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. These recent reports fall into the categories of policy, about and from federal agencies, telemedicine, one year since the pandemic started, COVID impacts from lessons learned to vaccine hesitancy. What are they saying to you?

Policy and Federal Agencies

New Healthcare Industry Survey Reveals Majority of Healthcare Organizations Unprepared for ONC Cures Act Final Rule
Life Image (@lifeimageinc), the world’s largest medical evidence network for clinical and imaging data, released findings of its survey investigating the healthcare industry’s preparedness to comply with the Information Blocking and Improving Interoperability provisions of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) Final Rule of the 2016 Cures Act, which will be enforced starting April 5, 2021. Findings from the survey, sent in March 2021 to nearly 4,000 clinical, technology and administrative leaders from provider, payer, IT, and other organizations, demonstrate a broad lack of awareness and readiness to comply with the federal information blocking rules, meaning many organizations do not meet basic interoperability standards. The survey also indicates general confusion around the rule requirements and the specific steps organizations must take to prepare.

Relatively Few Drugs Account for a Large Share of Medicare Prescription Drug Spending
A new KFF analysis (@KFF) finds that a relatively small share of drugs, mainly those without generic or biosimilar competitors, accounted for a disproportionate share of prescription drug spending in Medicare in 2019. This finding suggests that recent proposals that focus on prices for a limited number of high-cost drugs could achieve significant savings.

New Research: General Surgeons in the Rural U.S.
New research from Rural Health Research Gateway (@RHRGateway) shows that between 2001 and 2019 the supply of general surgeons in the U.S. decreased by 29.1% in rural areas, and 18% overall. This is a crucial finding as general surgeons play a critical role in rural health care. General surgeons in rural areas decrease the need for patients to travel for routine surgery, provide backup to rural primary care providers in emergency care, obstetrics, and orthopedics, and contribute substantially to the financial health of rural hospitals. The study also found rural general surgeons are older than their urban counterparts and fewer surgeons in rural areas are women. The research was conducted by the HRSA-funded WWAMI Rural Health Research Center.

Indiana’s Medicaid Expansion — Designed by Pence and Verma — Panned in Federal Report
Indiana’s Medicaid expansion — with its “personal responsibility” provisions that require enrollees to pay monthly premiums and manage health savings accounts — proved no better at improving health and access to care than other state expansions, a federally commissioned study found. Even when compared with states that did not expand Medicaid, Indiana showed only mixed results in improving the health of low-income residents, the report said.


Telemedicine Market Size 2021: Growing Demand for Telemedicine Statistics Outlook Trends, Growth, Latest Technology with Top Company Profiles, CAGR Values
North America is the dominating regional market for telemedicine due to the increase in healthcare awareness along with cloud-based technology recognition and increasing awareness of telemedicine. A survey by Medgadget (@Medgadget) shows that in the United States, the use of telehealth in 2015 was 57% which increased in 2019 to 69% which fueled the telemedicine market into the region.

How Americans Feel About Telehealth: One Year Later
SYKES’ March 2020 telehealth survey (@SYKES_Global) revealed new insights on what Americans thought about the rise of virtual visits to the doctor and the concept of telehealth in general. At that point, telehealth was still a radical idea, and phrases like “new normal” had yet to overstay their welcome. Research outlined in the SYKES Fall 2020 telehealth apps report made it clear that all kinds of new users had already begun scheduling consultations in cyberspace due to COVID-19.

But now, with vaccines being administered all over the world, will this mean a decline in socially distanced telehealth services too? Or will patients still want access to virtual doctor visits even after distance is no longer a factor? To find out, SYKES asked 2,000 Americans in March 2021 how their opinions on telehealth have changed over the past year, what they’ve experienced, and what they think should stick around even after vaccines are widely available.

COVID Impact

What the Pandemic Taught Us About Patient Engagement
While the broad impact of COVID-19 is still unfolding, health systems are looking to understand how they can emerge stronger in the coming months and years. To do so, healthcare executives and leaders must reimagine and reinvent the patient engagement journey and make it a cornerstone of their strategic plans. To understand how best to recapture lost revenue while strengthening patient loyalty and trust, health systems need insight into how the pandemic impacted patient needs, expectations, and experiences. What went right in 2020 as health systems pivoted to virtual medicine during the pandemic? What did not go as well during the pandemic from a patient experience and satisfaction perspective?

The inaugural Stericycle Communication Solutions U.S. Consumer Trends in Patient Engagement Survey set out to help answer these and other questions. Through an objective third party, Stericycle (@Stericycle_Inc) surveyed more than 500 healthcare consumers to understand their healthcare experiences in 2020 and the impact of COVID-19 on those experiences.

Research Study Shows Lack of Information Driving COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy
Women, the Black community and Gen Z are the three groups most likely to resist receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent study conducted by LevLane Inc. (@LevLane) and MarketVision Research, Inc. (@MVisionResearch). The study of 471 adults was conducted to gain insight into which groups are most resistant to the vaccine, why they are wary, and what can be done to overcome their worries. Survey Reveals Nearly 40% of Americans Delayed Health Care During COVID-19 Pandemic
A recent (@InsureCom) survey explores whether people delayed health care during the COVID-19 pandemic and what type of health care services they avoided. Find the complete survey results and analysis: Survey: Almost 40% delayed health care during COVID-19.

GTMRx Institute Launches National Task Force to Build Vaccine Confidence
Get the Medications Right™ (GTMRx) Institute launched a national task force to identify and address the reasons why 45% of Americans don’t feel confident about vaccination against COVID-19. The GTMRx National Task Force: Building Vaccine Confidence in the Medical Neighborhood is designed to forge partnerships with trusted members of the medical “neighborhood”—physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others on the patient care team, as well as public health leaders, social workers, consumer health advocates, social marketing and community health champions—and equip them with tools and messages to build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.

Mental Health

New Technologies Revolutionize Mental Health Solutions, Soaring Provider and Consumer Satisfaction, Black Book Survey
The increasing number of government initiatives and funding sources to encourage organizational adoption of behavioral health software and IT services and the rising prevalence of mental health reforms favoring adoption has acutely increased positive user experiences, according to the 2021 Black Book ™ (@blackbookpolls) survey of 2,420 mental and behavioral health technology users.

BPC New Report: America’s Mental Health and Substance Use Crisis Requires Integrated Care
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated an already overwhelming mental health and substance use crisis in the United States. Even before this spike, many people went untreated. A new report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (@BPC_Bipartisan) Behavioral Health Integration Task Force calls for the Biden administration and Congress to advance the integration of primary care and mental health and substance use services to close the treatment gap that is expected to persist long after the pandemic.

Payers and Finance

New Analysis Shows Benefits of Electronic Prior Authorization for Patients and Providers
Electronic prior authorization (ePA) can significantly reduce the time between a request for prior authorization and a decision and the time to a patient receiving care. These were two of the top findings from an initiative launched by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) (@AHIPCoverage) to better understand the impact of ePA on the prior authorization process.