The number of eligible seniors enrolled in Medicare fee-for-service who went to their doctor for Annual Wellness Visits increased from 1.4 to 27.5 percent in the three years (2011-2013) since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded Medicare coverage to fully cover preventive care visits, according to a study conducted by Sukyung Chung, Ph.D., assistant scientist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) that was published in the January issue of Health Affairs. The study suggests that expanding coverage for Annual Wellness Visits is an effective way of ensuring more seniors get needed preventive care.
The study evaluated primary care patients at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) and assessed the impact of the expansion in coverage on utilization of preventive visits. Among Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries, annual preventive visit rates increased by two-fold, from 17 percent in 2007 to 32 percent in 2013. Read More about Study Finds More Medicare Seniors Get Preventive Care Since ACA Expansion
FDA taps PAMF Research Institute & Johns Hopkins Medicine study team
Generic drugs can save millions in health care costs, while providing the same quality, safety and efficacy as brand medications. Yet many doctors still prescribe brand-name treatments for their patients. Why?
To find out, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tapped a team at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) and Johns Hopkins Medicine for a two-year study that will analyze factors that contribute to the underuse of generic drugs. Read More about New Study Investigates Underuse of Generic Drugs
In a recent study, researchers at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) ranked the healthiness of 150 national chain restaurants in the United States. The 2013 study was lead by Primary Investigator Lenny Lesser, M.D., MSHS, a family medicine physician at PAMFRI, and funded in part by The California Endowment. Dr. Lesser presented the team’s research – and the launch of a new interactive rating system and website for consumers that shares information on which chain restaurants are healthier than others – on November 19, 2014 at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
PCORI-funded study aims to create user-friendly online tool for people to select Rx drug plans
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) has launched a new research study to create a more user-friendly online tool to help older adults select Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. PAMFRI is looking for older adults to participate in the study and share their experiences in a focus group. The research project is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
“Currently, Medicare beneficiaries often have to choose among more than 30 different Medicare Part D plans,” said Ming Tai-Seale, Ph.D., MPH, PAMFRI senior scientist. “This is a difficult and confusing task. Through this study we hope to create a more effective tool that is easier to use and will help individuals select their prescription drug plans. In order to build a better tool, we want to understand what it’s like for older adults to select a Medicare Part D plan.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has awarded the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) a $1.7M three-year grant (R01HL119845) to study a new way to measure the effects of a disease and its treatment on patients’ lives. The study will focus on asthma to test the new approach.
Many tools already exist to help physicians and scientists measure patients’ symptoms, physical limitations and emotional well-being. However, “These measures alone don’t tell physicians caring for patients or scientists developing new medical treatments how the patient feels their quality of life is being affected, says , PAMFRI senior scientist and the study’s principal investigator. “Getting that information requires a new type of measure.”
Study on Benefits of Strength Training Regimen for Normal Weight Diabetics
Researchers at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) have been awarded a $3M grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to study the benefits of strength training for people with type 2 diabetes who are at normal weight.
With type 2 diabetes, the body cannot use insulin properly to control blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity has been shown to help control blood sugar levels, and current guidelines emphasize aerobic exercise and weight loss for overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes. However, up to one in five people with type 2 diabetes are at normal weight, with a body mass index (BMI) under 25. They may not need to lose weight. For these individuals, best exercise regimen is not yet known. There is evidence that strength training, which improves muscle mass while decreasing body fat, may be more beneficial for normal weight diabetics than other types of exercise. Read More about NIH Awards $3M Grant to PAMF Research Institute