Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

This week we bring you more evaluations of the healthcare industry in general and primary care in particular. A new study from The Commonwealth Fund finds that most Americans are dissatisfied with the U.S. healthcare system — 82 percent think it should be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt. A common complaint is access to healthcare — nearly three out of four of the 1,000 consumers surveyed (73 percent) said they had a difficult time getting timely doctors' appointments, phone advice or after-hours care without having to go to the ER.

This echoes an assessment of primary care by healthcare organizations — who reported that reimbursement, access and health IT are the greatest challenges facing PCPs. To download a complimentary summary of responses from the more than 130 hospitals, health systems, physician practices, health plans and others who took our recent e-survey on the state of primary care, please visit http://www.hin.com/library/registerpc08.html. You'll get 10 ideas to rouse your organization from primary care inertia.

Duke Ellington said, "A problem is a chance to do your best." A starting point might be The Commonwealth Fund report that grew out of their study, which outlines a seven-point plan for creating a better healthcare system with higher quality and better efficiency. Areas of focus are payment reform, patient incentives, regulatory changes, accreditation, provider training, government infrastructure support and health IT.

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. 21
August 18, 2008

Sponsored by: Improving Medication Adherence: Practical Strategies to Increase Patient Compliance

During Improving Medication Adherence: Practical Strategies to Increase Patient Compliance, a 90-minute webinar, you’ll hear from two industry experts on ways to increase patient medication compliance.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3830


Table of Contents
  1. Real-Time Data on ER Visits Improves Utilization
  2. PBM Contracting and Transparency Issues and Models
  3. Most Americans Think Healthcare System Needs Major Overhaul
  4. Toward Transparency in Healthcare: Competing for Quality and Consumers
  5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Patient Flow Logistics and Tracking Software Solving Patient Throughput and Capacity Challenges
  6. SAMHSA Announces Sustainability Toolkit for Treatment and Recovery Providers
  7. Designing, Implementing, and Managing Treatment Services for Individuals with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Blueprints for Action
  8. Physician Groups Earn Performance Payments for Improving Quality of Care for Chronically Ill Patients
  9. Successful Management of Heart Failure Patients: Multidisciplinary Approach to Reducing Readmissions
  10. HRSA Awards $22 Million in New Health Center Grants
  11. How To Identify Grant Funding Opportunities In a Changing Healthcare Environment
  12. Worth Repeating: ED Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages: Placing a Psych Nurse in the ED
  13. Emergency Department Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages


1. Real-Time Data on ER Visits Improves Utilization

Dr. Lakshmi Dhanvanthari, staff vice president and medical director of WellPoint’s state-sponsored business, discusses how hospital-health plan collaboration can reduce Medicaid non-emergent ER utilization.

While looking for opportunities for improvement in ER utilization, one of the key network hospitals was experiencing an explosion of state-sponsored business — Medicaid members in their ER. They came looking for a solution, so my organization collaborated with them to address this issue.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/Hindustry_MC081808.html




2. PBM Contracting and Transparency Issues and Models

Get a FREE copy of PBM Contracting and Transparency Issues and Models. This 102-page report examines which contracting strategies have been successful and which have failed or have contributed to confusion among pharmacy benefit clients. It shares real-life experiences that companies including Medco, Express Scripts and Prime Therapeutics have had with rebates and other models. Click here or visit http://www.aishealth.com/Products/freereports_HIN.html to get your report today.



3. Most Americans Think Healthcare System Needs Major Overhaul

Americans are dissatisfied with the U.S. healthcare system and 82 percent think it should be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt, according to a new survey released by The Commonwealth Fund. Also, The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System released a report outlining what an ideally organized U.S. healthcare system would look like, and detailing strategies that could create that organized, efficient healthcare system while simultaneously improving care and cutting costs.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/hospital_HSmanagement081808.html



4. Toward Transparency in Healthcare: Competing for Quality and Consumers

In this special report, a panel of experts discuss the challenges of incorporating public reporting as part of an integrated strategy, collaborating with providers, and developing objective metrics and reliable data.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3694



Please Forward This Issue

If you haven’t already done so, please forward this issue to one or two of your business associates. Thanks so much.

To subscribe, please visit:
http://www.hin.com



5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Patient Flow Logistics and Tracking Software Solving Patient Throughput and Capacity Challenges

While the clinical outcome of the patient stay is the most critical component of a patient’s experience with the healthcare provider, the other crucial aspect is the process by which the patient moves through the hospital. Regardless of how capable the clinician or advanced the medical technology, patients will perceive their care to be substandard when delays and clumsy interdepartmental handoffs occur. Inefficient handoffs also have a negative impact on other stakeholders — the family, the providers, the staff, and the executive team. Discover what is needed to manage the patient flow process in this white paper.

To download this complimentary white paper, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/library/registerpfl.html



6. SAMHSA Announces Sustainability Toolkit for Treatment and Recovery Providers

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing the release of “Sustaining Grassroots Community-based Programs: A Toolkit for Community and Faith-based Service Providers.” Grassroots community and faith-based treatment and recovery providers are concerned about continuing critical services for people affected by substance abuse and mental health disorders. This toolkit is designed to help these organizations plan for long-term survival.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/behavioral_health081808.html



7. Designing, Implementing, and Managing Treatment Services for Individuals with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Blueprints for Action

This report gives you the tools you need to develop an effective program specific to co-occurring treatment for substance use or mental health disorders, as well as to implement and manage the program's services.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3353



8. Physician Groups Earn Performance Payments for Improving Quality of Care for Chronically Ill Patients

All physician groups participating in the CMS Physician Group Practice (PGP) Demonstration have improved the quality of care delivered to patients with congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes mellitus during performance year two of the demonstration, according to CMS. As a result, the 10 groups earned $16.7 million in incentive payments under the demonstration that rewards healthcare providers for improving health outcomes and coordinating the overall healthcare needs of Medicare patients assigned to the groups.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/long_term_care081808.html


There are other free email newsletters available from HIN!

HealthCoach Huddle, a monthly e-newsletter, brings you the most up-to-date news on health coaching, from coaching strategies to interviews and quotables from the industry's leading health coaches.

Medical Home Monitor tracks the construction of medical homes around the country and their impact on healthcare access, quality, utilization and cost. As providers and payors reframe care delivery, this monthly e-newsletter will cover the pilots, practice transformations, tools and technology that will guide healthcare organizations toward clinical excellence.

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


9. Successful Management of Heart Failure Patients: Multidisciplinary Approach to Reducing Readmissions

This special report chronicles the evolution and operation of one hospital’s inpatient heart failure unit and its foundation in continuous care, patient education and self-management.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3745



10. HRSA Awards $22 Million in New Health Center Grants

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced more than $22 million in new health center grants to help people in need — many with no health insurance — obtain access to the comprehensive primary and preventive healthcare services that health centers provide.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/healthLaw_regulation081808.html



11. How To Identify Grant Funding Opportunities In a Changing Healthcare Environment

This audio conference on CD-ROM has been recorded to help orient and point you and your colleagues in the right direction when searching for grants that match your organization's needs.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=2842



12. Worth Repeating: ED Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages: Placing a Psych Nurse in the ED

In this excerpt from a July 30, 2008 audio conference, Joe Eppling, assistant vice president of post acute and behavioral health services at East Jefferson General Hospital, describes how a "Plan B" helps to control psych patients' utilization of a New Orleans ER.

We determined that we really wanted to integrate a psychiatric nurse in the ED. We had meetings with the stakeholders, psychiatry, the ED, care management and the administration, and sat down and looked at a job matrix of current job duties. We decided that anyone who came in with medical needs would be seen by the primary nurse in the emergency room...

To finish reading this transcript excerpt, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/sw/worth_repeating081808.html



13. Emergency Department Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages

During Emergency Department Diversion Through Behavioral Health Linkages, a 90-minute webinar on CD-ROM, via On Demand Web access or as a recorded webinar on DVD, 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 on this audio conference and to listen to pre-conference comments, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3825


Contact HIN:

Editor: Patricia Donovan, pdonovan@hin.com;
Associate Editor: Jessica Papay, jpapay@hin.com;
Sales & Marketing Coordinator: Deirdre McGuinness, dmcguinness@hin.com;
Publisher: Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com


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