From Washington, DC —
- The House of Representatives and the Senate are in session this week for Committee business and floor voting. Congress is scheduled to begin its August recess next week.
From the mental health coverage front —
- Fierce Healthcare tells us,
- “The United Health Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, each year releases America’s Health Rankings, which dive into major healthcare trends across the country. The latest analysis of that data examines how different populations are experiencing the rising tide of mental health concerns.
- “For example, adults with disabilities were 3.5 times more likely to report frequent mental distress and 3.5 times more likely to have had a major depressive episode in the last year.
- “This data is highlighting the need to take a closer look,” said Yusra Benhalim, M.D., senior national medical director at Optum Behavioral Health Solutions, in an interview. “I think we need to kind of lean in a little bit more and understand what the experience is like for individuals with disabilities.”
- Health Affairs Forefront considers whether the private sector lead in addressing this mental health equity crisis. The FEHBlog thinks it can.
From the generative AI front —
- The Wall Street Journal reports,
- “Hundreds of doctors across the U.S. have entrusted recordings of their private talks with patients to a startup promising to turn the conversations into usable medical records through artificial intelligence.
- “The technology makes multiple errors while producing the reports, such as failing to use correct medical terminology and adding medicines a patient isn’t taking, according to current and former workers.
- “To fix those errors, health-tech startup DeepScribe relies on 200 human contractors to listen to the medical conversations and revise the records, the company’s founders said. The workers also use Google searches to find billing codes.”
- This reminds the FEHBlog of a situation that occurred nearly thirty years ago. A client decided to use then new scanning technology to feed paper claims into its claims system for auto-processing. The client wound up needing at least a hundred people to correct errors in the scans. Over time the technology improved, and human assistance dropped off to reasonable levels. The FEHBlog is certain that, in due time, generative AI will be able to create these reports without human assistance.
From the U.S. healthcare business front, NPR warns providers have begun to bill patients and their health plans for responding to messages posted on the provider’s patient portal. Before long, generative AI will be able to reply on the doctor’s behalf.
From the wellness front, Fortune Well shares expert advice on four habits that aging folks need to adopt, besides exercise, to stay fit.