The Relevance of Ultrasound Imaging of Suspicious Axillary Lymph Nodes and Fine-needle Aspiration Biopsy in the Post-ACOSOG Z11 Era in Early Breast Cancer
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Evaluation of nodal involvement in early-stage breast cancers (T1 or T2) changed following the Z11 trial; however, not all patients meet the Z11 inclusion criteria. Hence, the relevance of ultrasound imaging of the axilla and fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNA) in early-stage breast cancers was investigated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this single-center, retrospective study, 758 subjects had pathology-verified breast cancer diagnosis over a 3-year period, of which 128 subjects with T1 or T2 breast tumors had abnormal axillary lymph nodes on ultrasound, had FNA, and proceeded to axillary surgery. Ultrasound images were reviewed and analyzed using multivariable logistic regression to identify the features predictive of positive FNA. Accuracy of FNA was quantified as the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve with axillary surgery as reference standard.
RESULTS: Of 128 subjects, 61 were positive on FNA and 65 were positive on axillary surgery. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of FNA were 52 of 65 (80%), 54 of 63 (85.7%), 52 of 61(85.2%), and 54 of 67 (80.5%), respectively. After adjusting for neoadjuvant chemotherapy between FNA and surgery, a positive FNA was associated with higher likelihood for positive axillary surgery (odds ratio: 22.7; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 7.2-71.3, P < .0001), and the accuracy of FNA was 0.801 (95% CI: 0.727-0.876). Among ultrasound imaging features, cortical thickness and abnormal hilum were predictive (P < .017) of positive FNA with accuracy of 0.817 (95% CI: 0.741-0.893).
CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasound imaging and FNA can play an important role in the management of early breast cancers even in the post-Z11 era. Higher weightage can be accorded to cortical thickness and hilum during ultrasound evaluation.
Coming Out of the Dark: A Curriculum for Teaching and Evaluating Radiology Residents' Communication Skills Through Simulation
Case report: The purpose of this pilot is to develop and implement a curriculum to teach radiology residents communication skills through simulation.
The purpose of this study was to determine (a) the frequency of apocrine metaplasia (ApoM) found on MR core biopsy of suspicious findings, and (b) to determine if there are specific MR imaging features that might obviate the need for biopsy. This HIPAA-compliant retrospective study was performed under IRB exemption for quality assurance studies. Patient demographics, MR imaging features, and pathology were reviewed. Breast lesions which underwent MR-guided biopsy, yielding ApoM on pathology analysis were included. Retrospective review of MR imaging features of these lesions was performed by two radiologists blinded to pathology results except for the presence of ApoM. Imaging features on MR assessed included location, size, morphology, T1 and T2 signals, and enhancement kinetics. Full pathology results were subsequently reviewed during data analysis. The pathology slides and imaging was subsequently reviewed by two fellowship trained radiologists and a breast pathologist to categorize the finding of ApoM into target lesion (imaging corresponds to size of lesion on pathology) versus incidental lesion. Target lesion characteristics were assessed to determine specific MRI features of ApoM. Between January 2011 to November 2012, 155 distinct breast lesions suspicious for malignancy successfully underwent MR-guided biopsy. Of the 155 lesions biopsied, 123 (79%) were benign and 32 (21%) were malignant. Of the 123 benign biopsies, ApoM was found in 57 (46%), of which 35 (61%) had no associated atypia and 22 (39%) had associated atypia. Of the 32 malignant biopsies, three (9%) had associated ApoM (DCIS in two cases and DCIS/LCIS in one case). Of the 60 cases with ApoM, only 11 (18.3%) were target lesions and 49 were incidental lesions (81.7%). Of the 60 cases with ApoM, 35 (58%) were masses (average size 0.8 cm for both with or without atypia) and 25 (42%) were nonmass enhancement (NME) (average size 2.1 cm with and 1.0 cm without atypia). Only five (14%) of 35 masses demonstrated spiculated margins, of which four were associated with atypia (80%). Of 22 lesions with atypia or other high-risk lesion, 14 (64%) were masses, most commonly with irregular margins (64%). Of the 12 T2 hyperintense lesions, only two (1.7)% had associated atypia or high-risk lesion, and none were associated with malignancy. Of the 11 target lesions, seven were T2 hyperintense. Enhancement kinetics were variable: 30 (50%) showed mixed persistent and plateau kinetics, eight (13%) persistent delayed enhancement, 10 (17%) plateau kinetics, four (7%) washout kinetics, and eight (13%) were below threshold for kinetic analysis. ApoM is a common benign pathologic result at MR-guided core biopsy for both masses and NME accounting for 39% of all biopsy results in this series. Although there is considerable variability in imaging characteristics on MR, our results suggest biopsy may be safely obviated for lesions that are subcentimeter T2 hyperintense areas of NME and short term follow-up imaging may be a reasonable alternative for these lesions.
Blog post to AEA365, a blog sponsored by the American Evaluation Association (AEA) dedicated to highlighting Hot Tips, Cool Tricks, Rad Resources, and Lessons Learned for evaluators. The American Evaluation Association is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of program evaluation, personnel evaluation, technology, and many other forms of evaluation. Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products, and organizations to improve their effectiveness.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasingly prevalent condition and the most common sustained arrhythmia encountered in ambulatory and hospital practice. Several clinical risk factors for AF include age, sex, valvular heart disease, obesity, sleep apnea, heart failure, and hypertension (HTN). Of all the risk factors, HTN is the most commonly encountered condition in patients with incident AF. Hypertension is associated with a 1.8-fold increase in the risk of developing new-onset AF and a 1.5-fold increase in the risk of progression to permanent AF. Hypertension predisposes to cardiac structural changes that influence the development of AF such as atrial remodeling. The renin angiotensin aldosterone system has been demonstrated to be a common mechanistic link in the pathogenesis of HTN and AF. Importantly, HTN is one of the few modifiable AF risk factors, and guideline-directed management of HTN may reduce the incidence of AF.
The rising U.S. prevalence of obesity has generated significant concern and demonstrates striking socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities. Most interventions target individual behaviors, sometimes in combination with improving the physical environment in the community but rarely involving modifications of the work environment. With 3.6 million workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage, it is imperative to understand the impact of working conditions on health and weight for lower income workers. To investigate this question, a university-community partnership created a participatory research team and conducted eight focus groups, in English and Spanish, with people holding low-wage jobs in various industries. Analysis of transcripts identified four themes: physically demanding work (illnesses, injuries, leisure-time physical activity), psychosocial work stressors (high demands, low control, low social support, poor treatment), food environment at work (available food choices, kitchen equipment), and time pressure (scheduling, having multiple jobs and responsibilities). Physical and psychosocial features of work were identified as important antecedents for overweight. In particular, nontraditional work shifts and inflexible schedules limited participants' ability to adhere to public health recommendations for diet and physical activity. Workplace programs to address obesity in low-wage workers must include the effect of working conditions as a fundamental starting point.
Decade-Long Trends (2001-2011) in the Incidence and Hospital Death Rates Associated with the In-Hospital Development of Cardiogenic Shock after Acute Myocardial Infarction
BACKGROUND: Limited information is available about relatively contemporary trends in the incidence and hospital case-fatality rates of cardiogenic shock in patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction. The purpose of this population-based study was to describe decade long trends (2001-2011) in the incidence and hospital case-fatality rates for patients who developed cardiogenic shock during hospitalization for an acute myocardial infarction.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The study population consisted of 5686 residents of central Massachusetts hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction at all 11 medical centers in the Worcester, MA, metropolitan area during 6 biennial periods between 2001 and 2011, who did not have cardiogenic shock at the time of hospital presentation. On average, 3.7% of these patients developed cardiogenic shock during their acute hospitalization with nonsignificant and inconsistent trends noted over time in both crude (3.7% in 2001/2003; 4.5% in 2005/2007; 2.7% in 2009/2011; P=0.19) and multivariable adjusted analyses. The overall in-hospital case-fatality rate for patients who developed cardiogenic shock was 41.4%. The crude and multivariable adjusted odds of dying after cardiogenic shock declined during the most recent study years (47.1% dying in 2001/2003, 42.0% dying in 2005/2007, and 28.6% dying in 2009/2011). Increases in the use of evidence-based cardiac medications, and interventional procedures paralleled the increasing hospital survival trends.
CONCLUSIONS: We found suggestions of a decline in the death, but not incidence, rates of cardiogenic shock over time. These encouraging trends in hospital survival are likely because of advances in the early recognition and aggressive management of patients who develop cardiogenic shock.
Reproductive Risk Factors and Coronary Heart Disease in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study
Background: Reproductive factors provide an early window into a woman's coronary heart disease (CHD) risk; however, their contribution to CHD risk stratification is uncertain.
Methods and Results: In the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, we constructed Cox proportional hazards models for CHD including age, pregnancy status, number of live births, age at menarche, menstrual irregularity, age at first birth, stillbirths, miscarriages, infertility > /=1 year, infertility cause, and breastfeeding. We next added each candidate reproductive factor to an established CHD risk factor model. A final model was then constructed with significant reproductive factors added to established CHD risk factors. Improvement in C statistic, net reclassification index (or net reclassification index with risk categories of < 5%, 5 to < 10%, and > /=10% 10-year risk of CHD), and integrated discriminatory index were assessed. Among 72 982 women (CHD events, n=4607; median follow-up,12.0 [interquartile range, 8.3-13.7] years; mean [standard deviation] age, 63.2 [7.2] years), an age-adjusted reproductive risk factor model had a C statistic of 0.675 for CHD. In a model adjusted for established CHD risk factors, younger age at first birth, number of still births, number of miscarriages, and lack of breastfeeding were positively associated with CHD. Reproductive factors modestly improved model discrimination (C statistic increased from 0.726 to 0.730; integrated discriminatory index, 0.0013; P < 0.0001). Net reclassification for women with events was not improved (net reclassification index events, 0.007; P=0.18); and, for women without events, net reclassification was marginally improved (net reclassification index nonevents, 0.002; P=0.04)
CONCLUSIONS: Key reproductive factors are associated with CHD independently of established CHD risk factors, very modestly improve model discrimination, and do not materially improve net reclassification.
Blogging is a form of online journaling that has been increasingly used to document an attempt in weight loss. Despite the prevalence of weight loss bloggers, few studies have examined this population. We examined characteristics of weight loss bloggers and their blogs, including blogging habits, reasons for blogging, like and dislikes of blogging, and associations between blogging activity and weight loss. Participants (N = 194, 92.3 % female, mean age = 35) were recruited from Twitter and Facebook to complete an online survey. Participants reported an average weight loss of 42.3 pounds since starting to blog about their weight loss attempt. Blogging duration significantly predicted greater weight loss during blogging (beta = -3.65, t(185) = -2.97, p = .003). Findings suggest that bloggers are generally successful with their weight loss attempt. Future research should explore what determines weight loss success/failure in bloggers and whether individuals desiring to lose weight would benefit from blogging.
Change in Dietary Patterns and Change in Waist Circumference and DXA Trunk Fat Among Postmenopausal Women
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether changes in diet quality predict changes in central adiposity among postmenopausal women.
METHODS: At baseline and 3-year follow-up, Women's Health Initiative Observational Study participants completed food frequency questionnaires, and waist circumference was measured (WC, n = 67,175). In a subset, trunk fat was measured via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, n = 4,254). Using multivariable linear regression, 3-year changes in dietary patterns (Healthy Eating Index-2010, Alternate Healthy Eating Index-2010, Alternate Mediterranean Diet, and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) were examined as predictors of concurrent changes in WC and, secondarily, DXA.
RESULTS: Mean (SD) age and 3-year changes in weight and WC were 63 (7) years, 0.52 (4.26) kg, and 0.94 (6.65) cm. A 10% increase in any dietary pattern score, representing improved diet quality, was associated with 0.07 to 0.43 cm smaller increase in WC over 3 years (all P < 0.05). After adjusting for weight change, associations attenuated to 0.02 to 0.10 cm but remained statistically significant for all patterns except Alternate Mediterranean Diet. Results were similar for DXA trunk fat.
CONCLUSIONS: Three-year improvements in diet quality are modestly protective against gain in WC and partially explained by lesser weight gain. Achieving and maintaining a healthful diet after menopause may protect against gains in central adiposity.
Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is >90% EBV-associated when this pediatric cancer is diagnosed in regions heavily burden by endemic Plasmodium falciparum malaria and thus has been geographically classified as endemic BL. The incidence of endemic BL is 10-fold higher compared to BL diagnosed in non-malarious regions of the world. The other forms of BL have been classified as sporadic BL which contain EBV in approximately 30% of cases and immunodeficiency BL which occurs in HIV-infected adults with approximately 40% of tumors containing EBV. Within malaria endemic regions, epidemiologic studies replicating Denis Burkitt's seminal observation continue to show differences in endemic BL incidence linked to intensity of malaria transmission. However, the mechanisms by which malaria contributes to B cell tumorigenesis have not been resolved to the point of designing cancer prevention strategies. The focus of this review is to summarize our current knowledge regarding the influence of prolonged, chronic malaria exposure on defects in immunosurveillance that would otherwise control persistent EBV infections. And thus, set the stage for ensuing mechanisms by which malaria could instigate B cell activation and aberrant activation-induced cytidine deaminase expression initiating somatic hypermutation and thereby increasing the likelihood of an Ig/Myc translocation, the hallmark of all BL tumors. Malaria appears to play multiple, sequential and simultaneous roles in endemic BL etiology; the complexity of these interactions are being revealed by applying computational methods to human immunology. Remaining questions yet to be addressed and prevention strategies will also be discussed.
High Burden of Unrecognized Atrial Fibrillation in Rural India: An Innovative Community-Based Cross-Sectional Screening Program
BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation, the world's most common arrhythmia, is a leading risk factor for stroke, a disease striking nearly 1.6 million Indians annually. Early detection and management of atrial fibrillation is a promising opportunity to prevent stroke but widespread screening programs in limited resource settings using conventional methods is difficult and costly.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to screen people for atrial fibrillation in rural western India using a US Food and Drug Administration-approved single-lead electrocardiography device, Alivecor.
METHODS: Residents from 6 villages in Anand District, Gujarat, India, comprised the base population. After obtaining informed consent, a team of trained research coordinators and community health workers enrolled a total of 354 participants aged 50 years and older and screened them at their residences using Alivecor for 2 minutes on 5 consecutive days over a period of 6 weeks beginning June, 2015.
RESULTS: Almost two-thirds of study participants were 55 years or older, nearly half were female, one-third did not receive any formal education, and more than one-half were from households earning less than US $2 per day. Twelve participants screened positive for atrial fibrillation yielding a sample prevalence of 5.1% (95% CI 2.7-8.7). Only one participant had persistent atrial fibrillation throughout all of the screenings, and 9 screened positive only once.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests a prevalence of atrial fibrillation in this Indian region (5.1%) that is markedly higher than has been previously reported in India and similar to the prevalence estimates reported in studies of persons from North America and Europe. Historically low reported burden of atrial fibrillation among individuals from low and middle-income countries may be due to a lack of routine screening. Mobile technologies may help overcome resource limitations for atrial fibrillation screening in underserved and low-resource settings.
Deaf People's Help-Seeking Following Trauma: Experiences With and Recommendations for the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Care System
Objective: Deaf trauma survivors are one of the more underserved populations in behavioral health care and experience significant obstacles to seeking help. Repeated encounters with these barriers fuel negative perceptions and avoidance of behavioral health treatment. The current study sought to explore Deaf trauma survivors' help-seeking experiences and elicit their recommendations for improving Deaf behavioral health services in Massachusetts.
Method: We conducted semistructured American Sign Language interviews with 16 trauma-exposed Deaf individuals that included questions from the Life Events Checklist and the PTSD Symptom Scale Interview and questions about Deaf individuals' help-seeking behaviors. Qualitative responses regarding help-seeking experiences were analyzed using a grounded theory approach.
Results: In the aftermath of trauma, our participants emphasized a desire to work with a signing provider who is highly knowledgeable about Deaf culture, history, and experience and to interact with clinic staff who possess basic sign language skills and training in Deaf awareness. Most stressed the need for providers to better outreach into the Deaf community-to provide education about trauma, to describe available treatment resources, and to prove one's qualifications. Participants also provided suggestions for how behavioral health clinics can better protect Deaf survivors' confidentiality in a small-community context.
Conclusions: Deaf-friendly trauma treatment should incorporate the components of trauma-informed care but also carefully consider key criteria expressed by our participants: direct signed communication, understanding of Deaf history and experience, stringent practices to protect confidentiality, provider visibility in the community, and reliance on peer support and Deaf role models in treatment interventions.
Impact of a Collective Intelligence Tailored Messaging System on Smoking Cessation: The Perspect Randomized Experiment
BACKGROUND: Outside health care, content tailoring is driven algorithmically using machine learning compared to the rule-based approach used in current implementations of computer-tailored health communication (CTHC) systems. A special class of machine learning systems ("recommender systems") are used to select messages by combining the collective intelligence of their users (ie, the observed and inferred preferences of users as they interact with the system) and their user profiles. However, this approach has not been adequately tested for CTHC.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to compare, in a randomized experiment, a standard, evidence-based, rule-based CTHC (standard CTHC) to a novel machine learning CTHC: Patient Experience Recommender System for Persuasive Communication Tailoring (PERSPeCT). We hypothesized that PERSPeCT will select messages of higher influence than our standard CTHC system. This standard CTHC was proven effective in motivating smoking cessation in a prior randomized trial of 900 smokers (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.03-2.81).
METHODS: PERSPeCT is an innovative hybrid machine learning recommender system that selects and sends motivational messages using algorithms that learn from message ratings from 846 previous participants (explicit feedback), and the prior explicit ratings of each individual participant. Current smokers (N=120) aged 18 years or older, English speaking, with Internet access were eligible to participate. These smokers were randomized to receive either PERSPeCT (intervention, n=74) or standard CTHC tailored messages (n=46). The study was conducted between October 2014 and January 2015. By randomization, we compared daily message ratings (mean of smoker ratings each day). At 30 days, we assessed the intervention's perceived influence, 30-day cessation, and changes in readiness to quit from baseline.
RESULTS: The proportion of days when smokers agreed/strongly agreed (daily rating > /=4) that the messages influenced them to quit was significantly higher for PERSPeCT (73%, 23/30) than standard CTHC (44%, 14/30, P=.02). Among less educated smokers (n=49), this difference was even more pronounced for days strongly agree (intervention: 77%, 23/30; comparison: 23%, 7/30, P < .001). There was no significant difference in the frequency which PERSPeCT randomized smokers agreed or strongly agreed that the intervention influenced them to quit smoking (P=.07) and use nicotine replacement therapy (P=.09). Among those who completed follow-up, 36% (20/55) of PERSPeCT smokers and 32% (11/34) of the standard CTHC group stopped smoking for one day or longer (P=.70).
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to standard CTHC with proven effectiveness, PERSPeCT outperformed in terms of influence ratings and resulted in similar cessation rates.
CLINICALTRIAL: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02200432; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02200432 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6lEJY1KEd).
Association of Left Atrial Function Index With Late Atrial Fibrillation Recurrence after Catheter Ablation
INTRODUCTION: Although catheter ablation (CA) for atrial fibrillation (AF) is commonly used to improve symptoms, AF recurrence is common and new tools are needed to better inform patient selection for CA. Left atrial function index (LAFI), an echocardiographic measure of atrial mechanical function, has shown promise as a noninvasive predictor of AF. We hypothesized that LAFI would relate to AF recurrence after CA.
METHODS AND RESULTS: All AF patients undergoing index CA were enrolled in a prospective institutional AF Treatment Registry between 2011 and 2014. LAFI was measured post hoc from pre-ablation clinical echocardiographic images in 168 participants. Participants were mostly male (33% female), middle-aged (60 +/- 10 years), obese and had paroxysmal AF (64%). Mean LAFI was 25.9 +/- 17.6. Over 12 months of follow-up, 78 participants (46%) experienced a late AF recurrence. In logistic regression analyses adjusting for factors known to be associated with AF, lower LAFI remained associated with AF recurrence after CA [OR 0.04 (0.01-0.67), P = 0.02]. LAFI discriminated AF recurrence after CA slightly better than CHADS2 (C-statistic 0.60 LAFI, 0.57 CHADS2). For participants with persistent AF, LAFI performed significantly better than CHADS2 score (C statistic = 0.79 LAFI, 0.56 CHADS2, P = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: LAFI, an echocardiographic measure of atrial function, is associated with AF recurrence after CA and has improved ability to discriminate AF recurrence as compared to the CHADS-2 score, especially among persistent AF patients. Since LAFI can be calculated using standard 2D echocardiographic images, it may be a helpful tool for predicting AF recurrence.
The Role of Managed Care Pharmacy in Improving Access to Naloxone: Findings from the AMCP Addiction Treatment Advisory Group
Kimberly Lenz, PharmD, a clinical pharmacy manager in the Office of Clinical Affairs, provided insight and expertise for this report as a member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's Addiction Treatment Advisory Group. The group's report identifies barriers to care and details how managed care organizations can better address the opioid addiction crisis, including improving access to naloxone and Medication Assisted Therapies (MAT) as well as ensuring benefit design will support alternative pain management methods.
Over 100 million Americans have criminal records, and the U.S. incarcerates seven times more citizens than most developed countries. The burden of incarceration disproportionately affects people of color and ethnic minorities, and those living in poverty. While 95% of incarcerated people return to society, recidivism rates are high with nearly 75% arrested again within five years of release. Criminal records impede access to employment and other social services such as shelter and health care. Justice-involved people have higher rates of substance, mental health, and some chronic medical disorders than the general population; furthermore, the incarcerated population is rapidly aging. Only a minority of academic health science centers are engaged in health services research, workforce training, or correctional health care. This commentary provides rationale and a blueprint for engagement of academic health science institutions to harness their capabilities to tackle one of the country's most vexing public health crises.
Recruitment and Retention of Community Health Center Primary Care Physicians post MA Health Care Reform: 2008 vs. 2013 Physician Surveys
OBJECTIVES: In 2008 and 2013, the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers surveyed community health center (CHC) primary care physicians (PCPs) to identify factors related to preparedness, recruitment and retention. The survey was repeated to determine the impact of Massachusetts health care reform.
METHODS: An online survey was sent to 677 PCPs at 46 CHCs. New questions addressed patient-centered redesign, language competencies, and interprofessional care.
ESULTS: With 48% responding, PCPs were significantly more prepared in 2013 to practice in a CHC. Intent to continue practicing in a CHC was related to age, length of time in practice, language skills, teaching, research, compensation, model of care, professional development, and practice goals.
CONCLUSIONS: Outcomes illustrate opportunities to prepare medical students and residents for CHC careers and recruit and retain this vital workforce. Retention efforts must include teaching, administration, research, and professional development opportunities.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of a Massachusetts Medicaid policy change (the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative; CBHI, which required and reimbursed behavioral health [BH] screening with standardized tools at well child visits and developed intensive home- and community-based BH services) on primary care practice examining the relationship of BH screening to subsequent BH service utilization.
STUDY DESIGN: Using a repeated cross-sectional design, our 2010 and 2012 Medicaid study populations each included 2000 children/adolescents under the age of 21 years. For each year, the population was randomly selected and stratified into 4 age groups, with 500 members selected per group. Two data sources were used: medical records and Medicaid claims.
RESULTS: The CBHI had a large impact on formal BH screening and treatment utilization among children/adolescents enrolled in Medicaid. Screening increased substantially (73%: 2010; 74%: 2012) since the baseline/premandate period (2007) when only 4% of well child visits included a formal screen. BH utilization increased among those formally screened but decreased among those with informal assessments.
CONCLUSIONS: CBHI implementation transformed the relationship between primary care and BH services. Changes in regulation and payment resulted in widespread BH screening in Massachusetts primary care practices caring for children/adolescents on Medicaid.
PROBLEM: From November 2010 to August 2013, 161 adults with acquired brain injury in Massachusetts transitioned from long-term care settings to the community through a Medicaid-funded waiver. Most participants transitioned with minimal risk; for some, the transition resulted in an increase in risk incidents above the rest. Specifically, despite risk mitigation efforts, 11% of the participants accounted for more than 75% of the reported first year incidents.
SOLUTION: A registered nurse Care Manager was engaged in a pilot program to address the needs of participants at the highest risk. Based on incidents or potential for incidents, 30 participants were enrolled in care management (CM).
METHODS: Secondary data analysis, interviews, and surveys assessed whether CM was associated with a decrease in incidents and to what extent participants and providers were satisfied with CM.
RESULTS: Care management was significantly associated with a decrease in incidents including hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Participants, Case Managers, and service providers were highly satisfied with the Care Manager.
CONCLUSIONS: Focusing on a specific population with increased risk, clearly explaining the purpose of CM, and remaining flexible when addressing the complex and individual nature of risk management are important strategies to ensure an effective CM program.