Lab notes …

Lab notes …

1. Breaking the emergency room cycle

A UF research team has been approved for a funding award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, or PCORI, to study emergency department-to-home transitions for patients with chronic medical conditions. Principal investigator Donna Lynne Carden, M.D., will lead the three-year research project. Her team hopes to break the cycle of repeated, costly and preventable emergency department visits and hospital admissions by improving the patient transition from emergency department to home. For the study, Carden is collaborating with faculty and staff from the UF College of Medicine, the College of Medicine-Jacksonville, the College of Public Health and Health Professions, the University of North Carolina Wilmington School of Nursing, Florida Medical Quality Assurance Inc., the VA and emergency department patients. — Marilee Griffin

2. The benefits of mental training

Older adults who received as few as 10 sessions of mental training show long-lasting improvements in reasoning and speed of processing skills 10 years after the intervention, according to UF Health researchers who worked on the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly, or ACTIVE, study. The findings from the study appeared Jan. 13 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Participants who received the cognitive training also reported significantly less difficulty with daily living tasks, such as housework, medication management and shopping. Funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Nursing Research, the ACTIVE study involved 2,832 seniors ages 65 to 96 who were divided into groups for 10 training sessions in memory, reasoning or speed of processing. — Jill Pease

3. UF study analyzes Medicaid program

Health care plans in the Florida Medicaid Reform Pilot project have done a better job of controlling costs than Florida’s traditional Medicaid program, according to a new UF study led by Jeffrey Harman, Ph.D. An initial estimation suggests the reform pilot reduced costs by about 18 percent, had expenditures increased at the same rate as experienced in the non-reform counties. The Medicaid reform project has lowered expenditures in participating counties by about $200 per member per month for Medicaid enrollees who qualify under the Supplemental Social Security Income program. For enrollees who receive Medicaid through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, expenditures were lowered by about $30 per-member per-month. The study findings were recently published online ahead of print in the journal Health Services Research. — Jill Pease