Midweek Update

Yesterday, the FEHBlog listened to a population health management webinar presented by the National Diabetes Education Project.  The upshot of the webinar, presented by an MD and a public health researcher is that people who don’t smoke, eat sensibly, and exercise at least moderately will live a longer life and encounter a quick, low cost death. 80% of heart disease and 40% of cancers are attributable to life style. In other words, everyone should work together to prolong longevity and compress morbidity.  The speakers encouraged employers to take this tack with their employees. Each dollar spent on treating employee illnesses and injuries reportedly is tied to $2-3 lost on absenteeism and presenteeism.  The last factoid didn’t ring true to the FEHBlog because depression causes the most presenteeism problems and more spending on health care probably would reduce the ancillary cost of depression. But oh well, point taken. The speakers referred participants to Diabetes at Work, HERO Health, and a new blog by Dee Eddington (a thought leader). Tomorrow the FEHBlog plans to listen to a webinar put on by Eddington Associates.

Healthgrades.com has released its latest list of top hospitals — broken out by top 50 and top 100.  The closest top hospitals near the FEHBlog’s residence outside DC are in Baltimore and Richmond. No Washington DC metropolitan area hospitals! Here’s a link to Fierce Healthcare’s article on the top hospitals.

Finally, the Healthcare Cost Institute which is a consortium of large health insurance companies has created a website that will allow consumers to compare healthcare prices according to this Ihealthbeat article. Here’s link to the site which is called guroo.com . “The data set includes claims for more than 40 million U.S. residents. Consumers can use Guroo to query the prices for 70 services, such as diagnostic tests and office visits, in more than 300 cities, 41 states and Washington D.C.” Transparency is good.