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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Content Editor Cheryl Miller

It takes a village, a phrase first made popular by Hillary Clinton in the mid-nineties with her book of the same title, has been part of our lexicon ever since, and describes a particular perspective inherent in several of our stories this week — that it takes a community to help raise a family. One report — from the Pew Center on the States — sheds light on the increasing number of preventable dental problems that are being treated in the ER, and reveals that more than half of Medicaid-enrolled children did not receive as much as a routine dental exam in 2009. The report presents statistics from 24 states, and suggests that the problem lies with a shortage of dentists, and in particular, dentists servicing Medicaid-enrolled children.

One possible solution — something Clinton probably didn’t foresee back when she wrote her book — is the use of texting as a way to provide pregnant women and new mothers with free text messages on important healthcare issues and resources. Text4Baby and CMS have joined forces to promote enrollment in both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; the effort is designed to better inform women on how to keep their children healthy. Studies show that more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday each year in the United States. Many factors cause these negative outcomes, including healthcare access, poverty, and negative health behaviors, but research shows that increasing knowledge around health can help people stay healthier. And texting is one way to do this: according to text4Baby's web site, over 85 percent of Americans own a cell phone and 72 percent of cell users send or receive text messages.

In other technological news, a new remote monitoring program created by AMC Health and adapted by Geisinger Health Plan has successfully reduced hospital readmissions by 44 percent, and helped case managers to be even more efficient. The Interactive Voice Response tool has been effective with heart failure patients, and will soon be used with hypertension and diabetes patients.

Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Cheryl Miller
Editor, Healthcare Business Weekly Update

Please send comments, questions and replies to cmiller@hin.com.

HIN Associate Editor Jessica Papay
Associate Editor:
Jessica Papay, jpapay@hin.com

Publisher:
Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com

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March 5, 2012
Vol. XIV, No. 8

Sponsored by:
Telephonic Case Management: Protocols for Behavioral Healthcare Patients

This week's industry news:

  1. Geisinger Remote Monitoring Program Reduces 30-Day Readmissions
  2. 2011 Performance Benchmarks in Telehealth & Telemedicine
  3. Clinical Informatics Key to Lowering Healthcare Costs, Improving Patient Care: Study
  4. Guide to Improving Medication Adherence
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Reducing Avoidable ER Visits 2012
  6. ED Visits for Routine Dental Problems Jumped 16 Percent from 2006 to 2009
  7. New Chart: Top 5 Tools in Tobacco Cessation Programs
  8. Reducing Avoidable ER Visits by Medicaid Patients
  9. The 3 Big Players in Medication Adherence
  10. 46 Healthcare Metrics to Boost Profitability
  11. CMS, Text4Baby Initiative to Boost Enrollment in Medicaid, CHIP
  12. The National Directory of Children, Youth & Families Services
  13. Direct and Indirect Incentives for Physicians in Medical Home Programs
  14. HealthSounds Podcast: Healthcare Performance Improvement
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This week's industry news

1.) Geisinger Remote Monitoring Program Reduces 30-Day Readmissions

A new remote monitoring tool from AMC Health has enabled Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) to reduce 30-day readmissions by 44 percent, and increase case manager efficiency in monitoring patients transitioning from hospital to home.

Get the full story.

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2.) 2011 Performance Benchmarks in Telehealth & Telemedicine

2011 Performance Benchmarks in Telehealth & Telemedicine This resource is packed with actionable new information from 111 healthcare organizations on their utilization of telehealth & telemedicine. This 60-page report, now in its second year, documents trends and metrics on current and planned telehealth and telemedicine initiatives and includes a year-over-year comparison of telehealth trends from 2009 to 2010.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Clinical Informatics Key to Lowering Healthcare Costs, Improving Patient Care: Study

Clinical informatics may hold the key to improving population health and reducing healthcare costs in the United States, says a new report from PwC US Health Research Institute (HRI).

Get the full story.

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4.) Guide to Improving Medication Adherence

Guide to Improving Medication Adherence This resource analyzes trends in improving medication adherence at more than 160 healthcare companies, and takes an in-depth look at pioneering efforts by Kaiser Permanente Colorado and CIGNA Pharmacy Management to improve medication compliance levels in their populations.


Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: Reducing Avoidable ER Visits 2012

With consensus widespread that much of emergency room use is avoidable and preventable, this white paper details how 134 healthcare organizations are working to staunch the flow and expense of avoidable emergency department use and point low-acuity patients in the direction of appropriate care.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) ED Visits for Routine Dental Problems Jumped 16 Percent from 2006 to 2009

Preventable, routine dental conditions, including toothaches, were the primary reason for 830,590 ER visits by Americans in 2009, a 16 percent increase from 2006, says a new report from the Pew Center on the States.

Get the full story.

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7.) New Chart: Top 5 Tools in Tobacco Cessation Programs

Top 5 Tools in Tobacco Cessation Programs CDC data indicates that cigarette-smoking related healthcare expenditures in 2008 in the United States totaled nearly $96 million, and that the employer bears a cost of $3,391 per smoking employee per year, including $1,760 in lost productivity and $1,623 in excess medical expenditures. We wanted to see what components are included in tobacco cessation programs.

Click here to view the chart.

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8.) Reducing Avoidable ER Visits by Medicaid Patients Through Quality-Based Interventions

Reducing Avoidable ER Visits by Medicaid Patients Through Quality-Based Interventions An Ohio collaborative of Medicaid plans is using a rapid cycle quality improvement approach to reduce avoidable ER visits by its Medicaid beneficiaries. One of the five regions targeted by the collaborative is Toledo, Ohio — known for having the highest ED utilization in the nation. Mina Chang, Ph.D., of the Bureau of Health Services Research for the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services, explains the collaborative in this 45-minute webinar.

Learn more about this resource.

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9.) The 3 Big Players in Medication Adherence

The push to monitor and improve medication adherence has continued steadily from 2010 to 2011, with a slight uptick in adherence-related interventions noted this past year, according to the Healthcare Intelligence Network’s 2011 survey on Medication Adherence.

Get the full story.

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10.) 46 Healthcare Metrics to Boost Profitability: Charting 2012 Trends

46 Healthcare Metrics to Boost Profitability This 70-page resource is designed exclusively for the busy healthcare executive who seeks a high-level summary of industry trends and benchmarks. It delivers charts and tables on 46 actionable metrics carefully curated from 2011 market research data by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

Learn more about this resource.

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11.) CMS, Text4Baby Initiative to Boost Enrollment in Medicaid, CHIP

CMS and text4Baby are promoting enrollment in both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by providing pregnant women and new mothers with free text messages on important healthcare issues. The initiative is designed to highlight how access to both healthcare coverage and health information is critical for families.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


12.) The National Directory of Children, Youth & Families Services

The National Directory of Children, Youth & Families Services With over 40,000 contacts, this valuable directory will quickly put the contacts you need at your fingertips. Specialty listings include: social service agencies, health/mental health departments, juvenile justice agencies, behavioral health treatment, and much more. Each listing is organized by state, county and city for easy searching.

Learn more about this resource.

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13.) Direct and Indirect Incentives for Physicians in Medical Home Programs

Physician performance-based reimbursement in the same state can vary widely, as evidenced by this interview with representatives of two Colorado medical home initiatives.

Read this blog post.

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14.) HealthSounds Podcast: Healthcare Performance Improvement — Exceeding Core Measure Targets for Value-Based Reimbursement

Dr. Steve Berkowitz The establishment of good core measure performance is good patient care, emphasizes Dr. Steve Berkowitz, president of SMB Consulting and former chief medical officer at St. David's HealthCare, which boasts a mortality index and CMS core measure ratings that are among the best in the nation. Dr. Berkowitz shares his formula for achieving 100 percent performance, describes an incentive program for drivers of the quality measures and weighs in on the need for an EHR to achieve core measure excellence.

Listen to this podcast.

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