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Advancing Primary Care Delivery: Practical, Proven, and Scalable Approaches

October 3, 2014 Comments off

Advancing Primary Care Delivery: Practical, Proven, and Scalable Approaches (PDF)
Source: UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization
From press release:

With 50 million Americans lacking adequate access to primary care – a shortfall set to worsen in coming years – UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) Center for Health Reform & Modernization issued a report today highlighting practical and scalable solutions that can increase primary care capacity and access to needed services, and improve care delivery.

In the report “Advancing Primary Care Delivery: Practical, Proven and Scalable Approaches,” new research shows a clear relationship between more primary care physicians practicing in a local health care market and lower rates of avoidable hospital admissions and emergency department visits. However, even with an aging and sicker population and reductions in the uninsured, primary care office visits declined between 2012 and 2013.

The report also finds that the lowest concentration of primary care physicians occurs in areas with the lowest incomes and highest rates of uninsured, as well as in rural areas, indicating that focusing on physician supply alone may not address the largest gaps in primary care capacity.

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America’s Health Rankings: Senior Report

July 3, 2013 Comments off

America’s Health Rankings: Senior Report (PDF)
Source: United Health Foundation

Today, 1 in 8 Americans are aged 65 or older; in the next two decades, another 79 million baby boomers will move into this demographic. The growing number of seniors combined with the increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases may overwhelm our ability to care for our seniors. This report shows that the health needs of seniors are more costly, and also differ greatly from the younger population. Nearly 80 percent of seniors have been diagnosed with at least 1 chronic condition and half have been diagnosed with at least 2.

The increased burden of chronic disease among seniors means additional visits to the doctor and medications to manage, and a negative effect on their overall well-being. Additionally, this report explores the incidence and implications of other health factors such as limited mobility, social isolation and the need and availability of long-term care.

We want this report to be more than just an assessment of the current status of senior health. We want to promote a public discussion of the overall health of the age 65+ population that is comprehensive and balanced. We call on communities, governments, individuals and organizations to become increasingly aware of the breadth of issues facing our seniors and to learn where and how to take action to improve the health of our seniors today, and to prepare for the challenges posed by the future.

Modernizing Rural Health Care: Coverage, quality and innovation

August 3, 2011 Comments off

Modernizing Rural Health Care: Coverage, quality and innovation (PDF)
Source: UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization

Why produce a paper on rural health care? First, because it’s a topic that affects many millions of people. Indeed, if rural America were its own country, its population would be larger than nearly 90 percent of the world’s nations. And second, because although rural communities face many of the same challenges as the rest of America, they also face some unique ones — particularly when it comes to health and health care.

This working paper sets out to examine the distinctive health needs of rural populations, and how well the health care system is currently able to respond. It presents new data on rural care quality; on the views of people living in rural areas; and what their physicians see as the major challenges to overcome. Solutions to these challenges will need to embrace a wide spectrum of practical and complementary approaches, recognizing the heterogeneity of rural communities. For that reason, this working paper also draws on the ‘real world’ experience of innovative rural care systems and of UnitedHealth Group, in fields as varied as rural provider payment reform, rural telemedicine, the provision of mobile clinics, and support for the critical role played by nurses in rural communities.

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