Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

With the current state of our economy, the cost of everything from gas to food to healthcare are major concerns for all Americans. Employers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio claim to hold the key to managing healthcare costs in the future — managing their employees' health through wellness programs.

And while some are dealing with more recent cost-related issues, hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi, still dealing with the repercussions of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, will receive over $19 million in financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Also, visit HIN's blog to find out how rising prices at the pump are stalling home health caregivers.

Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Laura M. Greene
Editor, Healthcare Business Weekly Update

Please pass this along to any of your colleagues or, better yet, have them sign up to receive their own copy at http://www.hin.com/freenews2.html where you can also learn about our other news services.


Healthcare Business Weekly Update
Volume X, No. 8
May 12, 2008

Sponsored by: Driving Improvements in Health Coaching Outcomes Through Physician Collaboration and Coordination

During Driving Improvements in Health Coaching Outcomes Through Physician Collaboration and Coordination, a 90-minute webinar on May 15, 2008, three health coaching experts will provide the inside details on how to maximize the physician-patient relationship in health coaching programs to improve results.

For more information, please visit:
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Table of Contents
  1. Survey Highlights Ongoing Shift to Wellness to Manage Healthcare Costs
  2. Building Blocks for a Successful Workplace Wellness Program: Proven Planning and Management Strategies
  3. UCSDMC Hospitalists ‘Set New Benchmark’
  4. Health Risk Stratification: Targeted Tools and Methodologies to Prevent Illness and Improve Health
  5. Featured Healthcare Blog: ER Redirection Grants Shot in the Arm for Primary Care
  6. Genetics, Environment Differently Influence Risk of AD in Women
  7. Alcohol Abuse and Dependency
  8. CMS Proposes More Accurate Payment Rates For Medicare Skilled Nursing Facilities
  9. Understanding Reimbursement for Skilled Nursing Facilities
  10. Hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi to Receive More Katrina Recovery Grants
  11. Health Grants Funding Alert
  12. Monthly e-Survey: Patient Registries


1. Survey Highlights Ongoing Shift to Wellness to Manage Healthcare Costs

The future of managing healthcare costs lies in helping their employees manage their health through wellness programs, according to a survey by Cowden Associates Inc. Cowden Associates compiled results of its 2007-2008 survey from 274 employers throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio regions. Survey participants include for-profit, non-profit and governmental employers.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/Hindustry_MC051208.html



2. Building Blocks for a Successful Workplace Wellness Program: Proven Planning and Management Strategies

This report provides the most common characteristics of successful programs including such assessment activities as health screenings and health risk appraisals.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=2830



3. UCSDMC Hospitalists ‘Set New Benchmark’

Blood clots that can develop in the limbs and travel to the lungs — hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism (VTE) — are the leading cause of preventable death in hospitalized patients. The Division of Hospital Medicine at University of California San Diego Medical Center (UCSDMC) has received national recognition for a program that protects hospital patients from developing those blood clots.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/hospital_HSmanagement051208.html



4. Health Risk Stratification: Targeted Tools and Methodologies to Prevent Illness and Improve Health

Using a variety of tools and methodologies, more healthcare organizations are striving to pinpoint the population that is poised for or in the midst of a health crisis and then making an attempt to slow or prevent complications. This special report profiles the efforts of two organizations who have successfully identified high-risk members and patients and aligned appropriate interventions.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3531



TALK TO THE HIN COMMUNITY: Share your reaction to a story or a strategy that's working at your organization. Send an email to editor@hin.com or post a comment to the HIN blog at:
http://blog.hin.com/

5. Featured Healthcare Blog Post: ER Redirection Grants Shot in the Arm for Primary Care

Posted April 21, 2008 -- Hospitals around the country are devising new strategies to increase ER efficiency and discourage consumers from seeking care in the ER when an alternative healthcare setting will do. Scottsdale Healthcare now posts waiting times for its three ERs on its Web site...

To continue reading this blog post, please visit:
http://blog.hin.com/?p=307



6. Genetics, Environment Differently Influence Risk of AD in Women

A study using twins to investigate genetic and environmental influences on the rate at which young women progress to alcohol dependence (AD) has found that genetic and individual-specific environmental influences are evident in all transitions — the stages of drinking behaviors. By contrast, environmental influences common to members of a twin pair (for example, exposure to parental conflict) are evident primarily in the transition from non-use to first alcohol use.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/behavioral_health051208.html



7. Alcohol Abuse and Dependency

This publication is a clinical guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation and management of the person who is addicted or dependent on the use of alcohol. It covers diagnostic criteria, risk factors, screening for alcoholism, treatment settings and much more.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=2916



8. CMS Proposes More Accurate Payment Rates For Medicare Skilled Nursing Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced its proposal for new, more accurate fiscal year (FY) 2009 payment rates for Medicare skilled nursing facilities that more closely reflect differences in patient care needs.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/long_term_care051208.html


There are other free email newsletters available from HIN!

Healthcare Daily Data Bytes put at your fingertips each day a "Data Byte" from the healthcare industry — facts, figures, statistics and percentages on healthcare spending, costs, utilization and performance. You can also register for free access to Healthcare Daily Data Byte archives.

HealthSounds Podcasts delivers a free weekly audio interview with a healthcare innovator to your e-mailbox. Listen to thought leaders answer key questions about the most pressing issues and trends in healthcare — impact of retail clinics, implications of Web 2.0 for healthcare, medical home models and much more.

To sign up for our free email newsletters, please visit
http://www.hin.com/freenews2.html



9. Understanding Reimbursement for Skilled Nursing Facilities

Understanding Reimbursement for Skilled Nursing Facilities is part of a hospital desk reference series designed to present complicated information regarding compliance and reimbursement issues relative to Medicare and Medicaid programs. This is step-by-step guide to coverage, conditions of participation, Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System and Swing Bed Hospitals.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3419



10. Hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi to Receive More Katrina Recovery Grants

Hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi still recovering from Hurricane Katrina will receive $19.1 million in additional assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This grant is targeted specifically to Louisiana and Mississippi to support their hospitals and inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) that are facing serious and ongoing financial pressure to compete for workers in highly competitive post-storm labor markets.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/healthLaw_regulation051208.html



11. Health Grants Funding Alert

Health Grants Funding Alert provides accurate reporting of grant news from federal health agencies, the major charitable foundations and corporations.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=2613



12. Monthly e-Survey: Patient Registries

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines a patient registry as "an organized system that uses observational study methods to collect uniform data (clinical and other) to evaluate specified outcomes for a population defined by a particular disease, condition or exposure." Many healthcare organizations use patient registries to create a realistic view of clinical practice, patient outcomes, safety and comparative effectiveness and to support evidence development and decision-making.

To take the survey and receive your free executive summary of the results, please visit:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=5OTbdp3eEaksGtQNlOyqyA_3d_3d


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