Author Archives: Optum

Athleisure is a trend, but good health is always in style

Athleisure — yoga pants, hoodies and other fashionable activewear — is making big moves in the marketplace. This sporty attire is considered exercise-worthy yet stylish enough to transition to life outside the fitness center. And its popularity is showing no signs of slowing down. According to MarketWatch, the global market growth for athleisure is expected […]
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Curb the trend of complex, costly conditions with a comprehensive strategy

It’s not news that health care costs are rising. But did you know that a handful of costly, complex conditions are driving a quarter of the total health care spending in the United States?1 Four condition categories are responsible for driving roughly $455 billion dollars in costs: cancer, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal conditions and kidney disease. […]
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The bridge that is EVV

Across the challenges and complexities of Medicaid, few phrases roll off the tongue in this community with more negative overtones than “electronic visit verification” (EVV).  To the casual listener, these three words may be jarring to the ear, conjuring up “Big Brother images,” a Governmental oversight “gotcha” mentality based on distrust – all of which […]
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Specialty Rx: An exponential challenge for health plans

Health plans are seeing exponential growth in both the use and medical cost expense of specialty medications. In the past decade, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved more than 250 specialty medications. By 2020, specialty medications are estimated to cost $400 billion. Forty percent of that cost is expected to be paid under […]
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MSK and office ergonomics: Moving beyond the chair

Not long ago, the prevailing wisdom was to buy an ergonomic chair when an employee was missing work because of chronic back pain. Or, if an employee suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome, employers could purchase an ergonomic keyboard to ease the pain. Those are both worthy and beneficial options, of course. But musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions […]
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In a sea of apps, which is right for your employees’ health and well-being?

There’s an app for that! This is a familiar saying these days. Sometimes it truly does seem that there’s an app for just about everything. And when it comes to health, fitness and well-being, your employees are faced with a dizzying array of choices. There are more than 2.1 million apps in both the Apple […]
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Reducing clinical variation: Does it limit or enable patient care?

Reducing clinical variation continues to be a hot topic in health care. However, it’s the idea of reducing or eliminating variation that makes many physicians who may not like the idea of standardization take pause. As a physician myself, I understand the concern and have had the opportunity to see how evidence-based medicine can be […]
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The honor of caregiving

In her book, The Inspired Caregiver, Tia Walker writes, “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” As our population ages, all of us need to think about caregiving. Most of us, in one way or another, have been affected by it. Who among us hasn’t listened to […]
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Leading a team approach to value

Collaboration around the business of health care is critical In a recent marketplace survey by NEJM Catalyst on the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care, we gained interesting insight into the state of value in health care. These included snapshots of revenue distribution, models in use, barriers, important measures and more. All are important points […]
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Keep a finger on the pulse of future CVD care

The years ahead will see greater challenges in cardiovascular disease (CVD) care. To prepare for what’s coming, providers and payers will benefit from working together to optimize quality of care and patient outcomes and lower the total cost of patient care. The relentless rise of cardiovascular disease CVD is the costliest chronic disease in the […]
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