HealthPopuli.com http://www.healthpopuli.com Health/Care is Everywhere Thu, 22 Sep 2016 22:24:37 +0000 en-EN hourly 1 14255750 The Reshaping Medical Tourism Market: More US Patients Seek Lower-Priced Care Overseas http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/22/the-reshaping-medical-tourism-market-more-us-patients-seek-lower-priced-care-overseas/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/22/the-reshaping-medical-tourism-market-more-us-patients-seek-lower-priced-care-overseas/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 22:14:59 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15851 More U.S. patients are faced with spending more out-of-pocket for health care services, to meet high-deductible health plans and rationally spend their health savings account investments. As rational economic men and women, some are seeking care outside of the United States where many find transparently priced, high-value, lower-cost healthcare. Check out the table from the Medical Tourism Association, and you can empathize with cash-paying patients looking for, say, gastric bypass surgery or a heart valve replacement. My latest column in the Huffington Post discussed this trend, which points first to the Cleveland Clinic — a top-tier American healthcare brand that’s building a new hospital in central London — in one of the highest-rent districts in the world near Buckingham Palace. Medical tourism traditionally happens in hospitals, but the concept is taking on other forms in this re-shaping retail health category: on cruise ships, in hotels, and via global telehealth providers. You can read more on the reshaping medical tourism market here in the Huffington Post.

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imageMore U.S. patients are faced with spending more out-of-pocket for health care services, to meet high-deductible health plans and rationally spend their health savings account investments. As rational economic men and women, some are seeking care outside of the United States where many find transparently priced, high-value, lower-cost healthcare. Check out the table from the Medical Tourism Association, and you can empathize with cash-paying patients looking for, say, gastric bypass surgery or a heart valve replacement.

My latest column in the Huffington Post discussed this trend, which points first to the Cleveland Clinic — a top-tier American healthcare brand that’s building a new hospital in central London — in one of the highest-rent districts in the world near Buckingham Palace. Medical tourism traditionally happens in hospitals, but the concept is taking on other forms in this re-shaping retail health category: on cruise ships, in hotels, and via global telehealth providers.

You can read more on the reshaping medical tourism market here in the Huffington Post.

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Most Digital Health Consumers Say They Benefit from Connected Health http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/21/digital-health-consumers-say-benefit-connected-health/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/21/digital-health-consumers-say-benefit-connected-health/#respond Wed, 21 Sep 2016 01:48:26 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15840 Managing stress, weight, mental health, sleep, and heart function are among the top-most desired reasons already-connected health consumers are interested in further connecting their health, according to The 2016 HealthMine Digital Health Report. The most popular tools people use to digitally manage their health deal with fitness and exercise (among 50% of connected health consumers), food and nutrition (for 46%), and weight loss (for 39%). 3 in 4 people who use digital health tools say they have improved their health by connecting to these tools. 57% of digital health users also say going health-digital has lowered their healthcare costs. The survey pointed out that among digital consumers who have used telemedicine, 93% say it lowered their healthcare costs. While 60% of those polled by HealthMine have electronic health records access, only 22% of these people have used EHRs to help them make health care decisions. And, while 75% of digital health consumers are willing to share their data with their own doctors and providers, only 32% say this happens “automatically,” according to HealthMine. 6 in 10 connected health consumers have a chronic condition, HealthMine learned. The top chronic conditions digital health users are managing are mental illness (such as depression or anxiety, chronic pain (back, shoulder, or neck), and obesity, based on HealthMine’s survey research. The most important motivation to use a digital health tool is to “know my numbers,” 42% of consumers said, with 26% of people noting that using digital health can help her manage her condition and/or reach health goals. Of course, using an app generates personal health data that can flow to a third party. Digital health consumers’ willingness to share their personal health data with third parties varies by who that third party is: 75% of connected health consumers would share their data with their doctor or provider 39% would share with their health insurance plan 37% would share with family/friends 16% would share with scientific researchers 9% would share with their employer Only 7% would share with “no one.” Some 63% of digital health consumers say they receive digital reminders for health actions in the form of emails or text messages from doctors, plan sponsors, or digital health tools; however, most of these consumers would not like to receive such communications. HealthMine surveyed 500 consumers who use internet-connected health devices and/or applications in March 2016 for this survey. 58% of respondents were women, and 46% Millennials. Health Populi’s Hot Points:  This study, while built on a fairly small N of 500, focuses in on connected health care consumers who tend to be female and younger (mostly Millennial), based on HealthMine’s survey sample. The two key benefits that connected health consumers identified from using digital health tools were (1) improving personal health and (2) lowering health care costs. Consumers could be even more effective in managing and improving health were their personally-generated health data connected automatically to health providers’ electronic health records for use, especially, in chronic condition management like heart disease and diabetes. A new paper from Health 2.0 and California HealthCare Foundation researching the use of APIs in healthcare found continued gaps in the top-selling EHRs’ collective ability to absorb data from consumer-facing digital health tools and apps. Looking at the table, an exhibit from the study report, and see that connected health consumers are looking to better manage stress, weight, mental health, and sleep. These demands for new health tool adoption correspond well to the top three chronic conditions people are managing — mental health, pain and obesity. These issues directly relate to the social determinants of health: quality of relationships, healthy eating and drinking, good jobs with time to spare for social connections, financial stress, and quality sleep and mindfulness, among other factors. Note that 33% of this consumer sample received or access their digital health tools through a wellness program. Employers well understand how the issues of mental health, pain and obesity connect right to their business’s bottom lines. Look for employers and plan sponsors to continue to support workers’ and consumers’ adoption of digital health tools for these issues, as I explained in my Health Populi post, Employers Changing Healthcare Delivery – Health Reform at Work.

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healthmine-2016-digital-health-report-most-favored-apps-to-use-in-near-futureManaging stress, weight, mental health, sleep, and heart function are among the top-most desired reasons already-connected health consumers are interested in further connecting their health, according to The 2016 HealthMine Digital Health Report.

The most popular tools people use to digitally manage their health deal with fitness and exercise (among 50% of connected health consumers), food and nutrition (for 46%), and weight loss (for 39%).

3 in 4 people who use digital health tools say they have improved their health by connecting to these tools. 57% of digital health users also say going health-digital has lowered their healthcare costs. The survey pointed out that among digital consumers who have used telemedicine, 93% say it lowered their healthcare costs.

While 60% of those polled by HealthMine have electronic health records access, only 22% of these people have used EHRs to help them make health care decisions. And, while 75% of digital health consumers are willing to share their data with their own doctors and providers, only 32% say this happens “automatically,” according to HealthMine.

6 in 10 connected health consumers have a chronic condition, HealthMine learned. The top chronic conditions digital health users are managing are mental illness (such as depression or anxiety, chronic pain (back, shoulder, or neck), and obesity, based on HealthMine’s survey research. The most important motivation to use a digital health tool is to “know my numbers,” 42% of consumers said, with 26% of people noting that using digital health can help her manage her condition and/or reach health goals.

Of course, using an app generates personal health data that can flow to a third party. Digital health consumers’ willingness to share their personal health data with third parties varies by who that third party is:

  • 75% of connected health consumers would share their data with their doctor or provider
  • 39% would share with their health insurance plan
  • 37% would share with family/friends
  • 16% would share with scientific researchers
  • 9% would share with their employer
  • Only 7% would share with “no one.”

Some 63% of digital health consumers say they receive digital reminders for health actions in the form of emails or text messages from doctors, plan sponsors, or digital health tools; however, most of these consumers would not like to receive such communications.

HealthMine surveyed 500 consumers who use internet-connected health devices and/or applications in March 2016 for this survey. 58% of respondents were women, and 46% Millennials.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  This study, while built on a fairly small N of 500, focuses in on connected health care consumers who tend to be female and younger (mostly Millennial), based on HealthMine’s survey sample.

The two key benefits that connected health consumers identified from using digital health tools were (1) improving personal health and (2) lowering health care costs. Consumers could be even more effective in managing and improving health were their personally-generated health data connected automatically to health providers’ electronic health records for use, especially, in chronic condition management like heart disease and diabetes. A new paper from Health 2.0 and California HealthCare Foundation researching the use of APIs in healthcare found continued gaps in the top-selling EHRs’ collective ability to absorb data from consumer-facing digital health tools and apps.

Looking at the table, an exhibit from the study report, and see that connected health consumers are looking to better manage stress, weight, mental health, and sleep. These demands for new health tool adoption correspond well to the top three chronic conditions people are managing — mental health, pain and obesity. These issues directly relate to the social determinants of health: quality of relationships, healthy eating and drinking, good jobs with time to spare for social connections, financial stress, and quality sleep and mindfulness, among other factors.

Note that 33% of this consumer sample received or access their digital health tools through a wellness program. Employers well understand how the issues of mental health, pain and obesity connect right to their business’s bottom lines. Look for employers and plan sponsors to continue to support workers’ and consumers’ adoption of digital health tools for these issues, as I explained in my Health Populi post, Employers Changing Healthcare Delivery – Health Reform at Work.

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Older Couples Have Lower Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Costs Than Older Singles http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/20/older-couples-lower-pocket-healthcare-costs-older-singles/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/20/older-couples-lower-pocket-healthcare-costs-older-singles/#respond Tue, 20 Sep 2016 12:12:52 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15829 It takes a couple to bend the health care cost curve when you’re senior in America, according to the EBRI‘s latest study into Differences in Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenses of Older Single and Couple Households. In previous research, The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has calculated that health care expenses are the second-largest share of household expenses after home-related costs for older Americans. Health care costs consume about one-third of spending for people 60 years and older according to Credit Suisse. But for singles, health care costs are significantly larger than for couples, EBRI’s analysis found. The average per-person out-of-pocket spending for households ages 65+ for “recurring health services,” such as visits to doctors and dentists, and prescription drugs, were about $2,500 for both older single and couple households. The big difference in OOP healthcare spending for older singles vs. couples comes for “non-recurring” health services — inpatient hospital stays, home care, long-term care, and outpatient surgery — especially among the oldest seniors in America. For them, couples spent $8,530 compared with $13,355 for singles. What components of healthcare spending are most responsible for the difference? Home health care and nursing home stays. The data used in this study were taken from the two-year period 2010-2012. Health Populi’s Hot Points: For context, Fidelity Investments has calculated that the average couple retiring in 2015 would require $245,000 to pay for health care costs during their retirement years. If a man is healthy and single, he’ll need about $145,000, according to Great-West Financial, shown in the second bar chart. His costs could be less if he takes on a spouse, EBRI’s data suggests. That’s because the mate takes on caregiver roles, especially for home care and long-term care services that the singleton might be forced to receive in an institutional setting. We must “value the invaluable,” AARP points out in recent research. “Family caregivers are an essential part of the social, health, and economic fabric of the U.S. But family caregiving often comes at substantial costs to the caregivers themselves, to their families, and to society.  Without family-provided help, the economic cost to the U.S. health and long-term services and supports systems would skyrocket.” The value of unpaid caregiving was $470 bn in 2013, AARP estimates. RAND put the number higher, at $522 bn, in 2014. This represents a huge opportunity for innovation and investment, AARP states in its report on the caregiving market across six pillars: Daily activities like meals, home and personal care, home repair, and transportation Health and safety, the personal emergency response segment, diet and nutrition, and medication management Care coordination Transition support from hospital and institution continuity of care to hospice and funeral planning Social well-being, for community connections and digital inclusion, and Caregiving quality of life — already a large and growing challenge for caregiver support socially, financially and physically. Watch for newcos Honor and Hometeam to begin to fill this breach.

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out-of-pocket-costs-for-aging-singles-and-couples-ebri-jan-2016It takes a couple to bend the health care cost curve when you’re senior in America, according to the EBRI‘s latest study into Differences in Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenses of Older Single and Couple Households.

In previous research, The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has calculated that health care expenses are the second-largest share of household expenses after home-related costs for older Americans. Health care costs consume about one-third of spending for people 60 years and older according to Credit Suisse.

But for singles, health care costs are significantly larger than for couples, EBRI’s analysis found.

The average per-person out-of-pocket spending for households ages 65+ for “recurring health services,” such as visits to doctors and dentists, and prescription drugs, were about $2,500 for both older single and couple households.

The big difference in OOP healthcare spending for older singles vs. couples comes for “non-recurring” health services — inpatient hospital stays, home care, long-term care, and outpatient surgery — especially among the oldest seniors in America. For them, couples spent $8,530 compared with $13,355 for singles.

What components of healthcare spending are most responsible for the difference? Home health care and nursing home stays.

The data used in this study were taken from the two-year period 2010-2012.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: For context, Fidelity Investments has calculated that the average couple retiring in 2015 would require $245,000 to pay for health care costs during their retirement years.

good-health-can-be-costly-how-much-65-yr-old-man-needs-for-hc-costs-in-retirement-wsjIf a man is healthy and single, he’ll need about $145,000, according to Great-West Financial, shown in the second bar chart.

His costs could be less if he takes on a spouse, EBRI’s data suggests. That’s because the mate takes on caregiver roles, especially for home care and long-term care services that the singleton might be forced to receive in an institutional setting.

We must “value the invaluable,” AARP points out in recent research. “Family caregivers are an essential part of the social, health, and economic fabric of the U.S. But family caregiving often comes at substantial costs to the caregivers themselves, to their families, and to society.  Without family-provided help, the economic cost to the U.S. health and long-term services and supports systems would skyrocket.”

The value of unpaid caregiving was $470 bn in 2013, AARP estimates. RAND put the number higher, at $522 bn, in 2014.

This represents a huge opportunity for innovation and investment, AARP states in its report on the caregiving market across six pillars:

  1. Daily activities like meals, home and personal care, home repair, and transportation
  2. Health and safety, the personal emergency response segment, diet and nutrition, and medication management
  3. Care coordination
  4. Transition support from hospital and institution continuity of care to hospice and funeral planning
  5. Social well-being, for community connections and digital inclusion, and
  6. Caregiving quality of life — already a large and growing challenge for caregiver support socially, financially and physically.

Watch for newcos Honor and Hometeam to begin to fill this breach.

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Employer Health Insurance Costs $18,142 in 2016, in KFF Study http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/16/employer-health-insurance-costs-18142-2016-kff-study/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/16/employer-health-insurance-costs-18142-2016-kff-study/#respond Fri, 16 Sep 2016 00:34:24 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15813 Consumers face increasing health insurance deductibles in 2016, faster-growing than earnings and well above general price inflation, featured in the Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, 2016. This report, updated annually, is the go-to source on the availability of, cost for, and trends in U.S. employer-based health plans. The average annual health insurance premium in 2016 reached $18,142, the survey found, about $600 more than in 2015. Over the past ten years since 2006, workers’ contributions to health insurance premiums increased 78%; employers’ contributions grew 58% over the decade.   To help stem costs, employers are adopting new services to complement (more expensive) inpatient and physician in-office care. In particular, coverage at retail clinics is the most popular new-new thing among U.S. employers, for 73% of large firms and 60% of small firms. Telemedicine coverage is growing as a cost-saving tool, among 39% of large companies and 20% of small. Offering on-site health clinics (a more mature strategy) and identifying high-performing  provider networks are also emerging for company cost-containment.    Health Populi’s Hot Points: There was good macroeconomic news this week, as we learned that Americans’ incomes rose an astonishing 5.2% last year, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census. Wage increases were more pronounced in urban metropolitan areas, while incomes for people living in smaller rural communities stayed flat, and in certain cases (especially among some African-Americans) slightly fell. The U.S. has many health disparities — between men and women, whites vs. African-Americans and Hispanics, and urban compared with rural town dwellers. There’s another disparity to call out in America: the states where Medicaid expansion hasn’t happened are also those with relatively worse records on the social determinants of health (like healthy food access and lower incomes), basic health statistics like obesity levels, and overall poorer health system performance. Members of consumer-directed health plans (generally high-deductible plans coupled with health savings accounts) have been found to use fewer healthcare services, but pay 1.5 time more higher out-of-pocket costs compared with insured people in other types of plans like PPOs. This finding was revealed this week in a report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI).

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kff-earnings-vs-health-costs-2016-employer-health-benefits-survey-chart-pack-4-1024

Consumers face increasing health insurance deductibles in 2016, faster-growing than earnings and well above general price inflation, featured in the Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, 2016.

This report, updated annually, is the go-to source on the availability of, cost for, and trends in U.S. employer-based health plans.

The average annual health insurance premium in 2016 reached $18,142, the survey found, about $600 more than in 2015. Over the past ten years since 2006, workers’ contributions to health insurance premiums increased 78%; employers’ contributions grew 58% over the decade.

kff-firms-offering-telemed-networks-etc-2016-sept

 

To help stem costs, employers are adopting new services to complement (more expensive) inpatient and physician in-office care. In particular, coverage at retail clinics is the most popular new-new thing among U.S. employers, for 73% of large firms and 60% of small firms. Telemedicine coverage is growing as a cost-saving tool, among 39% of large companies and 20% of small. Offering on-site health clinics (a more mature strategy) and identifying high-performing  provider networks are also emerging for company cost-containment.

consumer_driven_health_plans_graph-hcci-sept-2016-cdhp-report  

Health Populi’s Hot Points: There was good macroeconomic news this week, as we learned that Americans’ incomes rose an astonishing 5.2% last year, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census. Wage increases were more pronounced in urban metropolitan areas, while incomes for people living in smaller rural communities stayed flat, and in certain cases (especially among some African-Americans) slightly fell.

The U.S. has many health disparities — between men and women, whites vs. African-Americans and Hispanics, and urban compared with rural town dwellers. There’s another disparity to call out in America: the states where Medicaid expansion hasn’t happened are also those with relatively worse records on the social determinants of health (like healthy food access and lower incomes), basic health statistics like obesity levels, and overall poorer health system performance.

Members of consumer-directed health plans (generally high-deductible plans coupled with health savings accounts) have been found to use fewer healthcare services, but pay 1.5 time more higher out-of-pocket costs compared with insured people in other types of plans like PPOs. This finding was revealed this week in a report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI).

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Healthcare Stakeholders’ Kumbaya Moment at Walmart’s Retail Health Summit http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/15/healthcare-stakeholders-kumbaya-moment-walmarts-retail-health-summit/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/15/healthcare-stakeholders-kumbaya-moment-walmarts-retail-health-summit/#respond Thu, 15 Sep 2016 01:03:29 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15804 Walmart is already in the healthcare business, serving 140 million customer visits weekly, millions of whom fill prescriptions at the store pharmacy, seek personal care in the health and beauty aisles, track blood pressure using a Higi health kiosk, and shop for healthier foods in the grocery aisles. The world’s largest company on the Global Fortune 500 list hosted a Retail Health Summit in June, the details of which have been published in a special report by Drug Store News. The Summit, produced by Dan Mack’s Mack Elevation Forum and Drug Store News, convened stakeholders from across the retail health landscape: including over-the-counter medicines, personal care, aging-at-home, caregiving, genomics, disease management and population health, technology, eye health, health education, consumer goods and electronics, nutrition, health insurance, health investors and innovation/incubators. The companies addressing these viewpoints included 23andMe, Abbott Nutrition, Aetna, Bausch + Lomb, Drive DeVilbiss, Gojo (makers of Purell), GreatCall, Higi, Honor, IBM Watson Health, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Life Bio, McKesson, Medline, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Procter & Gamble, RB North America, Startup Health, UnitedHealthcare, among others. I was gratified to be a keynote speaker at the event, kicking off the morning talking about the most important “noun” in healthcare — the consumer, patient, and caregiver. You can read a summary of my remarks in the Summit report. Dan Mack framed the Summit and the retail health opportunity, saying, “All of us live in an interdependent ecosystem. Brands — and the marketplace as a whole — also are part of interconnected communities. In the future, we will all be working closely with competitors to create deeper networks — expanding solutions and solving bigger problems.” Download the 34 page summary here. Health Populi’s Hot Points:  As consumers take on more financial responsibility for healthcare, they’re also becoming more engaged in clinical decisions. Most consumers seek access, convenience, streamlined experience, and time-saving, along with help and support for self-care and for caregiving — a growing stressor in aging societies the world over. Solving these challenges will require collaboration among stakeholders who traditionally might see themselves as competitors — the blurring world of “coop-etition,” on a case-by-case basis, driven by problem-solving and target-marketing. This Summit confirmed that every type of stakeholder in the room – from eye care to personal care, OTCs to nutrition – realized that silos must be broken to meet the demands of the increasingly savvy, demanding, paying retail health customer.

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retail-health-slide-jsk-9-14-16Walmart is already in the healthcare business, serving 140 million customer visits weekly, millions of whom fill prescriptions at the store pharmacy, seek personal care in the health and beauty aisles, track blood pressure using a Higi health kiosk, and shop for healthier foods in the grocery aisles. The world’s largest company on the Global Fortune 500 list hosted a Retail Health Summit in June, the details of which have been published in a special report by Drug Store News.

The Summit, produced by Dan Mack’s Mack Elevation Forum and Drug Store News, convened stakeholders from across the retail health landscape: including over-the-counter medicines, personal care, aging-at-home, caregiving, genomics, disease management and population health, technology, eye health, health education, consumer goods and electronics, nutrition, health insurance, health investors and innovation/incubators. The companies addressing these viewpoints included 23andMe, Abbott Nutrition, Aetna, Bausch + Lomb, Drive DeVilbiss, Gojo (makers of Purell), GreatCall, Higi, Honor, IBM Watson Health, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Life Bio, McKesson, Medline, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Procter & Gamble, RB North America, Startup Health, UnitedHealthcare, among others.

I was gratified to be a keynote speaker at the event, kicking off the morning talking about the most important “noun” in healthcare — the consumer, patient, and caregiver. You can read a summary of my remarks in the Summit report.

Dan Mack framed the Summit and the retail health opportunity, saying, “All of us live in an interdependent ecosystem. Brands — and the marketplace as a whole — also are part of interconnected communities. In the future, we will all be working closely with competitors to create deeper networks — expanding solutions and solving bigger problems.”

Download the 34 page summary here.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  As consumers take on more financial responsibility for healthcare, they’re also becoming more engaged in clinical decisions. Most consumers seek access, convenience, streamlined experience, and time-saving, along with help and support for self-care and for caregiving — a growing stressor in aging societies the world over.

Solving these challenges will require collaboration among stakeholders who traditionally might see themselves as competitors — the blurring world of “coop-etition,” on a case-by-case basis, driven by problem-solving and target-marketing. This Summit confirmed that every type of stakeholder in the room – from eye care to personal care, OTCs to nutrition – realized that silos must be broken to meet the demands of the increasingly savvy, demanding, paying retail health customer.

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Most Hospitals Offer Patients Electronic Access to Medical Records http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/14/hospitals-offer-patients-electronic-access-medical-records/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/14/hospitals-offer-patients-electronic-access-medical-records/#respond Wed, 14 Sep 2016 01:43:37 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15788 The number of hospitals offering patients electronic access to their health information grew seven times between 2013 and 2015. Electronic health records access has gone mainstream in America, according to the latest findings by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC-HIT). The data are detailed in Electronic Capabilities for Patient Engagement among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2012-2015, an ONC Data Brief. Two in three U.S. patients can now view, download, and transmit their personal health information, shown in the bar chart. This hockey-stick growth, from 10% in 2013 to 69% in 2015, results from the HITECH Act, part of the Stimulus Bill which provided financial incentives to health care providers to adopt and implement electronic health records (EHRs). 95% of hospitals currently provide patients the ability to electronically view their personal health information, followed by 87% of hospitals that enable patients to download their data, and 71%, the ability to transmit personal health information. Hospitals that offer the three EHR functions to patients tend to be larger institutions: fewer critical access and smaller hospitals provide patients with the ability to electronically view, download, and transmit their health information. Transmitting data is a bigger challenge for smaller institutions. There are additional electronic record capabilities that many hospitals offer patients, including: Requesting amendments to the records, 77% of hospitals Paying bills, 74% of hospitals Sending or receiving secure messages to clinicians, 63% of hospitals Scheduling appointments, 44% Requesting Rx refills, 42%, and Submitting patient-generated data (like weight, “Fitbit” health tracking data, blood pressure read-outs, etc.), 37%. This has grown 3x between 2013 and 2015. ONC points out in the report’s conclusion that, “future research that investigates divergent trends in hospital adoption of patient engagement functionalities will provide important insights on how to ensure that all patients have access to their health information and are actively engaged with their health care provider.” Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Patients’ experience is playing a growing role in calculating hospital payment, with tools like the HCAHPS scores measuring how people feel about their hospital stay or physician visit. HCAHPS is the acronym for “Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems,” which captures patients’ The Emerging Importance of Patient Amenities in Hospital Care, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, was published in December 2010. The authors discussed the so-called medical arms race of hospitals acquiring new-and-improved MRIs, new waiting room furniture, and other shiny new things that may or may not have returned a hard ROI on their spend. Who doesn’t like amenities? When we’re patients, we’re now consumers/customers as well. And the experience will continue to be measured by HCAHPS and other patient assessment tools which will play important roles in providers getting paid to the fullest extent they can (that is, including bonuses and hold-backs earmarked for patient satisfaction). The patient experience today also encompasses the streamlined digital experience, as millions of consumers pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime to receive goods quickly. Note the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings chart, which shows that supermarkets and retailers and “UPS” rank at the top of consumer experience; and, health insurers at the bottom along with internet service providers and cable TV. The healthcare industry, and particularly providers exposed to patients enrolled in high-deductible health plans, will need to take a page out of the best digitally-enabled companies, who are very-much valued for delivering digitally. Most providers are offering digital access to patients for personal health information and other healthcare administrative and clinical tools. But a plethora of patients still isn’t using that access, as I discussed in Health Populi last week in Consumers Seek Quality and Privacy in Tech-Enabled Healthcare. Health engagement doesn’t just include a patient taking her medicine on-time and as-prescribed. Engagement also means patients accessing, understanding, and acting on their health information.

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percent-of-hospitals-that-enable-patients-to-view-download-and-transmit-hi-grew-7x-between-2013-2015-smallerThe number of hospitals offering patients electronic access to their health information grew seven times between 2013 and 2015. Electronic health records access has gone mainstream in America, according to the latest findings by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC-HIT).

The data are detailed in Electronic Capabilities for Patient Engagement among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2012-2015, an ONC Data Brief.

Two in three U.S. patients can now view, download, and transmit their personal health information, shown in the bar chart. This hockey-stick growth, from 10% in 2013 to 69% in 2015, results from the HITECH Act, part of the Stimulus Bill which provided financial incentives to health care providers to adopt and implement electronic health records (EHRs).

95% of hospitals currently provide patients the ability to electronically view their personal health information, followed by 87% of hospitals that enable patients to download their data, and 71%, the ability to transmit personal health information.

Hospitals that offer the three EHR functions to patients tend to be larger institutions: fewer critical access and smaller hospitals provide patients with the ability to electronically view, download, and transmit their health information. Transmitting data is a bigger challenge for smaller institutions.

There are additional electronic record capabilities that many hospitals offer patients, including:

  • Requesting amendments to the records, 77% of hospitals
  • Paying bills, 74% of hospitals
  • Sending or receiving secure messages to clinicians, 63% of hospitals
  • Scheduling appointments, 44%
  • Requesting Rx refills, 42%, and
  • Submitting patient-generated data (like weight, “Fitbit” health tracking data, blood pressure read-outs, etc.), 37%. This has grown 3x between 2013 and 2015.

ONC points out in the report’s conclusion that, “future research that investigates divergent trends in hospital adoption of patient engagement functionalities will provide important insights on how to ensure that all patients have access to their health information and are actively engaged with their health care provider.”

Temkin 2016 experience ranges for consumersHealth Populi’s Hot Points:  Patients’ experience is playing a growing role in calculating hospital payment, with tools like the HCAHPS scores measuring how people feel about their hospital stay or physician visit. HCAHPS is the acronym for “Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems,” which captures patients’

The Emerging Importance of Patient Amenities in Hospital Care, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, was published in December 2010. The authors discussed the so-called medical arms race of hospitals acquiring new-and-improved MRIs, new waiting room furniture, and other shiny new things that may or may not have returned a hard ROI on their spend.

Who doesn’t like amenities? When we’re patients, we’re now consumers/customers as well. And the experience will continue to be measured by HCAHPS and other patient assessment tools which will play important roles in providers getting paid to the fullest extent they can (that is, including bonuses and hold-backs earmarked for patient satisfaction).

The patient experience today also encompasses the streamlined digital experience, as millions of consumers pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime to receive goods quickly. Note the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings chart, which shows that supermarkets and retailers and “UPS” rank at the top of consumer experience; and, health insurers at the bottom along with internet service providers and cable TV.

The healthcare industry, and particularly providers exposed to patients enrolled in high-deductible health plans, will need to take a page out of the best digitally-enabled companies, who are very-much valued for delivering digitally.

Most providers are offering digital access to patients for personal health information and other healthcare administrative and clinical tools. But a plethora of patients still isn’t using that access, as I discussed in Health Populi last week in Consumers Seek Quality and Privacy in Tech-Enabled Healthcare. Health engagement doesn’t just include a patient taking her medicine on-time and as-prescribed. Engagement also means patients accessing, understanding, and acting on their health information.

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The State of Mobile Apps in 2016 and Healthcare Implications http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/13/state-mobile-apps-2016-healthcare-implications/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/13/state-mobile-apps-2016-healthcare-implications/#respond Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:44:57 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15778 Some of the fastest-growing mobile phone apps help people manage life-tasks every day, like getting real-time directions when driving, finding dates, getting rides, and tracking health, according to The 2016 U.S. Mobile App Report from comScore. The chart from the comScore Mobile Metrix survey illustrates some popular apps well-used by people on smartphones, with one of the fastest growth rates found for the Fitbit app — 1,524% growth over two years, from June 2014 to June 2016. In comparison, the Uber app visits increased 828% in the period, half as fast, and the Tinder app, 220%. Some key topline results of this annual report are that: Smartphone apps now consume 80% share of growth of digital time spent by people App use time has increased across every age group. While highest among Millennials, note that the usage time of mobile apps among people age 55-64 grew the fastest at 37% in the one year, June 2015-June 2016, with over 55 monthly hours. People age 65+ scored 42 hours on average per month on smartphone app visits, versus over 93 hours per month for people age 18-24. The 10 most popular apps by unique visitors to June 2016 (year-on-year) are Facebook, Facebook Messenger, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Play, Gmail, Pandora Radio, Instagram, and Amazon Mobile. Note that the top 7 are owned by either Facebook or Google. Most time on smartphone apps is concentrated among a few apps owned by very large internet companies. The report’s data is based on behavioral measurement from comScore’s Media Metrix Multi-Platform, which looks at consumers age 18 and over and unique visits to an app or digital media property at least once over the course of a month. Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Mobile health is emerging as a complement to primary care at the doctor’s office or clinic. A health consumer can access a visit to a physician using the AmWell (American Well) app, track blood glucose and manage Type 2 diabetes via the MySugr, check lab test results on MyQuest from Quest Diagnostics, and find well-priced prescription drugs on GoodRx. The evidence base is growing that mobile tools can help people bolster their health. New research from Walgreens published yesterday shows that the company’s Balance Rewards loyalty program has driven greater medication adherence. Specifically, Walgreens researched the relationship between BRhc engagement and adherence to antihypertensive, oral antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic medications for patients ages 50 and older. The results: Balance Reward programs members tracking physical activity had greater rates of medication adherence: 11.2% higher for people managing hypertension, 5.1% greater for people managing diabetes, and 4.5% higher for people managing high cholesterol. For members tracking blood pressure or blood glucose, Walgreens observed greater optimal adherence: 6.8% greater for consumers using anti-hypertensives, and 12.3% higher for people taking drugs to manage diabetes. From a user-design standpoint, one intriguing observation comScore uncovered is that 35% of smartphone users age 55 and over only ever operate their smartphone with two hands. This is 6x the rate of people 18-34 who multi-task and use their phones single-handedly (only 6% using two hands to navigate their phones). To gain adoption and sustained use of a mobile health tool, Job 1 is to be user-centered and Know Thy Patient. If they’re older people, they may fall into the “two-handed smartphone” user, and will have other unique life-flows to consider. One size won’t fit all. But one lesson from Walgreens is that social community and behavioral economics can help nudge people toward sustained use that can make a real difference in peoples’ health and wellbeing.

The post The State of Mobile Apps in 2016 and Healthcare Implications appeared first on HealthPopuli.com.

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fast-growing-apps-improve-real-world-behaviors-fitbit-fast-growing-comscore-sept-2016-larger-sizeSome of the fastest-growing mobile phone apps help people manage life-tasks every day, like getting real-time directions when driving, finding dates, getting rides, and tracking health, according to The 2016 U.S. Mobile App Report from comScore.

The chart from the comScore Mobile Metrix survey illustrates some popular apps well-used by people on smartphones, with one of the fastest growth rates found for the Fitbit app — 1,524% growth over two years, from June 2014 to June 2016. In comparison, the Uber app visits increased 828% in the period, half as fast, and the Tinder app, 220%.

Some key topline results of this annual report are that:

  • Smartphone apps now consume 80% share of growth of digital time spent by people
  • App use time has increased across every age group. While highest among Millennials, note that the usage time of mobile apps among people age 55-64 grew the fastest at 37% in the one year, June 2015-June 2016, with over 55 monthly hours. People age 65+ scored 42 hours on average per month on smartphone app visits, versus over 93 hours per month for people age 18-24.
  • The 10 most popular apps by unique visitors to June 2016 (year-on-year) are Facebook, Facebook Messenger, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Play, Gmail, Pandora Radio, Instagram, and Amazon Mobile. Note that the top 7 are owned by either Facebook or Google.
  • Most time on smartphone apps is concentrated among a few apps owned by very large internet companies.

The report’s data is based on behavioral measurement from comScore’s Media Metrix Multi-Platform, which looks at consumers age 18 and over and unique visits to an app or digital media property at least once over the course of a month.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Mobile health is emerging as a complement to primary care at the doctor’s office or clinic. A health consumer can access a visit to a physician using the AmWell (American Well) app, track blood glucose and manage Type 2 diabetes via the MySugr, check lab test results on MyQuest from Quest Diagnostics, and find well-priced prescription drugs on GoodRx.

The evidence base is growing that mobile tools can help people bolster their health. New research from Walgreens published yesterday shows that the company’s Balance Rewards loyalty program has driven greater medication adherence. Specifically, Walgreens researched the relationship between BRhc engagement and adherence to antihypertensive, oral antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic medications for patients ages 50 and older. The results:

  • Balance Reward programs members tracking physical activity had greater rates of medication adherence: 11.2% higher for people managing hypertension, 5.1% greater for people managing diabetes, and 4.5% higher for people managing high cholesterol.
  • For members tracking blood pressure or blood glucose, Walgreens observed greater optimal adherence: 6.8% greater for consumers using anti-hypertensives, and 12.3% higher for people taking drugs to manage diabetes.

From a user-design standpoint, one intriguing observation comScore uncovered is that 35% of smartphone users age 55 and over only ever operate their smartphone with two hands. This is 6x the rate of people 18-34 who multi-task and use their phones single-handedly (only 6% using two hands to navigate their phones).

To gain adoption and sustained use of a mobile health tool, Job 1 is to be user-centered and Know Thy Patient. If they’re older people, they may fall into the “two-handed smartphone” user, and will have other unique life-flows to consider. One size won’t fit all. But one lesson from Walgreens is that social community and behavioral economics can help nudge people toward sustained use that can make a real difference in peoples’ health and wellbeing.

The post The State of Mobile Apps in 2016 and Healthcare Implications appeared first on HealthPopuli.com.

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Consumers Seek Quality and Privacy In Tech-Enabled Healthcare http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/09/consumers-seek-quality-privacy-tech-enabled-healthcare/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/09/consumers-seek-quality-privacy-tech-enabled-healthcare/#respond Fri, 09 Sep 2016 12:51:40 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15754 Consumers are open to technology-enabled healthcare, but look to providers to ensure quality and privacy of patients’ personal health information, according to Will Patients and Caregivers Embrace Tech-Enabled Healthcare?, based on the Deloitte 2016 Survey of US Health Care Consumers. Seven in 10 consumers would use at least one of the technologies Deloitte served up in its study, with telemedicine at the top of the list: 49% of people favor telemedicine for post-surgical care, 48% for chronic disease management, 36% for care while traveling, and 32% for minor health issues. While Millennials are generally keener across-the-board for tech-enabled health care, it’s important to note that nearly one-half of Boomers and Seniors favor telemedicine for post-surgical care and chronic disease management — two issues for which older people are more at-risk. And heads-up to health care providers who don’t provide telemedicine access to patients: 63% of consumers likely to use telemedicine said they’d try another provider who did, to save money (43%) or time (35%). The key concerns about using a technology like telemedicine for personal health care are quality and data security of “my” personal health information. Deloitte recommends that health care providers educate consumers on the merits of the technology, provide a seamless connected experience, and be clear about the security of the connection and the data transmission. Doing these things would bolster trust and nurture shared decision-making between patient and provider. Health Populi’s Hot Points:  We’d still rather use technology for shopping, banking, doing taxes, and managing finances than to manage our health, Deloitte found. Among the tech-enabled actions consumers are taking on behalf of their own health are electronically refilling prescriptions (58%), tracking fitness and wellness metrics (32%), paying medical bills online (31%), and monitoring health issues like blood glucose and blood pressure (24%). While more patients are facing growing out-of-pocket health care costs via deductibles and copayments, only 18% of consumers have checked on the costs of care using an online cost-tracking tool provided by a health insurer. Furthermore prescription drug tools aren’t yet well-used, with 17% of consumers receiving medication reminders and 15% measuring or transmitting data about medications they’re taking. Healthcare, we have a design problem, and it starts with appreciating the fact that patients are now health consumers expecting a retail-style experience. Check out Deloitte’s infographic here, noting that “today’s patients have new experiences of their health care providers.” For more on that retail-level expectation among health care consumers, see my recent post on consumers’ growing use of retail health “doors.”

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image

Consumers are open to technology-enabled healthcare, but look to providers to ensure quality and privacy of patients’ personal health information, according to Will Patients and Caregivers Embrace Tech-Enabled Healthcare?, based on the Deloitte 2016 Survey of US Health Care Consumers.

Seven in 10 consumers would use at least one of the technologies Deloitte served up in its study, with telemedicine at the top of the list: 49% of people favor telemedicine for post-surgical care, 48% for chronic disease management, 36% for care while traveling, and 32% for minor health issues. While Millennials are generally keener across-the-board for tech-enabled health care, it’s important to note that nearly one-half of Boomers and Seniors favor telemedicine for post-surgical care and chronic disease management — two issues for which older people are more at-risk.

And heads-up to health care providers who don’t provide telemedicine access to patients: 63% of consumers likely to use telemedicine said they’d try another provider who did, to save money (43%) or time (35%).

The key concerns about using a technology like telemedicine for personal health care are quality and data security of “my” personal health information. Deloitte recommends that health care providers educate consumers on the merits of the technology, provide a seamless connected experience, and be clear about the security of the connection and the data transmission. Doing these things would bolster trust and nurture shared decision-making between patient and provider.

imageHealth Populi’s Hot Points:  We’d still rather use technology for shopping, banking, doing taxes, and managing finances than to manage our health, Deloitte found. Among the tech-enabled actions consumers are taking on behalf of their own health are electronically refilling prescriptions (58%), tracking fitness and wellness metrics (32%), paying medical bills online (31%), and monitoring health issues like blood glucose and blood pressure (24%).

While more patients are facing growing out-of-pocket health care costs via deductibles and copayments, only 18% of consumers have checked on the costs of care using an online cost-tracking tool provided by a health insurer.

Furthermore prescription drug tools aren’t yet well-used, with 17% of consumers receiving medication reminders and 15% measuring or transmitting data about medications they’re taking.

Healthcare, we have a design problem, and it starts with appreciating the fact that patients are now health consumers expecting a retail-style experience. Check out Deloitte’s infographic here, noting that “today’s patients have new experiences of their health care providers.” For more on that retail-level expectation among health care consumers, see my recent post on consumers’ growing use of retail health “doors.”

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7 Signs of the Retail Health Revolution http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/08/7-signs-retail-health-revolution/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/08/7-signs-retail-health-revolution/#respond Thu, 08 Sep 2016 19:04:38 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15748 There are many signposts in the marketplace pointing the way toward the new retail health/care for consumers. They include: Food and exercise as the new medicine Loneliness as the new smoking as a health risk Prevention as the new sustainability Home as the new long-term care locus Balancing humanity and technology, the analog and the digital, and Retail as a center of the new healthcare ecosystem. Read more about the 7 Signs of the Retail Health Revolution,  published by Drug Store News. This graphic-rich publication was based on a speech I gave at a recent retail health summit convened with healthcare’s largest suppliers in the industry to brainstorm the central role of the consumer and self-care in the new health economy.

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drug-store-news-7-steps-to-retail-health-revolution-sept-2016-retail-as-center-of-health-ecosystemThere are many signposts in the marketplace pointing the way toward the new retail health/care for consumers. They include:

  • Food and exercise as the new medicine
  • Loneliness as the new smoking as a health risk
  • Prevention as the new sustainability
  • Home as the new long-term care locus
  • Balancing humanity and technology, the analog and the digital, and
  • Retail as a center of the new healthcare ecosystem.

Read more about the 7 Signs of the Retail Health Revolution,  published by Drug Store News. This graphic-rich publication was based on a speech I gave at a recent retail health summit convened with healthcare’s largest suppliers in the industry to brainstorm the central role of the consumer and self-care in the new health economy.

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Most Americans Say Health IT’s Important – But Not Well-Used http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/07/americans-say-health-important-not-well-used/ http://www.healthpopuli.com/2016/09/07/americans-say-health-important-not-well-used/#respond Wed, 07 Sep 2016 12:23:35 +0000 http://www.healthpopuli.com/?p=15730 Most Americans say accessing their lab tests, health history, prescription drug lists, and doctors’ notes is important. But patients in the U.S. do not universally have access to their electronic health information, and nor do all those who can access their personal health information do so, according to the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2016 from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). In yesterday’s Health Populi blog, I focused on the Poll’s political findings — that Hillary Clinton is perceived by more American voters than Donald Trump to be trusted on health care issues. In today’s post, I’ll cover the poll’s findings on U.S. health consumers’ perceived value of and access to their personal health information as gleaned from KFF’s survey. Overall, 78% of Americans have access to any kind of medical information online; just 44% of these people have accessed any of this information. The first bar chart illustrates the disconnect between people who have access to specific types of personal health information online, and those who have ever accessed that information: while roughly 50% of U.S. patients have access to online lab results, medical history, and prescription drug lists, at most one-quarter of folks have accessed this information online. It’s also surprising that while 41% of patients have access to information about mental health or substance abuse treatment, only 9% of people have accessed this information online. 80% of U.S. patients say it’s important for doctors to use electronic medical records (EMRs), shown in the second pie chart. The needle on peoples’ perceptions on the importance of EMRs hasn’t changed much since 2009, when 75% of people thought EMRs instead of paper records would be important for their physicians to use. What has moved, significantly, is the proportion of consumers who see their doctors now use EMRs: in 2016, 80% of patients say their doctors enter health information into a computer; in 2009, only 46% said their doctors were using computers for their patient information input. Medical information privacy continues to be a concern to about one-half of U.S. consumers, 30% of whom are “very concerned,” and 17%, “somewhat concerned.” 30% of consumers are not much concerned, with 22% of patients saying their records are not yet available online. The Kaiser Family Foundation polled 1,211 U.S. voters between August 18-24, 2016, via phone. Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Among consumers with online access to their personal medical information, one-half of U.S. consumers said they do not need to access their health information online. This is the most surprising data point gleaned in the KFF Poll. Underneath this number are the following explanations: 49% said they did not have a need to access the information 15% did not have access to the internet 13% did not know how to access the information 11% were concerned about privacy or security 2% of people didn’t want to know what the doctor wrote down about the visit. This begs the questions, for the 49%, what constitutes a “need” to access one’s personal health information? Is it a personal perception of whole health? Is it denial or avoidance of bad news or self-awareness? Is it a general lack of interest? We don’t know the granular reasons for one-half of people avoiding online access to their own health information. We do know that health activation supports better outcomes, and lower health costs, based on the decades+ research of Judith Hibbard and team working with the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) which indexes consumers’ engagement in their own health. It’s also important to “know your numbers” in order to manage what we can measure when it comes to blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, blood glucose, and other metrics. The DIY health culture is growing, but has not nearly reached the last mile, or mainstream patient-consumer. Consumers are keen on Amazon (and Prime fast-delivery), OpenTable and Uber. Health data served up fast? Not so much, not yet, for mainstream health consumers, based on what KFF has learned.

The post Most Americans Say Health IT’s Important – But Not Well-Used appeared first on HealthPopuli.com.

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Many people have access to medical info but some types not accessed as much KFF Aug 2016 midsizeMost Americans say accessing their lab tests, health history, prescription drug lists, and doctors’ notes is important. But patients in the U.S. do not universally have access to their electronic health information, and nor do all those who can access their personal health information do so, according to the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2016 from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

In yesterday’s Health Populi blog, I focused on the Poll’s political findings — that Hillary Clinton is perceived by more American voters than Donald Trump to be trusted on health care issues. In today’s post, I’ll cover the poll’s findings on U.S. health consumers’ perceived value of and access to their personal health information as gleaned from KFF’s survey.

Most Americans say doctors using EMRs important KFF Aug 2016 vs 2009 resize

Overall, 78% of Americans have access to any kind of medical information online; just 44% of these people have accessed any of this information. The first bar chart illustrates the disconnect between people who have access to specific types of personal health information online, and those who have ever accessed that information: while roughly 50% of U.S. patients have access to online lab results, medical history, and prescription drug lists, at most one-quarter of folks have accessed this information online. It’s also surprising that while 41% of patients have access to information about mental health or substance abuse treatment, only 9% of people have accessed this information online.

80% of U.S. patients say it’s important for doctors to use electronic medical records (EMRs), shown in the second pie chart. The needle on peoples’ perceptions on the importance of EMRs hasn’t changed much since 2009, when 75% of people thought EMRs instead of paper records would be important for their physicians to use.

What has moved, significantly, is the proportion of consumers who see their doctors now use EMRs: in 2016, 80% of patients say their doctors enter health information into a computer; in 2009, only 46% said their doctors were using computers for their patient information input.

Medical information privacy continues to be a concern to about one-half of U.S. consumers, 30% of whom are “very concerned,” and 17%, “somewhat concerned.” 30% of consumers are not much concerned, with 22% of patients saying their records are not yet available online.

The Kaiser Family Foundation polled 1,211 U.S. voters between August 18-24, 2016, via phone.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Among consumers with online access to their personal medical information, one-half of U.S. consumers said they do not need to access their health information online. This is the most surprising data point gleaned in the KFF Poll. Underneath this number are the following explanations:

  • 49% said they did not have a need to access the information
  • 15% did not have access to the internet
  • 13% did not know how to access the information
  • 11% were concerned about privacy or security
  • 2% of people didn’t want to know what the doctor wrote down about the visit.

This begs the questions, for the 49%, what constitutes a “need” to access one’s personal health information? Is it a personal perception of whole health? Is it denial or avoidance of bad news or self-awareness? Is it a general lack of interest?

We don’t know the granular reasons for one-half of people avoiding online access to their own health information. We do know that health activation supports better outcomes, and lower health costs, based on the decades+ research of Judith Hibbard and team working with the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) which indexes consumers’ engagement in their own health.

It’s also important to “know your numbers” in order to manage what we can measure when it comes to blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, blood glucose, and other metrics.

The DIY health culture is growing, but has not nearly reached the last mile, or mainstream patient-consumer. Consumers are keen on Amazon (and Prime fast-delivery), OpenTable and Uber. Health data served up fast? Not so much, not yet, for mainstream health consumers, based on what KFF has learned.

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