Medical Muse: May 2018 Issue

May 30, 2018

 

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How the Digitization of Healthcare is Changing Medical Adherence

 

Emerging technologies like integrated delivery networks and electronic health systems are revolutionizing the healthcare industry. These digital tools have refined how providers prescribe, administer and evaluate drug products, leading to better patient outcomes.

 

APPs can now even see exactly how patients are using prescribed treatments. This data is crucial, especially since medical adherence is a leading challenge in the industry. In fact, a reported 75 percent of patients do not consistently take their prescribed medications as directed.

 

As GlaxoSmithKline’s global head of digital innovation Andrew Ploxzay, Ph.D., shares, “We could start to know whether or not someone is taking the prescribed medication and how that relates to their health status. The health care system at large has never had access to that data so that's a really interesting place for us."

 

PA Average Salary Exceeds $107K 💸

 

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants reported that PAs now earn an average salary of $107,718. Just for reference, that’s a 12.7% increase since 2012. This compensation increase occurs as PAs are gaining more autonomy in their work, thanks to easing legislative barriers.

 

Aside from that, there are several reasons why the PA profession earned the third spot on the 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s list of “The 100 Best Jobs in America.” Having fewer years of schooling than doctors (i.e. less student debt), more career flexibility and unlimited job opportunities certainly makes the field appealing.

 

With those perks, it’s no wonder why the number of PAs has skyrocketed nearly 54% since 2010. Even with this surge in providers, however, PAs can rest assured that they will continue to be invaluable members of the medical community.

 

A Comprehensive Approach to Reduce Healthcare Spending

 

A recent study conducted by WellCare Health Plans, Inc. and the University of South Florida (USF) College of Public Health found that providing social services is an effective strategy for reducing healthcare spending.

 

Researchers evaluated the effects of providing services to alleviate problems such as homelessness, transportation barriers and food insecurity among Medicaid and Medicare Advantage recipients.

 

For participants who felt their social needs were met, this approach yielded a 10% minimum reduction in healthcare spending that amounted to over $2,400 being saved per person per year. The study cited fewer primary care and ER visits as reasons for reduced expenses.

 

These findings illuminate the need for comprehensive patient care that assesses health in the socioeconomic context.

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