Study Examines How Consumer Attitudes Affect Health Insurance Enrollment and Medical Spending
Editor's Note: The next AHRQ Electronic Newsletter will be published on September 9.
Among people age 65 and over, the portion of total expenses for hospital inpatient stays was lower in 2011 than in 2001, while the portions for ambulatory care and prescribed medicines were higher. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #429: Trends in Health Care Expenditures for the Elderly, Age 65 and Over: 2001, 2006, and 2011.)
- Study Examines How Consumer Attitudes Affect Health Insurance Enrollment and Medical Spending.
- AHRQ's Web M&M Highlights Safety in the Ambulatory Setting.
- September 16 Webinar To Introduce Success Stories From Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture.
- Registration Open for Seventh Annual Dissemination and Implementation Conference.
- AHRQ in the Professional Literature.
Certain attitudes are likely to influence decisions about whether and when to use health care services, according to a study by AHRQ's Steven B. Cohen, Ph.D. The study examines the persistence of high levels of expenditures over time, the factors most likely to drive health care spending and the characteristics of individuals who incur high costs. Results were published online in the Journal of Economic and Social Measurement in an article, "The influence of health care preferences on insurance enrollment and medical expenditure behaviors." Based on nationally representative longitudinal data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the study found that individuals who said they were healthy and did not need insurance coverage were substantially less likely to incur medical expenses relative to those who consistently disagreed with that classification. In addition, adults under age 65 who thought health coverage wasn’t worth the cost were three times more likely to remain uninsured, compared with those who disagreed.
The current issue of AHRQ Web M&M features a Spotlight Case about 49-year-old man admitted to the emergency department (ED) with bruising from a fall and persistent pain on his left side who was kept overnight due to overcrowding in the ED. The previous day he had gone to a different ED after falling from his truck, and he was given nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and sent home. He went to the second ED because of persistent and worsening pain in the left arm, chest, abdomen and thigh. Late on the second day, he had increased respiratory distress and developed septic shock. A second evaluation by the surgical service indicated necrotizing fasciitis, a condition for which early diagnosis is difficult and misdiagnosis is common. The issue also features an interview about safety in the ambulatory setting with Urmimala Sarkar, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, and a primary care physician at San Francisco General Hospital. The Perspectives section of the issue features an article by Margaret Plews-Ogan, M.D., M.S., of the University of Virginia, about the new landscape of patient safety in outpatient care.
AHRQ is hosting a webinar on September 16 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET to highlight results from the new 2014 Medical Office User Comparative Database Report. Speakers will share how their organizations have used the AHRQ Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture and improved their patient safety culture over time. The survey is designed to measure the culture of patient safety in medical offices from the perspective of providers and staff.
- Juanita Stroud, patient safety director, Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Bev Funaro, R.N., director of quality and regulatory affairs, Yuma District Hospital and Clinics, Yuma, Colorado.
- Moderator: Theresa Famolaro, M.P.S., database manager, AHRQ surveys on patient safety culture, Westat, Rockville, Maryland.
The comparative database report consists of data from 935 medical offices and 27,103 medical office staff respondents who completed the survey between November 2011 and November 2013. It was developed as a tool to allow medical offices to compare their patient safety culture survey results with other medical offices; to provide data to medical offices to encourage internal assessment and learning; and to provide supplemental information to help medical offices identify their strengths and areas with potential for improvement. There is no cost to participate and registration is open.
Register now for the Seventh Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation, scheduled for December 8 and 9 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The transformation of health care and public health toward a system that optimizes individual and population health is well underway, with significant expenditures at risk. As policymakers, employers, providers and patients respond to new demands to show that health care delivery and public health systems can reliably deliver evidence-based and patient-centered services, many are eager to learn what works, for whom, in what contexts and at what cost. As a forum for bringing new developments in the science of dissemination and implementation, the seventh annual conference aims to engage researchers and experts by bridging the gap between evidence, practice and policy in health care and public health. The conference is co-hosted by the National Institutes of Health and AcademyHealth and co-sponsored by AHRQ, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The deadline for online registration is December 1.
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