©MediMedia USA
Policies that create environments that support healthier eating, lower sodium consumption, and increased physical activity offer greater promise of reducing hypertension than does merely educating people about the dangers of high blood pressure, according to the Institute of Medicine’s “A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension.” And who could argue, when nearly one third of all U.S. adults have hypertension, which accounts for about 1 in 6 adult deaths annually.... Medical practice leaders are dissatisfied with Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), according to the Medical Group Management Association’s recent member survey. The respondents cited arduous administrative challenges when trying to review feedback reports. And when those reports are reviewed, doctors express little to no satisfaction with the reports themselves.... Speaking of reports, a new one from the Department of Health and Human Services lists premium rate hikes requested by insurers in Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. “America’s largest insurance companies have requested premium increases of 56 percent in Michigan, 24 percent in Connecticut, 23 percent in Maine, 20 percent in Oregon, and 16 percent in Rhode Island,” says HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.