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Study: NPs strengthening focus on promoting patient adherence

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — With physicians already in short supply and millions of uninsured Americans set to enter the healthcare system in 2014 as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect, nurses and physician assistants are stepping up to fill the gap and are increasingly taking a central role in helping patients stay on therapy, according to Manhattan Research’s "Taking the Pulse Nurses 2013" study.

"Nurse practitioners are playing a key role in driving medication adherence while using a variety of support tools, including digital support and services," Shawn Dimantha, principal analyst at Manhattan Research, stated.

Promoting adherence to treatment is becoming all the more important to providers and health systems in light of the healthcare reform-fueled shift toward outcomes-based reimbursement. The study, for which Manhattan Research surveyed 909 practicing U.S. nurses and physician assistants, found that:

  •  Nearly 9-out-of-10 NPs provide patients resources to help them stay on track with their medicines, and 3-out-of-10 NPs have referred them to such digital adherence tools as websites or apps
  • Almost half of NPs said the time they spend on patient education has increased over the past two years
  • More than 3-out-of-5 NPs said patient outcomes will be a top priority in their practice for the next one to two years

"As NPs spend more time on patient education, there is an opportunity for pharma to extend services beyond the pill, including providing more engaging online patient education materials and tools that help patients stay on their medication,” Dimantha stated.
 

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Abbott named top healthcare company in Dow Jones Sustainability Index

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Dow Jones has named Abbott an industry group leader in its 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Abbott said Thursday.

The drug maker said it achieved the top spot among healthcare companies and was one of only 24 companies selected for leading their respective industries, chosen from among 3,000 companies worldwide.

The company was recognized for innovation management, supply chain management, stakeholder engagement, customer relationship management, environmental reporting, human capital development, talent attraction and retention, labor practices and human rights, social reporting, strategy to improve access to drugs or products, corporate citizenship and philanthropy and health outcome contribution.

 

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HHS donates $5.3 million for rural telehealth

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services is devoting more than $5 million in grants to expand health information technology to rural areas, including telehealth, the agency said Thursday.

HHS said it would devote nearly $5.3 million for workforce expansion and the use of telehealth to improve mental health services for veterans in rural areas, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

Of that, almost $4.4 million will go to rural organizations in 15 states to recruit and train current healthcare staff, local unemployed workers, rural veterans and other potential students to meet the technology needs of rural hospitals and clinics. Meanwhile, Maine, Montana and Alaska will each receive $300,000 to enhance crisis intervention services through telehealth technologies.

"Health IT is growing in rural communities, and its use is even more critical now as we’re expanding access to patients living in those areas," Sebelius said. "This investment is designed to attract, train and retain HIT specialists who might otherwise seek education and job opportunities away from their own rural communities where their skills are greatly needed."

 

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