Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

What a difference a few weeks makes. After nine Republican senators had a change of heart, the Senate last week passed a Medicare reform bill that eliminates the threat of a 10.6 percent payment cut to physicians through 2009. The bill passed by enough votes in the Senate (and in the House of Representatives two weeks ago) to remove the threat of a presidential veto. The Senate vote ends several weeks of drama and was met with relief by physician organizations. The AMA praised the Senate for "putting patients first," and the AAFP said its "5,954 e-mails to Congress, 388 letters to newspapers, numerous phone calls from AAFP members and officers, and face-to-face conversations with legislators" helped convince the Senate to vote in favor of the bill. In recent weeks, 60 percent of physicians told the AMA that the proposed payment cut would have forced them to limit the number of new Medicare patients they could treat.

A threat that's not going away any time soon is the impact of rising energy costs on healthcare utilization and administration. Take our brief e-survey on energy costs and healthcare by July 31 and receive a complimentary copy of the results. Also, the respondent who submits the most effective energy conservation/cost-saving strategy will receive a $50 gas card.

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. 16
July 14, 2008

Sponsored by: Emergency Department Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages

During Emergency Department Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages, a 90-minute webinar on July 30th, you’ll hear from two healthcare organizations who have implemented programs to divert ED visits related to behavioral health issues to appropriate venues of care.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3825


Table of Contents
  1. Robert Wood Johnson Commits to Improving Quality of U.S. Healthcare
  2. Managing Cancer Care: Strategies to Improve Outcomes and Lower Costs
  3. How HRAs Lead to Employee Participation in Healthy Lifestyle Programs
  4. Employee Health Promotion Strategies: Effecting Change through a Culture of Health
  5. Featured Healthcare Blog: Five Steps to Increasing Patient Satisfaction in Hospitals
  6. OptumHealth Introduces New “Brain Health” Capabilities
  7. Clinical Case Formulations: Matching the Integrative Treatment Plan to the Client
  8. Resource Offered for Home Healthcare Response During a Flu Pandemic
  9. Pandemic Influenza: Preparedness and Readiness Plan for Long-Term Care Facilities
  10. Georgia to Offer More Community Living Alternatives for the Disabled
  11. Tracking Mental Health Outcomes: A Therapist's Guide to Measuring Client Progress, Analyzing Data, and Improving Your Practice
  12. E-Survey on Energy Costs and Healthcare: Win a $50 Gas Card


1. Robert Wood Johnson Commits to Improving Quality of U.S. Healthcare

With increasing reports of dangerous deficiencies in the quality of healthcare, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) launched a $300-million commitment to improve quality in regions across the United States. Underscoring the scope of the problem, RWJF also released new research showing that the quality of care people receive can vary dramatically depending on their race and where they live.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/Hindustry_MC071408.html



2. Managing Cancer Care: Strategies to Improve Outcomes and Lower Costs

Get a FREE copy of Managing Cancer Care: Strategies to Improve Outcomes and Lower Costs. This 145-page report details management strategies and pricing methodologies that health plans have been instituting to rein in oncology costs, as well as the federal government’s role in reimbursement. Click here or visit http://www.aishealth.com/Products/freereports_HIN.html to get your report today.



3. How HRAs Lead to Employee Participation in Healthy Lifestyle Programs

David Sensibaugh, director of Integrated Health at Eastman Chemical Company, discusses how using HRAs at Eastman accelerated participation in their health-sponsored programs and made patient intervention easier.

Before 2006, in any given year Eastman Chemical Company had about 30 percent of their employees completing an HRA, and they needed to accelerate that dramatically to get up to the 75 percent-plus participation level. In 2006 Eastman introduced an incentive for employees to complete an HRA.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/hospital_HSmanagement071408.html



4. Employee Health Promotion Strategies: Effecting Change through a Culture of Health

In this special report, one industry expert details the process and challenges of creating a corporate culture of health and the payoffs in improved worker health and safety that can result. A second expert chronicles the development of a culture of health at his own company and how this attitudinal shift has impacted the health and welfare of the company's shift workers.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3777



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: Five Steps to Increasing Patient Satisfaction in Hospitals

Posted June 26, 2008 -- Healthcare organizations are increasingly sensitized to patient satisfaction levels and their effect on quality ratings. A recent post on ragan.com called, A patient’s advice to hospital communicators, illustrates that the basics of customer satisfaction in a hospital setting really haven’t changed that much over the last 30 years.

To continue reading this blog post, please visit:
http://blog.hin.com/?p=336



6. OptumHealth Introduces New “Brain Health” Capabilities

OptumHealth Behavioral Solutions will work with Brain Resource to provide clinicians with a Web-based assessment that measures general cognition (how people process information) and social cognition (how people manage their emotions). This 40-minute assessment is based on well-known and validated tests of memory, attention, executive function, and response speed, mood, social skills and emotional resilience.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/behavioral_health071408.html



7. Clinical Case Formulations: Matching the Integrative Treatment Plan to the Client

This unique resource provides a systematic method to integrate ideas, skills, and techniques from different theoretical approaches, empirical research, and clinical experience to create a case formulation that is tailor-made for the client.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3467



8. Resource Offered for Home Healthcare Response During a Flu Pandemic

Home Healthcare During an Influenza Pandemic: Issues and Resources, a report identifying home healthcare as a critical component in providing care during a pandemic influenza event and offering resources to home healthcare providers and community planners to prepare for such an event, was released by the HHS’ AHRQ.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/long_term_care071408.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. Pandemic Influenza: Preparedness and Readiness Plan for Long-Term Care Facilities

Based on the recommendations made by the HHS, this document is a policy manual that is intended to give long-term care facilities everything they need to prepare for a possible influenza pandemic.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3650



10. Georgia to Offer More Community Living Alternatives for the Disabled

More than 2,300 individuals with disabilities currently institutionalized in Georgia’s eight public psychiatric hospitals and mental retardation facilities will have the opportunity to live in their communities with appropriate supports tailored to meet their individualized needs as a result of an agreement between Georgia and the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/healthLaw_regulation071408.html



11. Tracking Mental Health Outcomes: A Therapist's Guide to Measuring Client Progress, Analyzing Data, and Improving Your Practice

Outcomes assessment has become an increasingly critical component of contemporary mental health practice, yet most therapists receive little or no training in accepted outcomes assessment and documentation methods. Tracking Mental Health Outcomes fills this gap, providing step-by-step guidance on choosing the best outcomes-tracking methods and instruments for your practice.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3624



12. E-Survey on Energy Costs and Healthcare: Win a $50 Gas Card

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, healthcare organizations spend over $6.5 billion on energy each year to meet patients' needs while experiencing double-digit cost increases. In addition, rising gas prices are affecting healthcare administration and utilization. Complete our survey on the impact of rising energy costs on the healthcare industry and you'll get a FREE executive summary of the compiled results AND be eligible to win a $50 gas card.

To take the survey and receive your free executive summary of the results, please visit:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=_2fHr13Ywo_2fRAvq2S2CuKUkw_3d_3d


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