HEALTH

Diabetic patients: Technology’s useful to communicate with docs, as long as it’s free

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO Patients with diabetes may seek information from their physicians outside of scheduled office visits but are not willing to pay for such services, according to a new study presented at the American Osteopathic Association’s 115th Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition.

Among 300 patients with diabetes, the study authors noted, 42% communicated with their physicians by telephone outside of scheduled office visits and 13% used e-mail. However, 62% of patients said they would not pay to communicate with their physicians outside of scheduled office visits.

“Patients want some way to communicate with their physicians, such as by phone or pager, to ask questions about managing their diabetes or to share information about their condition, such as their blood sugar levels,” said study co-author Jay Shubrook, an AOA board-certified osteopathic family physician from Athens, Ohio. “They like the access, but they don’t want to pay for it.”

The study also found older respondents, who averaged between ages 51 years and 60 years, did not use Twitter or Facebook to communicate with their physician. What’s more, only 69% of respondents had Internet access at home. This could be because older adults do not find paying for the Internet a priority compared with their other expenses, including those related to other medical conditions, Shubrook said.

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Cirrus’ ClearEars can relieve glue ear

BY Michael Johnsen

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. Cirrus Healthcare Products recently announced the launch of ClearEars, earplugs that contain a polymer to draw water from the ears after water activities. Consumers with glue ear, a condition in which thick, sticky fluid collects behind the eardrum, discovered that ClearEars helps to alleviate this condition, the company said.

 

Glue ear is common in children but also may affect adults. Left untreated, glue ear can cause temporary hearing loss and may affect a child’s behavior and educational process. Adults with glue ear also find it difficult to use regular earplugs to reduce noise or for water protection while swimming. Consumers with glue ear have reported that soft and comfortable ClearEars may be used while sleeping to reduce noise and also alleviate the moist, sticky glue ear feeling.

 

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PerformRx receives PBM accreditation from URAC

BY Allison Cerra

PHILADELPHIA A full-service pharmacy benefit manager received its second accreditation from an independent, nonprofit healthcare-accrediting organization.

PerformRx said that its pharmacy benefit management accreditation from URAC indicated that PerformRx’s PBM business demonstrated a commitment to quality services. “This accreditation serves as a clear sign that PerformRx is committed to providing the best possible service to our existing and future customers,” said Mesfin Tegenu, PerformRx president. “The URAC evaluation is an incredibly rigorous process that evaluates the organization at all levels, and to wear the URAC seal is a mark of distinction for our company.”

In conjunction with its PBM accreditation, PerformRx also applied for URAC’s drug therapy management accreditation. PerformRx’s DTM program improves therapeutic outcomes for members by evaluating drug dose, method of delivery, cost effectiveness and other factors, the company said, adding that obtaining the DTM accreditation will allow PerformRx to demonstrate the high quality and effectiveness of its DTM program.

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