Harvard Study Shows Global Payment Approach Can Reduce Costs While Improving Quality

A bold project to reduce healthcare costs that combines global payments with quality incentives has paid off for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, according to a  Harvard Medical School study published in the journal Health Affairs.

The study shows that physicians and hospitals that participated in the project over two years experienced savings of 2.8 percent compared to spending in nonparticpating groups. At the same time, “quality of care also improved compared to control organizations, with chronic care management, adult preventive care, and pediatric care within the contracting groups improving more in year two than in year one,” according to the study.   Read more

The Intimate Public: Extending the Benefit of Healthcare’s Online Communities

flickr: kaybee07

Recently, when reading an article by Chelsea Lonsdale in the Slughorne Journal titled The “Intimate Public” of Mommy Blogs, I was reminded of the concept of “the intimate public” first introduced by Lauren Berlant. It’s a helpful concept as you consider how online communities can be used to prevent or manage illness, as well as how to extend the benefit of these online communities to offline patients.

Lonsdale borrowed the phrase “intimate public” from Lauren Berlant’s book The Female Complaint (2008) and related Berlant’s definition of intimate public: “a porous, affective scene of identification among strangers that promises a certain experience of belonging and provides a complex of consolation, confirmation, discipline, and  discussion about how to live as an x.” Read more

How Social Media Can Help Top Performing Hospitals Spread the Word

Editor’s Note: Occasionally I pull blogposts from the archives that resonate today. This one struck me as a particularly good example of how to use social media to benefit a hospital. Originally posted Sep 14, 2011. 

Today The Joint Commission releases its “Improving America’s Hospitals” annual report, including its first ever list of the nation’s top performers on key quality measures.

This recognition is based on data reported about evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care and children’s asthma.

If your hospital is one of the fortunate 405 hospitals in America receiving this recognition, it’s a great opportunity to distinguish yourself from your competition. Read more

Attention Doctors: Social Media Really Can Make Your Life Easier

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of blog posts about Dr. Jeff Livingston, an OB/GYN who got hooked on social media when his teenage daughter suggested he launch a My Space page to reach out to high school students who had questions about pregnancy and STDs.

Flckr: CSA

Flckr: CSA

MacArthur OB/GYN is an Irving, TX, medical practice that uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, 4Square, Pinterest and HealthTap to engage with patients.

Most providers ask, “How can they possibly have time to include all that social media in their practice?” Read more

What I’m Learning at the Mayo Clinic Social Media Seattle Residency


WendySueSwansonI’m sitting in the conference room at the Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill campus in Seattle.

It’s the first day of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Residency in Seattle, and it’s my good fortune to be joining Lee Aase (@LeeAase), Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson (@SeattleMamaDoc) and Dana Lewis (@DanaMLewis) as chief residents for the residency. That means I give a couple of presentations on Facebook and video production, answer questions and help the residents (17 healthcare professionals) complete their projects. Read more