Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

In this week's stories we learn that on paper, at least, there is agreement among major parties on principles to guide how health plans measure and report doctors’ performance. Those embracing the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project charter agree to provide physicians with adequate notice and opportunity to correct any errors as well as information that helps them improve the quality of care they provide.

It stands to reason that EHRs would foster this information flow, so it's good news that HHS has named the 12 communities selected for a national Medicare demo project that provides incentive payments to physicians for using certified EHRs to improve the quality of patient care. Total payments for the 1,200 PCPs in the five-year pilot may be up to $58,000 per physician or $290,000 per practice.

Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Patricia Donovan
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. 12
June 16, 2008

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During Essential Keys To Success for Consumer-Directed Health Plans, a 90-minute webinar on June 26, 2008, industry experts will describe these elements and how this translates to increased adoption and results.

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Table of Contents
  1. Purchasers, Physicians and Insurers Agree on Physician Performance Reporting
  2. 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Guide: Essentials of Data Collection, Work Flow Optimization and Physician Engagement for Practices
  3. Longer ED Visits, Communication about Delays Linked to Patient Satisfaction
  4. Emergency Room Redirection Handbook
  5. Featured Healthcare Blog: No Vacation from Infection Control
  6. Extended Family’s Behavior Points to Risk for Post-Collegiate Alcoholism
  7. Alcohol Abuse and Dependency
  8. Primary Care Visits Reduce Hospital Utilization Among Medicare Beneficiaries at End of Life
  9. Coordinating Care Transitions for the Elderly and Dually Eligible: Fostering Self-Management and Reducing Readmissions
  10. 12 Communities Selected to Advance Use of EHRs in First National Demonstration
  11. Electronic Health Records: Transforming Your Medical Practice
  12. Monthly e-Survey: The State of Primary Care in 2008


1. Purchasers, Physicians and Insurers Agree on Physician Performance Reporting

Leading consumer, employer and labor organizations agree with leading physician groups and health insurers on principles to guide how health plans measure doctors’ performance and report the information to consumers, according to the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project. The "Patient Charter for Physician Performance Measurement, Reporting and Tiering Programs" creates a national set of principles to guide measuring and reporting to consumers about doctors’ performance, according to the project.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/Hindustry_MC061608.html



2. 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Guide: Essentials of Data Collection, Work Flow Optimization and Physician Engagement for Practices

This special report introduces the 2008 PQRI changes and offers strategies and templates to optimize practice work flow and turn PQRI participation into profit. From the perspectives of the physician, administrator and coder, three thought leaders in the quality and measures reporting arenas describe how to streamline data collection, overcome barriers to staff and physician participation and monetize the measures to increase physician practice revenue streams while enhancing patient care.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3770



3. Longer ED Visits, Communication about Delays Linked to Patient Satisfaction

A new report from a provider of quality improvement solutions finds that longer ED visits and communication about delays are the top priorities for improvement, according to patient evaluations on ED experiences. The Emergency Department Pulse Report from Press Ganey Associates analyzes the experiences of more than 1.5 million patients treated at 1,656 EDs nationwide in 2007.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/hospital_HSmanagement061608.html



4. Emergency Room Redirection Handbook

The Emergency Room Redirection Handbook is a comprehensive two-volume set that illustrates innovative strategies to reduce unnecessary ER visits.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3809



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: No Vacation from Infection Control

Posted June 5, 2008 — HIN Communications Editor Laura M. Greene writes: A cruise line I recently traveled with had an interesting method for infection and germ control. Each time we boarded the ship, they sprayed our hands with sanitizer. At the entrances and exits to every restaurant there were hand sanitizer dispensers. In the casinos, in the hallways and in the lounges — hand sanitizer. The cruise line’s attempt at controlling and preventing the spread of disease...

To continue reading this blog post, please visit:
http://blog.hin.com/?p=325



6. Extended Family’s Behavior Points to Risk for Post-Collegiate Alcoholism

An extended family’s alcoholism — including first-, second-, and third-degree relatives — may be a better predictor of a college student’s risk of future alcoholism than the usual yardstick of parental alcohol abuse, according to a study by researchers at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. Published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, this is the first published study of college students that looks beyond the parents’ — usually paternal — alcohol use.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/behavioral_health061608.html



7. Alcohol Abuse and Dependency

This publication is a clinical guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation and management of the person who is addicted to or dependent on the use of alcohol. It covers diagnostic criteria, risk factors, screening for alcoholism, treatment settings, criteria for inpatient care and length of stay goals, as well as drug management of withdrawal symptoms when necessary. Adolescent and geriatric alcohol dependency issues are also reviewed.

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



8. Primary Care Visits Reduce Hospital Utilization Among Medicare Beneficiaries at End of Life

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that primary care visits reduce hospital utilization among Medicare beneficiaries at the end of life. According to researchers, medical treatments for the 6 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who die each year comprise almost 30 percent of Medicare expenditures.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/long_term_care061608.html


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



9. Coordinating Care Transitions for the Elderly and Dually Eligible: Fostering Self-Management and Reducing Readmissions

Throughout this 65-page report, respected thought leaders share their unique approaches to care transition management that positively impact cost and engage the elderly and dually eligible populations in care decisions.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3685



10. 12 Communities Selected to Advance Use of EHRs in First National Demonstration

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt has named the 12 communities that will participate in a national Medicare demonstration project that provides incentive payments to physicians for using certified EHRs to improve the quality of patient care. The five-year, first-of-its-kind project is expected to improve the quality of care provided to an estimated 3.6 million Americans.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/healthLaw_regulation061608.html



11. Electronic Health Records: Transforming Your Medical Practice

This guide provides detailed information on technology application, cost-reduction strategies that save money and improve HIPAA privacy compliance in practice operations.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3099



12. Monthly e-Survey: The State of Primary Care in 2008

Many factors are affecting the primary care system in the United States — a predicted shortfall of primary care physicians, new models of care, unchanged models of reimbursement, a focus on quality initiatives and increased demands for healthcare IT. Complete our survey on primary care and get a FREE executive summary of the compiled results.

To take the survey and receive your free executive summary of the results, please visit:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=biSaeW_2f1fphC1jgPs3ojZw_3d_3d


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