Studies, Surveys and Reports: What Can We Learn?

There is no shortage these days of organizations gathering information and analyzing it to determine what it is saying to us. Our roundup of studies and reports this month include the continued impact the pandemic has had on all aspects of our healthcare system. We also look at HL7 standards in our quest for interoperability. And the Lown Institute Hospital Index assesses procedure overuse in 3100 US hospitals.

Finance and Cost

2021 Winning Hospitals: Avoiding Overuse
The Lown Institute (@lowninstitute) Hospitals Index is the first ranking to apply overuse criteria to over 3,100 U.S. hospitals to assess their success at avoiding tests and procedures that offer little to no clinical benefit to patients. Related research has been published in JAMA Network Open (April 2021). They examined twelve low-value services, such as hysterectomy for benign disease, coronary stents for stable heart disease, and head imaging for fainting, chosen based on their validation in previous overuse studies. Full results of the Lown Institute Hospitals Index for 2021, including 50+ metrics, will be available on June 29th.

1 in 6 U.S. Workers Stay in Unwanted Job for Health Benefits
One out of every six adult workers whose primary health insurance comes from an employer are staying in jobs they might otherwise leave out of fear of losing their health benefits. The fear is even more pronounced among Black workers and those making less than $48,000 a year. These results are based on a new study conducted by West Health (@WestHealth) and Gallup (@GallupNews).

Best and Worst States for Elderly Healthcare
Senior Americans are constantly hunting for affordable, quality healthcare, and more U.S. adults are graying all the time. Each day, 10,000 Baby Boomers celebrate their 65th birthday. That number will double in a few decades, leading to 20% of the U.S. population having surpassed that milestone by 2050. Medicare plays a central part in healthcare for adults over 65 (nearly 63 million enrolled in 2020). Yet they don’t all experience the same quality of care. Where you live matters. MedicareGuide (@HealthCareInc) looked at multiple factors such as prescription drug prices, doctors per capita and life expectancy to determine which states offered the best (and worst) healthcare for adults over 65.

Pandemic Impacts

CDC Guidelines, Reopening and Stimulus Checks – How People Really Feel
Americans can all take a collective breath now as the U.S. prepares to fully reopen back to pre-pandemic standards. People are starting to resume the regular activities they’ve missed over the last year like dining in restaurants and going to the movies. But as the U.S. continues to vaccinate, how are people really feeling about going back to normal and how have their feelings changed over the last year? Invisibly used it’s Realtime Research tool to poll 1277 Americans to find out their opinions on the trustworthiness of the CDC, what they did with their stimulus checks, and how they feel about their state’s reopening plan.

Physician Compensation Flattens due to the Pandemic’s Impact on Medical Groups
Despite the wide-ranging financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on physician practices in 2020 — which included lower patient volumes, caps on elective procedures and a growing number of practice closures — new research from Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) (@MGMA) reveals that compensation for most physicians has remained steady. The “2021 MGMA Provider Compensation and Production” report, which reflects data from more than 185,000 providers across more than 6,700 physician-owned and hospital-owned organizations, shows that compensation for primary care physicians saw modest growth in 2020, and many physician specialties have seen slight increases or met previous year compensation during the most significant economic challenges experienced by the healthcare industry in nearly a century.

Steep Decline in Prostate Cancer Outpatient Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic, According to Research by Verana Health and American Urological Association
Verana Health (@veranahealth)—a healthcare technology and analytics innovator focused on transforming multi-specialty clinical data into real-world evidence—and the American Urological Association (AUA) (@AmerUrological) unveiled findings of a research collaboration showing that the COVID-19 pandemic sharply curtailed access to outpatient care for men with prostate cancer in the United States across all risk groups, but particularly for those with low-risk disease. Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death in older men.

Virtual Care

A Year in Hybrid Care
“A Year in Hybrid Care” is a comprehensive data analysis of healthcare appointment booking trends from May 2020, the first full month Zocdoc (@Zocdoc) facilitated video visit bookings, through May 2021. The data shows how Zocdoc users’ appointment booking behavior changed as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, beginning with an unprecedented shift toward virtual care in early 2020. Now, more than 170 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and people are beginning to resume many of their pre-pandemic activities, including returning to doctors’ offices.


HL7® International Case Study Library
HL7® International (@HL7) is a not-for-profit member, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. These case studies illuminate how IT and C-suite healthcare professionals are using HL7 standards to improve and advance modern healthcare. Case study content has been produced to share knowledge about how HL7 standards are being implemented in the real world. It does not indicate HL7 International endorsement of any particular product or organization.