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Geographic variation in health IT and health care outcomes: A snapshot before the meaningful use incentive program began. - Healthcare (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
The 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which includes the Meaningful Use (MU) incentive program, was designed to increase the adoption of health information technology (IT) by physicians and hospitals. Policymakers hope that increased use of health IT to exchange health information will in turn enhance the quality and efficiency of health care delivery. In this study, we analyze the extent to which key outcomes vary based on the levels of health ITness among physicians and hospitals before the HITECH and MU programs led to increases in adoption and changes in use. Our findings provide an important baseline for a future evaluation of the impact of these programs on population-level outcomes.We constructed measures of the degree of hospital and physician adoption and use ("health ITness") at the level of the hospital referral region (HRR). We used data from the 2010 IT Supplement of the American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Survey of Hospitals to capture hospital health ITness and data from the 2010 survey of ambulatory health care sites produced by SK&A Information Services for the physician measure. We conducted cross-sectional analyses of the relationship between market-level Medicare costs and use and three measures: (1) physician health ITness, (2) hospital health ITness, and (3) an overall measure of health ITness.In general, greater levels of physician health ITness are associated with decreasing costs and use. Many of these relationships lose statistical significance, however, when we control for population and market characteristics such as the average age and health status of Medicare beneficiaries, mean household income, and the HMO penetration rate. Several of the relationships also change according to the level of hospital health ITness.Our findings suggest that greater levels of physician health ITness are associated with decreasing costs and use for a number of services, including inpatient costs and stays, imaging services, and lab tests, in 2010. Our health ITness and outcomes measures are aggregated at the HRR level; as such, these results do not suggest that the adoption and use of health IT by individual physicians or hospitals leads to decreases in costs or use for their individual patients. Nevertheless, these baseline findings provide important information to be considered in future research analyzing the impact of HITECH and the MU incentives.Copyright Â© 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Serum Fractalkine (CX3CL1) and Cardiovascular Outcomes and Diabetes: Findings From the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study. - American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation
Cardiometabolic disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Fractalkine (CX3CL1) is a potential mediator of both atherosclerosis and metabolic disease. Studies of the relationship of CX3CL1 with risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and metabolic traits are lacking, particularly in the high-risk setting of CKD.Cross-sectional and longitudinal observational analysis.Adults with CKD from 7 US sites participating in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study.Quartiles of plasma CX3CL1 levels at baseline.Baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate from a creatinine and cystatin C-based equation, prevalent and incident CVD, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and its criteria, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, hemoglobin A1c level, myocardial infarction, all-cause mortality, and the composite outcome of myocardial infarction/all-cause mortality.Among 3,687 participants, baseline CX3CL1 levels were associated positively with several CVD risk factors and metabolic traits, lower estimated glomerular filtration rate, and higher levels of inflammatory cytokines, as well as prevalent CVD (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.01-1.19; P=0.03). Higher CX3CL1 level also was associated with prevalent diabetes (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.16-1.38; P<0.001) in adjusted models. During a mean follow-up of 6 years, there were 352 deaths, 176 myocardial infarctions, and 484 composite outcomes. In fully adjusted models, 1-SD higher CX3CL1 level increased the hazard for all-cause mortality (1.11; 95% CI, 1.00-1.22; P=0.02) and the composite outcome (1.09; 95% CI, 1.00-1.19; P=0.04).Study design did not allow evaluation of changes over time, correlation with progression of phenotypes, or determination of causality of effect.Circulating CX3CL1 level may contribute to both atherosclerotic CVD and diabetes in a CKD cohort. Further studies are required to establish mechanisms through which CX3CL1 affects the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and diabetes.Copyright Â© 2015 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
Higher plasma CXCL12 levels predict incident myocardial infarction and death in chronic kidney disease: findings from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort study. - European heart journal
Genome-wide association studies revealed an association between a locus at 10q11, downstream from CXCL12, and myocardial infarction (MI). However, the relationship among plasma CXCL12, cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, incident MI, and death is unknown.We analysed study-entry plasma CXCL12 levels in 3687 participants of the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study, a prospective study of cardiovascular and kidney outcomes in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Mean follow-up was 6 years for incident MI or death. Plasma CXCL12 levels were positively associated with several cardiovascular risk factors (age, hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia), lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and higher inflammatory cytokine levels (P < 0.05). In fully adjusted models, higher study-entry CXCL12 was associated with increased odds of prevalent CVD (OR 1.23; 95% confidence interval 1.14, 1.33, P < 0.001) for one standard deviation (SD) increase in CXCL12. Similarly, one SD higher CXCL12 increased the hazard of incident MI (1.26; 1.09,1.45, P < 0.001), death (1.20; 1.09,1.33, P < 0.001), and combined MI/death (1.23; 1.13-1.34, P < 0.001) adjusting for demographic factors, known CVD risk factors, and inflammatory markers and remained significant for MI (1.19; 1.03,1.39, P = 0.01) and the combined MI/death (1.13; 1.03,1.24, P = 0.01) after further controlling for eGFR and urinary albumin:creatinine ratio.In CKD, higher plasma CXCL12 was associated with CVD risk factors and prevalent CVD as well as the hazard of incident MI and death. Further studies are required to establish if plasma CXCL12 reflect causal actions at the vessel wall and is a tool for genomic and therapeutic trials.Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology 2013. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Obtaining providers' 'buy-in' and establishing effective means of information exchange will be critical to HITECH's success. - Health affairs (Project Hope)
In enacting the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress set ambitious goals for the nation to integrate information technology into health care delivery. The provisions called for the electronic exchange of health information and the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology in health care practices and hospitals. We examined the marketplace and regulatory forces that influence HITECH's success and identify outstanding challenges, some beyond the provisions' control. To reach HITECH's goals, providers and patients must be persuaded of the value of health information exchange and support its implementation. Privacy concerns and remaining technical challenges must also be overcome. Achieving HITECH's goals will require well-aligned incentives, both visionary and practical pursuit of exchange infrastructure, and realistic assumptions about how quickly such wholesale change can be accomplished. The use of metrics to show adoption proceeding at a reasonable pace, increased flow of data across parties, and evidence that care is improving, at least in areas with robust systems, will be essential to persuade stakeholders that the initiative is progressing well and warrants continued investment.
Nonfinancial barriers and access to care for U.S. adults. - Health services research
To identify prevalences and predictors of nonfinancial barriers that lead to unmet need or delayed care among U.S. adults.2007 Health Tracking Household Survey.Reasons for unmet need or delayed care in the previous 12Â months were assigned to one of five dimensions in the Penchansky and Thomas model of access to care. Prevalences of barriers in each nonfinancial dimension were estimated for all adults and for adults with affordability barriers. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate associations between individual, household, and insurance characteristics and barriers in each access dimension.Eighteen percent of U.S. adults experienced affordability barriers and 21 percent experienced nonfinancial barriers that led to unmet need or delayed care. Two-thirds of adults with affordability barriers also reported nonfinancial barriers. Young adults, women, individuals with lower incomes, parents, and persons with at least one chronic illness had higher adjusted prevalences of nonfinancial barriers.Nonfinancial barriers are common reasons for unmet need or delayed care among U.S. adults and frequently coincide with affordability barriers. Failure to address nonfinancial barriers may limit the impact of policies that seek to expand access by improving the affordability of health care.Â© Health Research and Educational Trust.
Treatment and outcomes for congestive heart failure by race/ethnicity in TRICARE. - Medical care
Equitable access to health insurance coverage may improve outcomes of care for chronic health conditions and mitigate racial/ethnic health disparities. This study examines racial/ethnic disparities in the treatment and outcomes of care for TRICARE beneficiaries with congestive heart failure (CHF).Using a retrospective cohort analysis, we examined demographic characteristics, sources of care, and comorbid conditions for 2183 beneficiaries of the Military Health System's TRICARE program (representing 115,584 beneficiaries after adjusting for survey weights) with CHF. Treatments included use of CHF-related medications, while the outcome of interest was any CHF-related potentially avoidable hospitalizations (PAHs).While African Americans were less likely than whites to have received beta blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers following a CHF diagnosis (P<0.0001). Hispanics were, in some cases, equally likely as whites to receive pharmacological treatments for CHF. In multivariate models, there were no significant racial/ethnic differences in the odds of a PAH; age greater than 65 was the most significant predictor of a PAH.This study suggests that although there are some racial and ethnic disparities in the receipt of pharmacological therapy for CHF among TRICARE beneficiaries, these differences do not translate into disparities in the likelihood of a PAH. The findings support previous research suggesting that equal access to care may mitigate racial/ethnic health disparities.
The novel atherosclerosis locus at 10q11 regulates plasma CXCL12 levels. - European heart journal
Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs1746048 and rs501120, from genome wide association studies of coronary artery disease (CAD) map to chromosome 10q11 âˆ¼80 kb downstream of chemokine CXCL12. Therefore, we examined the relationship between these two SNPs and plasma CXCL12 levels.We tested the association of two SNPs with plasma CXCL12 levels in a two-stage study (n= 2939): first in PennCath (n= 1182), a Caucasian, angiographic CAD case-control study, and second in PennCAC (n= 1757), a community-based study of CAD risk factors. Plasma CXCL12 levels increased with age and did not vary by gender. There was no linkage disequilibrium between these two SNPs and SNPs within CXCL12 gene. However, CAD risk alleles at rs1746048 (C allele, P= 0.034; CC 2.33 Â± 0.49, CT 2.27 Â± 0.46, and TT 2.21 Â± 0.52 ng/mL) and rs501120 (T allele, P= 0.041; TT 2.34 Â± 0.49, CT 2.28 Â± 0.46, and CC 2.23 Â± 0.53 ng/mL) were associated with higher plasma levels of CXCL12 in age and gender adjusted models. In Stage 2, we confirmed this association (rs501120, T allele, P= 0.007), and meta-analysis strengthened this finding (n= 2939, P= 6.0 Ã— 10(-4)). Finally, in exploratory analysis, the rs1746048 risk allele tended to have higher transcript levels of CXCL12 in human natural killer cells and the liver.Coronary artery disease risk alleles downstream of CXCL12 are associated with plasma protein levels of CXCL12 and appear to be related to CXCL12 transcript levels in two human cell lines. This implicates CXCL12 as potentially causal and supports CXCL12 as a potential therapeutic target for CAD.
Clinical and functional outcomes of patients with a pathologic fracture in high-grade osteosarcoma. - Journal of surgical oncology
There have been variable reports of outcomes of patients with osteosarcoma and pathologic fractures. The purpose of this study was to document outcomes after management of this clinical entity at a single large oncology center.A retrospective review was undertaken of our database between 1989 and 2006. We compared oncologic and functional outcomes of 201 patients with high-grade osteosarcoma without pathologic fractures to 31 patients with pathologic fractures.The rate of amputation in the group with pathologic fracture was significantly higher than the group without fracture (39% vs. 14%, P = 0.001). There was no difference in the rate of local recurrence between groups. The 5-year survival was superior in the group without pathologic fracture (60% vs. 41%, P = 0.0015). For patients with localized disease, 5-year survival was higher in patients without fracture (68% vs. 52%, P = 0.006). Disability as measured by the Toronto Extremity Salvage Score was no different between the groups. Impairment as measured by the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society scores was lower in the group without fracture.Presentation with a pathologic fracture in osteosarcoma did not preclude limb salvage surgery in a majority of patients, did not increase the risk of local recurrence, but was associated with poorer overall survival.(c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Generic utilization and cost-sharing for prescription drugs. - Advances in health economics and health services research
The purpose of this study is to estimate the own- and cross-price elasticity of brand-name outpatient prescription drug cost-sharing for maintenance medications and to estimate the effects of changes in the price differential between generic and brand-name prescription drugs.We first review the literature on the effects of an increase in brand-name drug patient cost-sharing. In addition, we analyze two examples of utilization patterns in filling behavior associated with an increase in brand-name cost-sharing for patients in employer-sponsored health plans with chronic illness.We found that the own-price elasticity of demand for brand-name prescription drugs was inelastic. However, the cross-price elasticity was not consistent in sign, and utilization patterns for generic prescription fills did not always increase after a rise in brand-name cost-sharing.The empirical examples are limited to the experience of patients with employer-sponsored health insurance.The common practice of increasing brand-name prescription drug patient cost-sharing to increase consumption of generic drugs may not always result in higher generic medication use. Higher brand-name drug cost-sharing levels may result in discontinuation of chronic therapies, instead of therapeutic switching.The value of this chapter is its singular focus on the effects of higher brand-name drug cost-sharing through a synthesis of the literature examining the own- and cross-price elasticity of demand for brand-name medications and two empirical examples of the effects of changes in brand-name cost-sharing.
Differences in prevalence, treatment, and outcomes of asthma among a diverse population of children with equal access to care: findings from a study in the military health system. - Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine
To assess racial and ethnic differences in asthma prevalence, treatment patterns, and outcomes among a diverse population of children with equal access to health care.Retrospective cohort analysis.The Military Health System.A total of 822 900 children aged 2 through 17 years continuously enrolled throughout 2007 in TRICARE Prime, a health maintenance organization-type benefit provided by the Department of Defense.Prevalence of diagnosed asthma, potentially avoidable asthma hospitalizations, asthma-related emergency department visits, visits to asthma specialists, and use of asthma medications among children aged 2 to 4, 5 to 10, and 11 to 17 years.Black and Hispanic children in all age groups were significantly more likely to have an asthma diagnosis than white children (ranging from odds ratio [OR]=1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09-1.24; to OR=2.00; 95% CI, 1.93-2.07). Black children in all age groups and Hispanic children aged 5 to 10 years were significantly more likely to have any potentially avoidable asthma hospitalizations and asthma-related emergency department visits (ranging from OR=1.24; 95% CI, 1.11-1.37; to OR=1.99; 95% CI, 1.37-2.88) and were significantly less likely to visit a specialist (ranging from OR=0.71; 95% CI, 0.61-0.82; to OR=0.88; 95% CI, 0.79-0.98) compared with white children. Black children in all age categories were significantly more likely to have filled any prescriptions for inhaled corticosteroids compared with white children (ranging from OR=1.11; 95% CI, 1.02-1.21; to OR=1.11; 95% CI, 1.04-1.19).Despite universal health insurance coverage, we found evidence of racial and ethnic differences in asthma prevalence, treatment, and outcomes.
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