MANAGED CARE December 2010. ©MediMedia USA
Adding pharmacists to the primary care team right in doctors’ offices might help patients with chronic diseases manage their risks better, a new University of Alberta study suggests. The blood pressure of patients with type 2 diabetes dropped significantly when pharmacists were included in the on-site clinical examination and consulting process. Nearly 54 percent of patients who had received advice from a pharmacist were more likely to reach blood pressure treatment targets.... Urologists who own their practices ordered more imaging than urologists who receive a salary, according to data from the National Ambulatory Medicare Care Survey. More than 1 in 5 urology visits resulted in imaging, with nearly twice as many self-employed urologists ordering imaging tests than urologists employed by a health care institution (24.2 percent vs. 13.2 percent). Findings are in the December issue of the Journal of Urology.... After three months in operation, enrollment in high-risk pools has been anemic, with just 8,011 enrolled nationwide. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act established the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan for people with pre-existing conditions until 2014, when private insurers are required to accept all applicants. Richard Popper, director of insurance programs at the Department of Health and Human Services, says, “It takes a while for advocates and stakeholders to realize there’s this new plan.” Meanwhile, come January 1, HHS will give consumers choices of plans with different costs and deductibles, hoping to draw more interest and enrollees.