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Survey: Food regs among ways to deter diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

The New York City health commissioner’s ban on the sale of big cups of fountain soda drew many an unfavorable accusation that the administration of mayor Michael Bloomberg was trying to turn the city into a nanny state, with NaturalNews.com editor Mike Adams asking, “What’s next? Is Bloomberg gonna pull a Singapore and ban chewing gum too?”


But despite public criticism of the law, it appears popular among physicians as one of many ways to combat the rapid rise of diabetes in the United States, according to a survey presented last month at Joslin’s Diabetes Innovation 2012 conference. 


The survey, conducted by Joslin Diabetes Center and healthcare research firm WorldOne, included more than 150 endocrinologists and primary care physicians. The survey found that 76% of physicians supported federal government regulation of foods containing unhealthy ingredients, while 71% supported the New York ban. 


“These results are very important to us and our mission,” Joslin executive director of diabetes innovation and global professional education Julie Brown said. “With Diabetes Innovation 2012, it’s vital that all stakeholders are aligned, and we understand beliefs and concerns that may derail progress toward a more effective system. If stakeholder groups’ concerns are not understood or ignored, we won’t realize the true cooperation we need to make any sustained, valuable improvement.”


The survey found that 97% said individual health counseling has a powerful effect on the health of people with diabetes. Eighty-seven percent said more pharmaceutical options for the disease are needed, while 62% said such devices as insulin pumps, monitors and implants, as well as drug therapies, are most likely to have the greatest near-term benefit to patients.


At the same time, there were significant differences between the responses of physicians and delegates to the conference. While 55% of delegates said pharmacists should be able to serve as primary care providers for people with diabetes, 15% of the 150 physicians said the same. Meanwhile, 70% of physicians said pharmaceutically assisted innovations are necessary for obesity management, compared with 45% of delegates. Seventeen percent of physicians said future screening would have a positive effect on clinical outcomes; 9% of delegates said the same.


According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, mostly Type 2, which results from unhealthy diets. In addition, 79 million people have prediabetes, a condition in which patients are at high risk of developing the disease.

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Clinics boom as care moves closer to home

BY Antoinette Alexander

As the healthcare landscape continues to undergo significant changes, a new report by Marketdata Enterprises puts a number against a highly valuable and fast-growing segment of health care that will continue to grow regardless of who is elected president and what happens to healthcare reform: retail-based health clinics.


The September 2012 report, titled “The Market for Retail Health Clinics and Urgent Care Centers,” examined the operations of both convenient care clinics and urgent care centers.


“Health care is moving closer to the consumer — at home via telemedicine and online, and where they work and shop (e.g., supermarkets, drug stores and big-box chains, such as Target and Walmart). Consequently, investors, retailers and hospital systems have recognized this, and the number of ‘convenient care’ clinics and ‘urgent clinic’ centers is growing strongly. It’s likely to stay that way through 2016,” according to the report.


Right now, the urgent care centers are the big piece of the pie, dwarfing retail health clinics both in terms of revenues and number of locations. 


However, DSN believes that will eventually change. Why? Retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Target and Walmart can deliver a scalability that regional urgent care operators simply cannot. For one thing, such retailers already have the stores and the best real estate.


According to Marketdata, an independent market research publisher of studies about service industries, average revenues per retail clinic are $512,000, making the market worth about $694 million in 2011. Marketdata analysts forecast that by 2016 there will be about 2,700 retail clinics in operation, generating revenues of $1.38 billion. 


“Roughly 20% of the total number of clinics from 2014 on will be new ones. One would expect their caseloads to be lower than ‘mature’ or established clinics. However, the [Patient Protection and] Affordable Care Act and the primary care MD shortage, plus the influx of 32 million new people into the healthcare system, should override that,” the report stated.


In a statement sent to DSN, Convenient Care Association executive director Tine Hansen-Turton said, “CCA expects to see significant growth in the sector in the next couple of years, and it’s exciting to see how the model of care has helped transform health care to be consumer-driven.”

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At the higher end of the e-prescribing curve

BY DSN STAFF

According to Surescripts, almost 400,000 physicians — about 58% of all office-based doctors — were e-prescribing at the end of 2011. The net effect: About 36% of all prescriptions were sent electronically in 2011.


For the full report, click here.

How does that match up against Accent-Health/Patient Views panelists? Fully 36% of patients told AccentHealth they were given a choice of how they would like to receive their prescription, either electronically or on paper. Overall, 51% said they are receiving their scripts electronically, but when given the choice, almost two-thirds say they would choose e-prescriptions. 


In all, nearly 750 patients participated in the online survey, conducted by AccentHealth from July 19 to Aug. 1.


It’s important to understand that Accent-Health patient-panelists are not your average consumer. They are high users of health care, particularly pharmacy care, filling 63% more prescriptions a year than the average consumer and visiting the pharmacy about 66% more frequently in a typical year than the average. If you want a better understanding of what’s important to pharmacy patients, it probably makes sense to ask the people who use the pharmacy most. 


Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine, as well as the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to [email protected]

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