Recent Publications

Publication Highlights

Medicaid expansion helped reduce reliance on federal income assistance

Doctor and familyIn 2014, a change was enacted through the Affordable Care Act that allowed low-income, non-elderly adults to become eligible for Medicaid without requiring them to obtain disabled status through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, the federal income assistance program for low-income families with disabilities. In a new study co-authored by Dr. Marguerite Burns to examine the effects of this change, the authors found that in the period after the 2014 expansion, the average number of SSI participants fell by 3% in the states that expanded Medicaid, but the number of SSI participants continued to rise in non-expansion states. Read the full press release here.

Building the learning health system: describing an infastructure to support continuous learning

IdeasIn a recent article, authors from UW PATH describe how structures and processes to support the functions of an academic learning health system were implemented at an academic health center through a series of organizational interventions. The interventions increased system-level performance in multiple areas, including patient satisfaction, screening rates, improvement education, and patient engagement. In a learning health system, organizations understand their performance across the continuum of care and use that information to continuously improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Insurance coverage for CT colonography increases overall colorectal cancer screening rates

CT ScanDr. Maureen Smith et al. found in a recent study that people who had insurance coverage for computed tomography (CT) colonography—or virtual colonoscopy—for colorectal cancer screening were almost 50% more likely to be screened than people whose insurance didn't cover the procedure. CT colonography is a less invasive procedure than the conventional colonoscopy used to screen for colorectal cancer. As a result of the study, the American College of Radiology has released a statement urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to start offering CT colonography coverage for seniors. View more about the study here.

Study seeks to improve screening for falls in emergency departments

Fall

In a recent study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society by Dr. Brian Patterson et al. to determine the best way to classify emergency department visits resulting from falls, the investigators found that using diagnosis (ICD-9) codes missed 20% of fall-related visits when compared to using a definition that also used chief complaint to identify the visits. Patients who were missed with the diagnosis code-based definition were less likely to have been admitted to the hospital than those who were identified with the diagnosis code criteria. This study draws attention to the value of using chief complaint information to identify patients who have fallen. A press release about the article is available here.

A family-centered rounds checklist, family engagement, and patient safety

Family-Centered RoundsIn a recent randomized clinical trial led by Dr. Elizabeth Cox, implementing a checklist during family-centered rounds increased family engagement and the safety of hospitalized children from the perspective of the families. The checklist was developed with input from the hospital staff and families of hospitalized children, and two items were found to significantly increase family engagement: when hospital staff read back orders, families engaged in more decision-making and provided more information, and families were also more engaged when the team talked about goals for discharge. A press release about the study is available here, and the materials needed to implement the family-centered rounds checklist in are available here.

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