Opioids and Overdose Diagnoses

Concerns about opioid abuse and its effects continue to attract media attention. In response to the concerns, there have been public suggestions for additional funding to allow more patients to be treated, and to support specific treatment modalities or sources for care. A concern among providers and patients would be having the funding focus on…

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Infant and Toddler Poisonings

For the past 12 years, Virginia has studied the circumstances surrounding child deaths. A recently completed review of child deaths spanning 2009-2013 provides a sense of how the drug overdose problem impacts young children, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Annual Report for 2013. The study determined: After teens, children most at…

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Pediatric Asthma Emergency Room Visits

Asthma is a frequent childhood illness. Managing asthma can be difficult as it requires reducing environmental allergens (pollutants) and mitigating the body’s response to allergens through pharmaceuticals such as bronchodilators, inhaled or oral corticosteroids, and desensitization. When these efforts fail, an asthma attack occurs. If the attack escalates to asthmaticus status, it is a pediatric…

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Patient Ambulatory Care Sensitive Care Condition Admissions by Insurance Type

It is often hypothesized that Medicaid patients have difficulty securing appointments with physicians for preventative care and treatment of minor illnesses. VHHA has tested this hypothesis. Our approach to evaluating that notion is to measure whether the rate of hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) is greater among Medicaid patients than commercially insured…

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Principal Diagnoses of Patients Discharged to Home Health

Having vulnerable patients receive home health services is one approach to reducing hospital readmissions. Home health services provide community-based support to assist patients and their families in managing health care needs. Depending on the patient, that can include daily maintenance activities such as bathing, dressing wounds, or coordinating care. Home health providers – they can…

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The Medicaid Readmission Challenge

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) last week released its Hospital Guide to Reducing Medicaid Readmissions publication that functions as a federal toolkit to assist hospital teams in designing and delivering transitional care to better serve the adult Medicaid population. Adult Medicaid recipients tend to be 65 and older, have multiple chronic diseases,…

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Psychosis Diagnoses Trends

The Research Corner item in the July 29 edition of FYI Weekly focused on mental health disorders with a primary diagnosis-related group (DRG) associated with alcohol, drug abuse, or mental health issues. The key takeaways: 66,785 (or 7.8 percent of) 856,733 hospital discharges were mental health related, and among the 11 DRGs evaluated, psychosis accounted…

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Mental Health Disorder Diagnoses

Throughout Virginia and the nation, mental health remains a high priority due to its impact on the country and its citizens. This is manifested in many ways – from health care impacts to disturbing societal events and their aftermath. Many of the shocking, high-profile violent episodes that have left communities shaken are subsequently attributed to…

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Identifying Opioid Prescribing Norms

Concerns about opioid addiction are well known. As health systems search for the median amount of doctors prescribing opioids, whether the pattern is frequent or infrequent, there is a need to consider what is the norm. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have an app for that. The Medicare Part D Opioid Drug…

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