Welcome to the latest edition of Cast & Hue’s Five on Friday newsletter. Each Friday, we deliver a quick summary of five items of note associated with the evolving healthcare consumer, strategy and marketing. We hope you find it interesting and useful!

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Another Study Links Hospital Mergers to Higher Prices

HealthLeaders Media

Merger mania has been the talk of the healthcare industry over the past year. Healthcare systems and providers are merging with the hopes of consolidating services to fewer entities, but are all these mergers actually making healthcare more affordable to patients? According to a study from Northwestern University, higher prices have been linked to hospital mergers rather than savings. In this article by John Commins for HeatlhLeaders Media dives into the study and looks at the source of rising healthcare costs due to hospital mergers.

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Health Plans Pay Patients to get Cheaper Care

NBC News

In an age of high deductible health plans and healthcare savings accounts, the healthcare consumer is being tasked with shopping around and finding “value” for themselves, but what if patients were incentivized to look for more affordable treatments. A program called SmartShopper does exactly this by rewarding patients for choosing specific treatments at less expensive providers. In this article by Dan Mangan for NBC News, he looks at the details of the program, how it benefits patients, and how it helps insurance companies save a lot by spending a little.

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Healthcare Industry Seeks to Reform its Position as Hacking Target

Medical Marketing & Media

Several high profile cybersecurity attacks have hit the healthcare industry recently temporarily crippling healthcare IT systems until the threat at best can be dissolved and at worst paid off. Many healthcare systems and providers are asking how they can work to prevent attacks like these that seriously impact the flow of their businesses. In this article by Karen Hoffman, she looks at what top healthcare IT system admins are doing to prevent future attacks and what payers and providers can do now to mitigate the hacker threat.

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Let Patients Read Their Medical Records

The New York Times

How often have you gone to a doctor’s office or hospital and found that the information attached to your medical record is either outdated, or flat out wrong? According to Dr. Dhruv Khullar in this blog piece for the New York Times, he finds that medical records are, more often than not, wrong. In this piece Dr. Khullar dives into the reasons behind this, from extraneous notes to mad libs style fill in the blanks, and how it is important to retain the context and patient’s story in their medical records.

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Grocery Stores Taking More Active Roles in Health Promotion

Forbes

You may have noticed some recent changes in your local grocery store; and we’re not talking about the minute clinic or vision center. Lately, more and more grocery stores have been taking an active role in promoting community health by changing many of the ways in which they sell food that fits with a healthy diet. In this piece for Forbes, Bruce Y. Lee looks at the variety of ways in which grocery stores are adopting plans to promote healthy food and what that means for the health of their communities as a whole.

That is it for this week. We hope you find value in this newsletter and invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section.

 

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