Value associated with mindfulness meditation and moderate exercise intervention in acute respiratory infection: The MEPARI Study.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:Acute respiratory infection (ARI) is among the most common, debilitating and expensive human illnesses. The purpose of this study was to assess ARI-related costs and determine if mindfulness meditation or exercise can add value. METHODS: Fifty-four adults ≥50 years from Madison, WI for the 2009-10 cold/flu season were randomized to (i) wait-list control (ii) meditation or (iii) moderate intensity exercise. ARI-related costs were assessed through self-reported medication use, number of missed work days and medical visits. Costs per subject were based on cost of generic medications, missed work days ($126.20) and clinic visits ($78.70). Monte Carlo bootstrap methods evaluated reduced costs of ARI episodes. RESULTS: The total cost per subject for the control group was $214 (95% CI: $105-$358), exercise $136 (95% CI: $64-$232) and meditation $65 (95% CI: $34-$104). The majority of cost savings was through a reduction in missed days of work. Exercise had the highest medication costs at $16.60 compared with $5.90 for meditation (P = 0.004) and $7.20 for control (P = 0.046). Combining these cost benefits with the improved outcomes in incidence, duration and severity seen with the Meditation or Exercise for Preventing Acute Respiratory Infection study, meditation and exercise add value for ARI. Compared with control, meditation had the greatest cost benefit. This savings is offset by the cost of the intervention ($450/subject) that would negate the short-term but perhaps not long-term savings. CONCLUSIONS: Meditation and exercise add value to ARI-associated health-related costs with improved outcomes. Further research is needed to confirm results and inform policies on adding value to medical spending.
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ABSTRACT: A previous study of 22 medical patients with DSM-III-R-defined anxiety disorders showed clinically and statistically significant improvements in subjective and objective symptoms of anxiety and panic following an 8-week outpatient physician-referred group stress reduction intervention based on mindfulness meditation. Twenty subjects demonstrated significant reductions in Hamilton and Beck Anxiety and Depression scores postintervention and at 3-month follow-up. In this study, 3-year follow-up data were obtained and analyzed on 18 of the original 22 subjects to probe long-term effects. Repeated measures analysis showed maintenance of the gains obtained in the original study on the Hamilton [F(2,32) = 13.22; p < 0.001] and Beck [F(2,32) = 9.83; p < 0.001] anxiety scales as well as on their respective depression scales, on the Hamilton panic score, the number and severity of panic attacks, and on the Mobility Index-Accompanied and the Fear Survey. A 3-year follow-up comparison of this cohort with a larger group of subjects from the intervention who had met criteria for screening for the original study suggests generalizability of the results obtained with the smaller, more intensively studied cohort. Ongoing compliance with the meditation practice was also demonstrated in the majority of subjects at 3 years. We conclude that an intensive but time-limited group stress reduction intervention based on mindfulness meditation can have long-term beneficial effects in the treatment of people diagnosed with anxiety disorders.General Hospital Psychiatry 05/1995; 17(3):192-200. · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Employers and policy-makers in the USA are desperate to slow the rate at which health expenditures grow. Changing how most health care providers are reimbursed will be necessary to achieve this. Although both politically and practically daunting, massive restructuring or replacement of fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement is what is most required. As the dominant reimbursement model in the USA, FFS payment to individual providers strongly encourages and financially rewards the quantity of care provided, regardless of its quality or necessity. Providing high quality, lower cost care with fewer complications and hospital re-admissions can even financial penalize providers. Unfortunately, physicians and other health providers respond rationally to existing financial incentives (translation: they do what they get paid to do and generally try to, or have to, minimize those activities and services for which they are not paid). Altering this reality and fostering the expansion of exemplary delivery models-such as the Mayo Clinic or Geisinger Health System-requires change in how providers behave. And changing behavior often starts with adjusting how providers are paid. Medicare is the programme and payer most capable of using payment reform to catalyze delivery system reform.Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 06/2011; 16(4):249-51. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine whether the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique can affect the physician costs of consistently high-cost people. Quasi-experimental, longitudinal, cost-minimization evaluation. This 14-year, preintervention-postintervention study retrospectively assessed government payments to physicians for treating the TM and no-treatment (NT) groups. Province of Quebec, Canada. The highest-spending 10% of 1418 Quebec health insurance enrollees who practiced the TM technique were compared with the highest 10% of 1418 subjects who were randomly selected from enrollees of the same age, sex, and region. TM participants had chosen to begin the technique prior to choosing to enter the study. Annual payments to private physicians in all treatment settings. The Quebec government health insurance agency provided the total physician payments for each of the 2836 subjects from 1981 to 1994. Other medical expense data for individuals were unavailable. Data were adjusted for medical cost inflation. For each subject, least-squares regression slopes were calculated to estimate preintervention and postintervention annual rates of change in payments. The groups' means, slopes, and medians were compared using both parametric and nonparametric tests. Before starting meditation, the yearly rate of increase in payments to physicians between groups was not significantly different. After commencing meditation, the TM group's mean payments declined $44.93 annually (p = .004), whereas the NT comparison group's payments exhibited nonsignificant changes. After 1 year, the TM group decreased 11%, and after 5 years their cumulative reduction was 28% (p = .001). The results suggest the intervention may be an effective method for reducing physician costs. Randomized studies are recommended.American journal of health promotion: AJHP 09/2011; 26(1):56-60. · 2.37 Impact Factor