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Health Services Research

Working side-by-side with clinicians and other medical experts, WellPoint reviews research that explores clinical reports, newly released studies, clinical trends and patient safety research. Collectively this research provides valuable perspective the latest trends in clinical care and their outcomes.

Latest Health Services Research


When Dealing With Lower Back Pain, Patience May Be the Best Prescription
Mar-09
Lower back pain is a problem that affects a rapidly increasing number of Americans. Yet, in spite of medical evidence indicating that most back pain resolves itself within six weeks of diagnosis, a recent study conducted by HealthCore, WellPoint's outcomes research subsidiary, found that more than 35,000 people had unnecessary imaging tests and almost 1,000 underwent inappropriate back surgery within the six weeks following their diagnosis.  Click for full story

Just How Effective Are Wellness Programs?
Feb-09
A common question about Wellness programs, which are designed to promote employee health and improve productivity, is "Just how effective are they?" This comprehensive analysis of 58 different Wellness studies points to promising ROIs (Returns On Investment) on wellness programs, but the relative return varies substantially from study to study.  Click for full story

Despite Focus on Cholesterol and its Treatment, Triglyceride Levels Continue to Rise in the United States
Dec-08
A recent study showed that despite gains in controlling LDL or bad cholesterol, the percentage of American adults with high triglycerides, a blood fat linked to heart disease, has doubled over the past three decades.  Click for full story

Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care Perform Better on Cardiac Readmission and Related Infection Rates
Nov-08
A recent study found Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care have better patient results on readmission and infection rates for bypass surgery and outpatient angioplasty than other hospitals treating members of Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans.  Click for full story

Employers and Consumers Recognize Value of Consumer-Directed Health Plans
Oct-08
A recent study found consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) offer potential benefits for employers and consumers alike. In addition to a lower cost trend for CDHPs in relation to traditional plans, the study showed higher use of preventive care services among members of CDHPs. Further, the difference was greater for men, a group with traditionally lower rates of preventive care utilization.  Click for full story

Real-World Effectiveness of Asthma Controller Medications
Sep-08
Research found compliant use of inhaled asthma controller medications could achieve the lowest rate of emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations. However, the study also found medication compliance was lower with patients who took inhaled medications than those taking oral medications, particularly among children.  Click for full story

Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment Highlight Need for Targeted Interventions
Sep-08
A recent study found disparities in the treatment of newly diagnosed breast cancer between African-American and Caucasian women with health insurance. These findings highlight the importance of developing targeted, culturally-sensitive interventions.  Click for full story
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