Encouraging news about the future supply of doctors: For the first time the number enrolling in medical schools in the United States exceeded 20,000, says the Association for American Medical Colleges. The 2013–2014 school year sees enrollment of 20,055 students. Four new medical schools opened this year, and existing schools are expanding class sizes, researchers say.... Health literacy tests might benefit patients and doctors alike, according to a study in the journal Surgery. They could give patients a more positive outlook on their treatments while giving physicians a better idea of just what patients do and don’t understand. The tests need to be short and simple, though.
Managed Care’s Top Ten Articles of 2016
There’s a lot more going on in health care than mergers (Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna) creating huge players. Hundreds of insurers operate in 50 different states. Self-insured employers, ACA public exchanges, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid managed care plans crowd an increasingly complex market.
They bring a different mindset. They’re willing to work in teams and focus on the sort of evidence-based medicine that can guide health care’s transformation into a system based on value. One question: How well will this new generation of data-driven MDs deal with patients?
A flood of tests have insurers ramping up prior authorization and utilization review. Information overload is a problem. As doctors struggle to keep up, health plans need to get ahead of the development of the technology in order to successfully manage genetic testing appropriately.
More companies are self-insuring—and it’s not just large employers that are striking out on their own. The percentage of employers who fully self-insure increased by 44% in 1999 to 63% in 2015. Self-insurance may give employers more control over benefit packages, and stop-loss protects them against uncapped liability.