AJMC® in the Press, January 26, 2018

January 26, 2018

Coverage of our peer-reviewed research and news reporting in the healthcare and mainstream press.

Studies published in The American Journal of Managed Care®'s (AJMC®’s) Health Information Technology (IT) special issue were featured in 2 of AHIP Solutions SmartBriefs. On Monday, the SmartBrief included 2 studies published in the issue. The first study, “Electronic Health Record ‘Super-Users’ and ‘Under-Users’ in Ambulatory Care Practices,” found that only 27% of small, rural, and specialty ambulatory practices were super-users, more than 40% were under-users, and 73% did not use technology to its full capacity. The second study, “Measuring Overuse with Electronic Health Records Data,” concluded that EHRs are an important source of data to quantify overuse and that EHRs can capture clinical information that often explains why a test or treatment is clinically indicated. Tuesday’s SmartBrief included the pair of studies, “Racial/Ethnic Variation in Devices Used to Access Patient Portals” and “Bridging the Digital Divide: Mobile Access to Personal Health Records Among Patients With Diabetes,” which identified ways that healthcare providers can use mobile health to increase engagement with minority populations.

Managed Care Magazine’s article on EHR usage also cited the AJMC® published study, “Electronic Health Record ‘Super-Users’ and ‘Under-Users’ in Ambulatory Care Practices.” The study concluded that to achieve broader benefits of the EHR and health IT, health systems and policy makers need to identify and address barriers to full use health IT functionalities.

The study, “Electronic Sharing of Diagnostic Information and Patient Outcomes,” which was published in AJMC®’s Health IT issue, was the focus of an article in EHR Intelligence. The study found that while sharing diagnostic data through EHRs within a system was associated with significantly lower 30-day patient mortality scores, sharing data through EHRs outside their system was associated with significantly higher 30-day patient mortality scores.

Also published in AJMC®’s Health IT issue, the study, “Electronic Health Record Problem Lists: Accurate Enough for Risk Adjustment?,” was included in a Healthcare Informatics article on inaccuracies in EHR problem list-based comorbidity data. The study found that these inaccuracies can lead to incorrect determinations of care mix, and such data should be validated prior to risk adjustment.

The AJMC® article, “Study Finds Prior Authorization Mandates for PCSK9 Drugs Raise Questions of Access,” was highlighted on Penn Medicine News. The article reported on a study led by authors at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, which found prior authorization requirements imposed by payers to prevent overuse of PCSK9 inhibitors are so burdensome that they raise questions whether patients with clear need for the cholesterol drugs are being denied access.

An article in Healthcare Dive mentioned a study published in AJMC®’s December issue. The study, “Impact of Consumer-Directed Health Plans on Low-Value Healthcare,” assessed the impact of consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) enrollment on low-value healthcare spending and found that switching from a traditional plan to a CDHP was associated with reduced overall outpatient spending. However, switching to a CDHP did not reduce spending on low-value healthcare services.

The Fix’s article on the opioid crisis and hospitals included an article in AJMC®. The AJMC® article, “Study Shows Emergency Departments Are Not to Blame for American Opioid Epidemic,” reported on study findings that found while emergency departments (EDs) are often singled out as the culprit of allotting excessive amounts of opioids to patients, office-based opioid prescriptions have increased 12% from 1996 to 2012, while ED use of opioids have decreased.