Reflex: November 18, 2011

Christopher Shea writes on how to get doctors to wash their hands. Researchers monitored the contents of 66 dispensers in a hospital, before and after putting new signs near them. The signs read “Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases”; “Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases.” Changing the focus increased hand washing from 81% to 89%. Aaron’s comment: I need to read the whole study, but let’s focus on how much time we seem to be spending getting an engaged group to make a simple change. Changing behavior is hard.

Retail clinics are on the rise, reports Julie Appleby (KHN). “Walmart and other retailers are looking for ways to expand services at their in-store clinics. Already, CVS Caremark, the largest operator of in-store clinics with nearly 550, and Walgreens have set up programs aimed at helping diabetics monitor and control their condition, which includes counseling chats with pharmacists.” Austin’s comment: The story is worth a full read. On Monday, I will post on one of the studies cited.

Census reports rapid increase in persons over age 90, writes Hope Yen. 2 Million Americans are age 90+, around 3 times more than 30 years ago; there will be 8.7 Million by 2050. Don’s commentCLASS wasn’t a panacea for providing long term care, but was an attempt at a proactive policy to address a LTC system that no one seems to like, and is ill prepared to deal with the baby boomers. Here are some ideas about how LTC might be insured. It is much easier to be opposed to something than it is to produce something better. It will be interesting to see if the House of Representatives, which is moving to formally repeal CLASS, will propose anything in its place. The answer could provide a hint of what to expect in the way of replace bills for the ACA. Here is today’s post on Howard Gleckman’s latest LTC suggestion.

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