Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Patients with chronic conditions who are not adherent to their medications cost the health care system hundreds of billions of dollars, but a new study suggests that synching up prescription refill timelines for patients who take multiple medications may help curb forgetfulness and noncompliance, reported Kaiser Health News. In the study, researchers found that patients with aligned prescription refills were more likely to follow their drug regimens, with overall rates of adherence increasing by 3 to 10 percentage points between September 2013 and December 2014. Despite the promising results, some independent researchers noted that the findings are only the first step, and that further analysis is needed.
To ensure that heart patients receive the most beneficial individualized treatment, Medicare has started to require some patients to see a second doctor before receiving the recently approved medical device called the Watchman. The Watchman is for patients with atrial fibrillation, a condition that affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States, according to The Wall Street Journal. This new rule is to help ensure that patients’ opinions and values on their care is taken into account when choosing a treatment that can result in increased patient satisfaction.
The widespread popularity of different social media platforms allows individuals to document their life and share it with others, but it has also provided a platform for employees at nursing homes and assisted living centers to post abusive and humiliating photos and videos of their residents. In a memo by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, federal health regulators plan to crack down on these employees, reported NPR. The announcement comes after a series of ProPublica reports documenting the abuse in 47 instances since 2012. CMS stated Friday that they should begin checking to ensure that all nursing homes have policies that prohibit staff from taking demeaning photographs, and for state officials to quickly investigate these complaints and report the offending employees to state licensing agencies for investigation and potential discipline.