News and Commentary

Headlines on Deadline May 2009

As Congress considers various proposals to reform the health care system, America’s Health Insurance Plans has issued a report that highlights measurable results that private health insurance pay-for-performance programs have achieved. The report, Innovations in Recognizing and Rewarding Quality, describes models that have reduced costs, enhanced quality, and improved patient satisfaction.... Use of e-prescribing — electronic prescription benefit, history, and routing — jumped 61 percent in the first quarter of 2009, compared to the past two years according to Surescripts, an electronic prescribing network. That amounts to more than 134 million e-⁠prescribing messages being exchanged among providers, payers, and pharmacies. Imagine the bill from your mobile carrier if these were text messages.... More than half of primary care physicians who reported problems getting mental health services for their patients cited lack of insurance coverage, inadequate coverage, health plan barriers, and shortages of mental health providers as “very important” reasons their patients couldn’t get care. These findings appear in the article “Beyond Parity: Primary Care Physicians’ Perspectives on Access to Mental Health Care,” in the April issue of Health Affairs.


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