The Truven Health Blog

The latest healthcare topics from a trusted, proven, and unbiased source.

Is the Market Coming Back? Increase in Primary Care Visits

By Linda MacCracken/Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Linda MacCracken imageOutpatient volume is "in" again.  Two straight quarters of primary care visits tracked by Truven Health Analytics show gains after a nine-quarter decrease.  Yes, the market is coming back and as the Wall Street Journal says, "It May Be Time to See a Doctor" (8/10/12)

Some providers have told us that inpatient declines are influenced by readmission reduction and observation case coding increase - is this a harbinger of better site of care management?  Is the outpatient surge part of integrated care delivery, or better site of care management or consumer confidence in healthcare?  The following are some implications to consider:

1) Are your inpatient admissions up or down?
2) What's the impact of observation status and/ or avoidable readmissions? Is this an indicator that your coding and care management are better balanced?
3) Are your outpatient visits up or down, and if so, in what areas? 
4) Are your primary care providers' visit volumes up or down?
5) How much of the volume gain is influenced by direct patient acquistion tactics?
5) How does this influence your outlook on outpatient volume acquisition or primary care delivery?

Consider these implications and then read the full story from the Journal by clicking here. Please do comment on what you are seeing in your medical community or in your market!

Announcing Truven Health Analytics

By Truven Staff/Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Truven Health Logo 2012We’re pleased to announce that the $1.25 billion sale of the Thomson Reuters Healthcare business to an affiliate of Veritas Capital was completed today.  The company’s many well-known brands, established in more than 30 years of leadership in the healthcare industry, include Advantage Suite®, Action OI®, MarketScan®, 100 Top Hospitals®, CareDiscoveryTM and Micromedex®.
The newly independent company will be known as Truven Health Analytics, a name based on the words ‘truth’ and ‘proven’ that speaks to the strength of its offerings, expertise, and people.
Truven Health Analytics provides data, analytics and performance benchmarking solutions and services to hospitals, health systems, employers, health plans, government agencies and pharmaceutical companies.  With leading assets and solutions coupled with expert services and analysis, Truven Health Analytics provides its customers with solutions to identify savings, improve outcomes, detect fraud, and more efficiently manage their healthcare operations.
Truven Health Analytics employs approximately 2,200 people worldwide and has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, Chicago and Denver.
We look forward to continuing to help you stay in tune with the issues affecting healthcare, along with our perspectives based on analysis of the data behind the trends.

Wii Fit Not Putting the Fit in Fitness

By Jill Faulkner Bogdan/Wednesday, February 29, 2012

fitness image

Contrary to Nintendo’s effort, video games won’t make your kids healthier, or at least that is what a recent study has shown.  Nintendo’s Wii video game system and its corresponding games have been marketed to children and parents alike as a way to get kids off the couch and exercising as the United States battles an obesity epidemic, plaguing adults and children alike.  In 2008, more than 1/3 of children and adolescents were overweight or obese and the Center for Disease Control estimates that childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past thirty years.

To get a clearer picture of how, or if,  the Wii system actually influenced the amount of exercise its child users get, the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas gave Wii consoles and games to 78 overweight children between the ages of 9 and 12 and then tracked their physical activity. Half of the children were given a choice of an active game like, Dance Dance Revolution, and the other half were given a choice of sedentary games like Super Mario. At the mid-point of the study, the children were offered a second game from the same category as the first-active or inactive. 

Accelerometers were used to track the children’s physical activity levels for 13 weeks.  After the thirteen weeks of tracking, researchers found that the children playing active games got an average of 25 to 28 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity each day while children playing inactive games got an average of 26 to 29 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity each day, essentially disproving the theory that the Wii and its active games facilitate exercise.  According to theoriginal Reuters article, Nintendo was unavailable for comment.
While this study may very well prove the old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, exercise scientist, Jacob Barkley, told Reuters Health, “Maybe the Wii isn’t going to increase physical activity a whole heck of a lot, but it might increase caloric expenditure a bit more than a traditional sedentary video game, and if you do that on a daily basis that could have a cumulative effect that might be beneficial.”