In the news

We list selected mentions of Group Health research in news media this year, in reverse chronological order. Some links may require a subscription to view the content. Please check the terms and conditions on these websites and follow their rules to avoid violating copyright law when visiting them. We can’t provide you with copies of articles.

2013 | 2012 | 2011

July 1–31, 2014

Recently using some birth control pills may raise breast cancer risk

Diana Buist, PhD, MPH, and Susan Reed, MD, MPH, found women who recently used birth control pills containing high-dose estrogen and a few other formulations had an increased risk for breast cancer, whereas those using some other formulations did not:

Mental health

Gregory Simon, PhD, was interviewed about depression and suicide:

Breast cancer screening

When radiologists do the diagnostic workup on the screening mammograms that they have recalled, they read screening mammograms with higher sensitivity and cancer detection rate—but also with more false positives, according to Diana Buist, PhD, MPH; Diana Miglioretti, PhD; and Melissa Anderson, MS:

The U.S. transition to digital breast cancer screening has raised screening mammography costs for possibly small or no health gains, resulting in screening mammography being less cost-efficient than in the past, according to Rebecca Hubbard, PhD:

Safety Net Medical Home Initiative

The AHRQ Innovations Exchange now includes the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative: Resources and Tools (Qualis & MacColl):

Introducing decision aids may lower surgery for arthritis

Apart from Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, and a few comprehensive cancer care centers, U.S. adoption of patient decision aids—valuable educational materials that explain patients’ options—has been spotty:

Medical home pays off, improving primary care and cutting cost at 2 years

Robert Reid, MD, PhD, found transforming primary care into a “patient-centered medical home” model paid off at Group Health:

Health services & economics
How use of telephone calls, secure messaging, and in-person visits by adults with diabetes changed as Group Health’s primary care clinics implemented the patient-centered medical home:

Group Health establishes major initiative to prevent opioid abuse and overdose

In interviews with prominent media outlets, Michael Von Korff, ScD, continued to weigh in on the debate over national trends in long-term prescribing of opioid drugs for chronic noncancer pain:

Behavior change

Jennifer McClure, PhD, commented on zero-tolerance employment smoking bans.

Dementia risk tied to blood sugar level, even with no diabetes

Kudos continue for this Group Health–UW study led by Paul Crane, MD, MPH, and Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH—including as one of the year’s top NIH-funded papers in Alzheimer’s disease; and one of the top-10 papers for endocrinology:

Health informatics

James Ralston, MD, MPH, found Group Health physicians could better manage insulin-dependent patients when both the patients and the clinicians understood how daily activity patterns, family dynamics and eating preferences disrupted or supported an insulin routine:

Immunization & infectious diseases

Outpatient clinics may have underprescribed antiviral medications—and overprescribed antibiotics—for patients with flu, according to Lisa Jackson, MD, MPH, and Michael Jackson, PhD:

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June 1-30, 2014

Group Health establishes major initiative to prevent opioid abuse and overdose

In interviews with prominent media outlets, Michael Von Korff, ScD, weighed in on the debate over national trends in long-term prescribing of opioid drugs for chronic noncancer pain.

How to prevent disparities in colon cancer screening

People living in poverty are less likely to be screened for colorectal cancer—and more likely to develop the disease and die from it. Mailing a stool test promises to help end these disparities, wrote Beverly Green, MD, MPH, and a Kaiser Permanente colleague in JAMA Internal Medicine:

Families like practical wellness program—and lose weight

Many children are obese these days, but what can be done about it? Group Health tested behavioral treatment for obesity in a real-world setting. Paula Lozano, MD, MPH, reported on the Family Wellness Program, which showed it was feasible and acceptable to give behavioral treatment to groups of families in primary care:

FDA warnings on antidepressants may have backfired

read story

The Food and Drug Administration’s warnings in 2003, 2004, and 2007 appear to have led to unintended consequences. Changes in antidepressant use may have led to more teen suicide attempts, according to a BMJ study whose co-authors included Greg Simon, MD, MPH, and Rob Penfold, PhD:

Medical home adds value beyond electronic health record

In the Annals of Internal Medicine, Robert Reid, MD, PhD, and Michael Parchman, MD, MPH, noted that electronic health records alone may be insufficient to account for care improvement that medical homes achieve:

Medical home pays off, improving primary care and cutting cost at 2 years

Robert Reid, MD, PhD, found transforming primary care into a “patient-centered medical home” model paid off at Group Health:

Health informatics

James Ralston, MD, MPH; Matt Handley, MD; and Joann Elmore, MD, MPH, were interviewed about new ways to track personal health records give patients more control over their health care picture:

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, spoke at the AHIP Institute Data Analytics Forum in Seattle. Interoperability. He said that interoperability will improve research and population health in addition to patient care, and systems must be able to share data:

Health services and economics

Group Health’s work on Choosing Wisely is mentioned:

The essay by Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, in the last issue of this newsletter was reprinted:

High-risk women get breast MRI—but room remains for improvement; national BCSC study led by Group Health in JAMA Internal Medicine

This National Cancer Institute publication highlighted a variety of Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium projects including this one by Karen Wernli, PhD:

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May 1–31, 2014

Newer medications help problem drinkers

read story

Katharine Bradley, MD, MPH, was widely interviewed about her Annals of Internal Medicine editorial on effective medications for alcohol use disorders:

Women’s Health Initiative reports $37.1B economic return on combined hormone therapy clinical trial

Joshua Roth, PhD, first-authored an Annals of Internal Medicine analysis concluding that large, prospective trials with high potential for public health effects can give big returns on investment

Back pain: Research on new Group Health guidelines will shine light on changing systems of care

read story

Daniel Cherkin, PhD, was interviewed about back pain and overtreatment:

Obesity research: Creating healthier families and neighborhoods

read story

Paula Lozano, MD, MPH, was interviewed about less recess at school—and childhood obesity:

What characteristics make up effective patient engagement?

read story

Paula Lozano, MD, MPH, was interviewed about patient engagement:

Introducing decision aids may lower surgery for arthritis

David Arterburn, MD, MPH, was interviewed about shared decision making:

Dementia risk tied to blood sugar level, even with no diabetes

Coverage continues of this Group Health–UW study led by Paul Crane, MD, MPH, and Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, which has been featured in more than 450 outlets:

Behavior change

Jennifer McClure, PhD, commented on e-cigarettes.

Incentives studied to align care, coverage, and wellness

Medication use and patient safety

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April 1–30, 2014

Medical home pays off, improving primary care and cutting cost at 2 years

Robert Reid, MD, PhD, explored changes in the outpatient care of patients with treated hypertension after a primary-care redesign was spread throughout Group Health:

Health informatics

Chronic illness management

Health services & economics

Quotes David Grossman, MD, MPH, on the Washington Health Alliance:

LEAP: The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices

read about LEAP

Alternative approaches to healing

Cites Karen Sherman, PhD:

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March 5–31, 2014

Adequate doses of massage treatment necessary for relief of neck pain

Karen Sherman, PhD, MPH, found that two or three one-hour massage sessions a week reduced neck pain and improved functioning.

Two spine surgeons are three times safer than one

Rajiv K. Sethi, MD, led the effort to improve the safety of surgery for spine deformities like scoliosis and kyphosis with Group Health and Virginia Mason colleagues:

New online care from dietitians helps control weight

Beverly Green, MD, MPH, led the e-Care for Heart Wellness study in which Group Health patients who were overweight and had hypertension had secure online access to a dietitian: “like a dietitian in your pocket”:

Epidemic of E. coli infections traced to one strain

Group Health patients, Delia Scholes, PhD, and Kim Riddell, MD, were involved in the finding that virulent, drug-resistant forms of Escherichia coli that have recently spread around the world emerged from a single strain of the bacteria:

Medical home pays off, improving primary care and cutting cost at 2 years

Robert Reid, MD, PhD, explored changes in the outpatient care of patients with treated hypertension after a primary-care redesign was spread throughout Group Health:

Health services & economics

Edward Wagner, MD, MPH, will speak at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Summit:

Cancer control

An article coauthored by Elizabeth Loggers, MD, PhD, was covered:

Behavioral health

Jennifer McClure, PhD, was quoted:

Colleen McBride, PhD, who did research as a postdoc at Group Health, joins Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health as the Rollins professor and chair in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education.

Alternative approaches to healing

Chronic illness care

Obesity

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January 23–March 4, 2014

Team care of chronic diseases seems cost-effective

Team-based care (TEAMcare) for people with depression and either diabetes, heart disease, or both appears at least to pay for itself:

New online care from dietitians helps control weight

Beverly Green, MD, MPH, led the e-Care for Heart Wellness study in which Group Health patients who were overweight and had hypertension had secure online access to a dietitian: “like a dietitian in your pocket”:

Mailing free tests to patients’ homes boosts colon cancer screening rates

Beverly Green, MD, MPH, co-wrote a study showing colon cancer screening rates increased by nearly 40 percent when free stool tests were mailed to patients’ homes:

Hypertensive patients’ specialty use changed with medical home

Robert Reid, MD, PhD, explored changes in the outpatient care of patients with treated hypertension after a primary-care redesign was spread throughout Group Health:

How SCCA implemented Washington’s Death with Dignity Act

Elizabeth Loggers, MD, PhD, of Group Health, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), described how SCCA implemented Washington state’s Death with Dignity Act:

Group Health honored with four awards

Elizabeth Loggers, MD, PhD, was honored with one of the four 2014 Leaders in Health Care Awards that Group Health received, which also included research collaborators, Claire Trescott, MD; Sean Adelman, MD; and Group Health Foundation:

Women’s health

Katherine Newton, PhD, studied women at Group Health and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care to see how best to help them to quit taking hormone therapy without menopause symptoms recurring:

Domestic violence

Melissa Anderson, MS, and Amy Bonomi, PhD, found that women are more likely to experience repeat abuse by their male partners if a weapon is used in the initial abuse incident:

Alternative approaches to healing

Dan Cherkin, PhD, studied patients’ experience of complementary and alternative medicine treatments for back pain:

Latino health

Leo Morales, MD, PhD, is a leader of the inaugural conference on Latino Health Research, Practice, and Policy: Identifying our Strengths and Growing our Collaborations:

Dementia risk tied to blood sugar level, even with no diabetes

Coverage continues of this Group Health–UW study led by Paul Crane, MD, MPH, and Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, which has been featured in more than 450 outlets:

JAMA commentary: Empathy is part of the healing process

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, co-wrote an article exploring how treatment outcomes are better when doctors show more empathy and take the time to make sure patients understand what’s going on:

Aging and geriatrics

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, is quoted on the failure of once-promising drugs to improve Alzheimer patient cognition:

Research methods

Eric Larson, MD, MPH, helped write this user’s guide about single-patient trials:

Patients feel more control of their health when doctors share notes

James Ralston, MD, MPH, found that patients feel more in control of their health when they have access to doctors’ notes:

Health informatics

A health information exchange collaborative founded by five leading health care organizations, including Group Health, announced the addition of its new member, OCHIN, Inc.:

Medical home pays off, improving primary care and cutting cost at 2 years

Robert Reid, MD, PhD, found transforming primary care into a “patient-centered medical home” model paid off at Group Health:

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January 1–22, 2014

Chronic illness management

Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, is interviewed about the Chronic Care Model, with emphasis on careful monitoring, teaching patients self-management skills, and engaging and activating them:

A profile of Margaret Flinter, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholar and leading advocate of nurse practitioners in primary care, hails the work of Group Health’s MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation in increasing effectiveness, access, outcomes, and provider and consumer satisfaction with primary care:

Dementia risk tied to blood sugar level, even with no diabetes

Coverage continues of this Group Health–UW study led by Paul Crane, MD, MPH, and Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, which has been featured in more than 450 outlets:

High-risk women get breast MRI—but room remains for improvement

Karen Wernli, PhD, reported in JAMA Internal Medicine with the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) about how breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is being used across the United States, including at Group Health:

This outlet features other recent BCSC findings as well as Dr. Wernli’s:

Health informatics

Group Health patients who have completed their online Health Profile risk assessment tend to be middle-aged women with a recent well-care visit and fewer comorbid conditions, according to Diana Buist, PhD, and colleagues. They concluded that health systems need more outreach and engagement strategies to encourage target populations to use the assessments:

Immunization & infectious diseases

Michael Jackson, PhD, used the Group Health immunization registry as a benchmark to evaluate the completeness and accuracy of statewide data:

Group Health approved for funding awards by PCORI

GHRI research teams have been approved for funding awards by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study opioid therapy and asthma—and to help expand a health data network that will be part of PCORnet: the National Patient-Centered National Clinical Research Network:

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