Friday Five - March 10, 2017

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March 10, 2017
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In today’s Friday Five, we are sharing the five news stories that piqued our interest this week, ranging from the cost of health illiteracy to the potential look of Medicaid under the new Republican health care plan to a growing trend in telehealth applications.

1. Medicaid’s Role: What’s at Stake Under a Block Grant or Per Capita Cap?

Who does Medicaid cover and how are Medicaid funds spent? These questions and more are answered by a Kaiser Family Foundation video on Medicaid and how converting the program to a block grant or per capita cap would affect coverage and spending.

2. Health Illiteracy Is Costly and Can Be Deadly

77 million adults in the US have a basic or below average understanding of health care. Not only can this be dangerous – leading to mistakes in taking medication or poor self-reported health – but it can also be costly, adding between $106 billion and $238 billion to the US health care system’s costs each year. CNN explains why poor health literacy isn’t so uncommon and what can be done to improve patient understanding.

3. What You Need to Know About the New Health Care Plan – and Medicaid

Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives recently presented their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act – but what does that mean for Medicaid? STAT News discusses what Medicaid and its financing would look like under the new plan.

4. Spending on Health Innovation as Investment

A recent study predicted that as soon as 2030, average life expectancy in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries will reach 85. As more and more populations live longer, 20th century approaches to health spending must be updated to reflect these trends and adapt to technological innovations. The Huffington Post details innovative steps, like Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), that can improve health outcomes and reduce costs.

5. Telehealth: A Vital Tool in the Home Healthcare Space

Telehealth and mobile health (mHealth) platforms are becoming more widespread as health systems seek to advance care quality in the home health industry while promoting efficiencies. These digital health tools can help health systems continue and reinforce care management after a patient’s hospital discharge, particularly for those at risk of returning to the hospital. mHealth Intelligence explores several case studies and examples of telehealth in action.