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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Content Editor Cheryl Miller

Location, location, location.

While it definitely impacts the price of real estate, it doesn't necessarily influence a hospital's surgery rating, according to Consumer Reports' first ratings survey on how patients fare during and after surgery.

In fact, some hospitals do a much better job than others, despite their location. The report reflects wide variation, sometimes between hospitals only a few miles apart. For example, the Greater Baltimore Medical Center earned high marks on the overall surgery rating, as well as for several individual procedures, but the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, also in Baltimore, got a low overall surgery rating.

The report, detailed inside, includes overall surgery ratings, which combines results for 27 categories of scheduled surgeries, as well as individual ratings for five specific procedure types: back surgery, hip replacement, knee replacement, angioplasty and carotid artery surgery. They are important because up to 30 percent of hospital patients suffer infections, heart attacks, strokes, or other complications after surgery, but these records are largely hidden from consumers, Consumer Reports says.

Another area of concern that has largely been hidden from consumers is the high cost of medical errors, according to the Leapfrog Group.

A new tool is available to counter this costly trend — the Hidden Surcharge Calculator tool — which allows purchasers to calculate how much they spend annually on unnecessary costs due to hospital errors that occur within general acute care hospitals.

Reports estimate that purchasers can pay nearly $8,000 per patient in hidden surcharges due to medical errors; for employers with 1,000 hospital admissions per year that cost can near a whopping $8 million in avoidable fees, not to mention harm to patients. Every year, more than 180,000 Medicare beneficiaries die from hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), errors, accidents and injuries.

Purchasers can use the calculator to enter their own claims data and local hospital safety ratings from Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score Web site to learn the estimated hidden surcharge they pay annually for hospital errors.

More news on not-so hidden costs of long-term care: they continued to increase across all provider options, according to a study from the John Hancock Life Insurance Company (John Hancock).

Already high, within the last five years, costs for senior living facilities rose anywhere from 2 percent for an assisted living facility ($41,124 annually) to nearly 4 percent for a private nursing home room ($94,170.) Considered to be one of the most significant uninsured financial risks an individual can face, according to John Hancock officials, the company updated its interactive cost of care map and calculator to reflect the latest findings, and make long-term care costs planning easier.

And lastly, some good financial news: Medicare drug premiums remained stable for four straight years in a row, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The average premium for a basic prescription drug plan in 2014 was expected to remain stable at an estimated $31 per month. More than 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs since the ACA was implemented, an average of $1,061 per beneficiary, the HHS said.

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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August 5, 2013
Vol. XV, No. 29

Defining the Dually Eligible Sponsored by:

HINfographic on Defining the Dually Eligible — 16 Things to Know for Population Health Management


This week's industry news:

  1. Rural, Urban Hospitals Score Highly in Consumer Reports Surgery Ratings; Teaching Hospitals Fall Short
  2. 2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Reducing Hospital Readmissions
  3. Leapfrog Surcharge Calculator Uncovers Millions Paid for U.S. Hospital Errors: Report
  4. Essential Guide to Physician-Hospital Organizations
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Health Coaching in 2013
  6. Long-Term Care Costs Continue to Climb Across All Provider Options
  7. New Chart: What's the ROI from Programs to Reduce Avoidable ER Visits?
  8. Telephonic Case Management Protocols to Engage Vulnerable Populations
  9. Medicare Drug Premiums Remain Stable Four Years in a Row
  10. Drug Benefit Trends and Strategies: 2013
  11. Care Transition Management Ensures Seamless Journey Back to Community
  12. Guide to Care Transition Management
  13. HINfographic on Care Transitions
  14. Managing Population Health with Integrated Registries and Effective Patient Touchpoints
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This week's industry news

1.) Rural, Urban Hospitals Score Highly in Consumer Reports Surgery Ratings; Teaching Hospitals Fall Short

Location, location, location.

While it definitely impacts the price of real estate, it doesn’t necessarily impact a hospital’s surgery rating, according to Consumer Reports’ first ratings survey on how patients fare during and after surgery.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


2.) 2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Reducing Hospital Readmissions

2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Reducing Hospital Readmissions This resource provides critical benchmarks that show how the industry is working to reduce rehospitalizations, particularly for the CMS target conditions of heart failure, myocardial infarction and pneumonia.


Learn more about this resource.

>>Return to this week's industry news


3.) Leapfrog Surcharge Calculator Uncovers Millions Paid for U.S. Hospital Errors: Report

Employers and purchasers concerned about the high price of healthcare can now determine in advance how much they are paying for hospital errors, according to The Leapfrog Group.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


4.) Essential Guide to Physician-Hospital Organizations: 7 Key Elements for PHO Success

Essential Guide to Physician-Hospital Organizations This resource describes the seven critical areas of PHO development, from defining the PHO mission to creating a data environment conducive to registry use, analytics and active patient management.



Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: Health Coaching in 2013 — Weight, Chronic Disease Top Targets in Telephonic Field

Health Coaching in 2013 In its fourth Health Coaching e-survey conducted in January 2013, HIN captured the ways in which healthcare organizations implement health coaching as well as the financial and clinical outcomes that result from this health improvement strategy. HIN found that 75 percent of respondents have a health coaching program in place, a slight increase of 5 percent over 2010, the last year the survey was conducted. This HINtelligence Report provides data highlights on health coaching program components, the most successful tools and workflows in health coaching, results, reimbursement and ROI; and more.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Long-Term Care Costs Continue to Climb Across All Provider Options

Long-term care costs have continued to increase across all provider options, according to a study from the John Hancock Life Insurance Company (John Hancock).

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


7.) New Chart: What's the ROI from Programs to Reduce Avoidable ER Visits?

New Chart: What's the ROI from Programs to Reduce Avoidable ER Visits? There are many motivators to reduce avoidable ER visits: quality improvement, core measure metrics, reimbursement and incentives, cost trend, accreditation and recognition of ACOs and PCMHs, to name a few. We wanted to see what ROI was generated by programs to reduce avoidable ER visits.

Click here to view the chart.

>>Return to this week's industry news


8.) Telephonic Case Management Protocols to Engage Vulnerable Populations

Telephonic Case Management Protocols to Engage Vulnerable Populations This resource examines the case management protocol developed by Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance, including the use of scripts and surveys to assess patients’ engagement in the treatment process and to identify patients at-risk.


Learn more about this resource.

>>Return to this week's industry news


9.) Medicare Drug Premiums Remain Stable Four Years in a Row

For the fourth consecutive year, the average premium for a basic prescription drug plan in 2014 is expected to remain stable at an estimated $31 per month, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news

10.) Drug Benefit Trends and Strategies: 2013

Drug Benefit Trends and Strategies: 2013 This resource provides convenient access to analysis by industry experts and thought leaders from across the nation to help you answer vital questions such as significant trends in payors’ coverage, the effect of the Essential Health Benefit provisions on health insurance exchanges.


Learn more about this resource.

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11.) Care Transition Management Ensures Seamless Journey Back to Community

Whether patients go directly home after a hospitalization or ER visit or spend time at a nursing home or long-term care facility, the hospital discharge can be the tipping point to both improve care transitions and reduce avoidable readmissions, particularly among Medicare beneficiaries. Following are opinions expressed by several thought leaders during a recent forum presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


12.) Guide to Care Transition Management

Guide to Care Transition Management This resource examines data analytics driving the CMS Care Transitions Demonstration Project as well as some home-grown and award-winning initiatives supporting patients’ seamless transitions back into their communities. In all, hundreds of data points are provided and 20 critical FAQs answered.


Learn more about this resource.

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13.) HINfographic on Care Transitions: Coordinating a Smooth Move Between Care Sites

Proper management of transitions in care — the handover of an individual's care from one health setting to another — has the potential to dramatically hasten that person's return to health, as well as reduce the likelihood of a return ER visit or rehospitalization. This HINfographic on care transitions illustrates the proper handling of care transitions, including transition trouble spots, red flags for care management, favored models of care, coordinators of care transitions, and more.

Read this blog post.

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14.) Managing Population Health with Integrated Registries and Effective Patient Touchpoints

Jim Bellows A patient might expect a reminder about a missed colonoscopy during a primary care visit, but during a trip to the dermatologist? Providing health plan members with “consistent and ubiquitous reminders” via multiple touchpoints in their healthcare journey is one of Kaiser Permanente’s key population health management strategies, reports Jim Bellows, PhD, senior director of evaluation and analytics for Kaiser Permanente.

Another is the vigorous use of registries — more than 50 in all, at last count — even for relatively rare diseases. Dr. Bellows defines the criteria for registry creation, expands on the choice and availability of patient touchpoints and explains the evolution of other Web-based PHM tools in use by Kaiser Permanente.

Listen to this podcast.

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