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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Content Editor Cheryl Miller

Completing a quality-of-life questionnaire at a healthcare provider’s office could help patients live longer and better, according to a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Patient surveys can help reveal depression, which can significantly worsen cardiovascular health, but is often underdiagnosed despite being common among cardiovascular (CV) patients, researchers say. Healthcare providers can assess their patients’ CV health by using standardized patient surveys, which focus on a patient's quality of life. These surveys can directly measure the impact of heart disease on patients, including their symptoms, quality of life, and ability to function physically and mentally. lead to cardiovascular (CV) disease, researchers say. For those patients diagnosed with heart disease, the surveys can directly measure its impact, including their symptoms, quality of life, and ability to function physically and mentally. They can also predict other events, including future cardiac episodes, and should become a part of routine care.

In another example of integrated care, new Behavioral Health Home Certification from the Joint Commission will make many patients’ lives better. Designed as part of a nationwide effort to expand and improve healthcare services, behavioral health homes integrate physical and behavioral healthcare services to provide treatment to address the needs of the whole person. The certification program will provide a framework for this, emphasizing care coordination and quality. Health home providers do not need to provide all the services themselves, but must ensure that the full array of primary and behavioral healthcare services is available and coordinated.

Postponing mammography screenings could help women live longer and better, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

Data shows that routine screening in women younger than 40 increases rates of cancer detection in young women, but only reduces mortality risk by a very small percentage. Instead, the tests are more likely to result in over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment, including biopsies, lumpectomies and mastectomies, and weeks of radiation and potentially toxic drugs. And false positives could result in avoidable procedures and psychological trauma.

Despite these findings, and recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to postpone mammography screenings until age 50, younger women continue to undergo the routine breast cancer test.

The fact that insurance companies continue to pay for these mammograms for women in their 40s is most likely the reason for the persistently high rate of screening, researchers state.

Examining Medicare prescription plan benefits more closely could help beneficiaries to manage their money and health better, according to a new Walgreens survey.

Prescription drug costs are among the top concerns for more than one-third of Medicare Part D beneficiaries, with one in five admitting they’ve had to delay filling a prescription or skip doses to help manage medication costs.

Survey respondents revealed that only half realized that co-pays for Part D prescriptions can vary by pharmacy; and less than one fourth were aware of whether their plan offered a preferred pharmacy option. Beneficiaries can save hundreds of dollars each year on co-pay costs by using a preferred network, researchers state.

Care to tell us how case managers are helping to make your organization run better? There are only a few more days before we close out our survey, so why not take a moment and fill it out; we will send you a free executive summary of the compiled results.

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 Fornarotto
Associate Editor:
Jessica Fornarotto, jfornarotto@hin.com

Publisher:
Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com

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This week's featured download: Care Transitions in 2013 — Interventions Surge in Response to Payor Scrutiny; Home-Grown Approaches Trump Traditional Models

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May 20, 2013
Vol. XV, No. 19

Sponsored by:
Patient Engagement and Provider Collaborations Across the Healthcare Continuum to Improve Care Transitions


This week's industry news:

  1. Patient Surveys Can Help Improve Quality of Life, Outcomes
  2. 2012 Benchmarks in Patient Registry Use for Accountable Care
  3. Despite New Recommendations, Women in 40s Get Routine Mammograms At Same Rate
  4. Guide to Population Health Management
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Mobile Health in 2013
  6. Prescription Drug Costs Among Top Concerns for Medicare Beneficiaries
  7. New Chart: Top Ways to Identify Health Coaching Candidates
  8. 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Improving Medication Adherence
  9. Joint Commission to Offer Behavioral Health Home Certification Option in 2014
  10. Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2013
  11. 7 Key Consumer Engagement Objectives
  12. Guide to the Patient-Centered Medical Home
  13. High-Risk Patient Roster Helps Atrius Pioneer ACO ‘Beat the Benchmark’
  14. Lowering Medicare Readmission Rates With Interventions Focused on Patients, Providers
Please pass this along to any of your colleagues or, better yet, have them sign up to receive their own copy and learn about our other news services.

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This week's industry news

1.) Patient Surveys Can Help Improve Quality of Life, Outcomes

Completing a quality-of-life questionnaire at a healthcare provider’s office could help patients live longer and better, according to a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


2.) 2012 Benchmarks in Patient Registry Use for Accountable Care

2012 Benchmarks in Patient Registry Use for Accountable Care This resource provides actionable data from more than 100 healthcare companies on their current and planned use of registries and the impact of registry use on healthcare quality, efficiency and cost.



Learn more about this resource.

>>Return to this week's industry news


3.) Despite New Recommendations, Women in 40s Get Routine Mammograms At Same Rate

Despite recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to postpone mammography screenings until age 50, younger women continue to undergo the routine breast cancer test, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


4.) Guide to Population Health Management

Guide to Population Health Management This resource lays the groundwork for a population health management (PHM) program, providing a comprehensive set of 2012 PHM benchmarks from 102 companies as well as strategic advice from early adopters of a PHM approach. It also offers a primer in PHM, an advanced case study in the use of analytics in PHM, and an examination of PHM tools at work in the accountable care organization (ACO).

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: Mobile Health in 2013 — Diabetes, Heart Disease Top Targets for Technologies

Mobile Health in 2013 The use of mobile health (mHealth) technologies has transformed the exchange of healthcare data, with mobile apps monitoring everything from blood sugar to medication adherence, and text-based reminders urging smokers not to give into that craving. In its first mHealth e-survey conducted in March 2013, the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN) captured current trends in emerging mHealth technologies. Nearly 150 healthcare organizations describe the technologies they use, the conditions and populations they target, and the challenges and successes they've encountered along the way.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Prescription Drug Costs Among Top Concerns for Medicare Beneficiaries

Prescription drug costs are among the top concerns for more than one-third of Medicare Part D beneficiaries, with one in five admitting they’ve had to delay filling a prescription or skip doses to help manage medication costs, according to a new Walgreens survey.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


7.) New Chart: Top Ways to Identify Health Coaching Candidates

New Chart: Top Ways to Identify Health Coaching Candidates Health coaching and the tools and technologies supporting it are critical elements of a population health management approach. According to 2012 HIN survey data, nearly 72 percent of healthcare companies use HRAs to identify individuals for their health coaching program. We wanted to see which other ways healthcare companies identify candidates for coaching.

Click here to view the chart.

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8.) 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Improving Medication Adherence

2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Improving Medication Adherence This resource provides actionable information from more than 100 healthcare organizations on efforts to improve medication adherence and compliance in their populations, and documents the impact of these programs on adherence and compliance levels, medication costs, ER visits, hospital and skilled nursing facility admissions, risk of death, and other areas of concern.

Learn more about this resource.

>>Return to this week's industry news


9.) Joint Commission to Offer Behavioral Health Home Certification Option in 2014

The Joint Commission will offer a new Behavioral Health Home Certification option beginning in January 2014, as part of a nationwide effort to expand and improve healthcare services.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news

10.) Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2013: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2013 This resource tackles top-of-mind issues for physicians and hospitals, including the new mantra of IHI’s Triple Aim, and the emergence of continuum-driven and integrated delivery systems like accountable care organizations, clinically integrated networks and the new business and payment models that support them.

Learn more about this resource.

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11.) 7 Key Consumer Engagement Objectives

To transform a healthcare system to an effective, efficient and affordable system, it’s not enough to enlist the efforts of the physicians and hospital, says Jay Driggers, director of consumer engagement at Horizon BCBS-NJ. Consumer participation is an equal part of the equation, with self-accountability topping the list of seven key objectives for consumer engagement.

Get the full story.

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12.) Guide to the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Metrics, Models and Engagement

Guide to the Patient-Centered Medical Home This resource provides an overview of PCMH adoption and results and examines nuances of the model that have emerged in recent years — including the embedding of case managers on medical home teams.



Learn more about this resource.

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13.) High-Risk Patient Roster Helps Atrius Pioneer ACO ‘Beat the Benchmark’

They don't call them pioneers for nothing.

A high-risk patient roster, a retooled geriatric care model and a preferred SNF network are just a few Atrius Health innovations on the healthcare frontier.

Read this blog post.

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14.) Lowering Medicare Readmission Rates With Interventions Focused on Patients, Providers

Alicia Goroski To rise to the challenge of non-compliant patients, providers should ask how they can work together to empower patients toward self-management rather than why patients are non-adherent in the first place, suggests Alicia Goroski, MPH, senior project director for care transitions for the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care (CFMC). CFMC coordinates the work of state-based Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs), who have been working with hospitals and community providers to improve care transitions and reduce readmissions.

In this interview, Ms. Goroski describes some of the interventions focused on patients, providers or both groups that have not only lowered key Medicare readmission rates but also reduced participants' overall admission stats.

Listen to this podcast.

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