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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Content Editor Cheryl Miller

As we go to press, a hurricane is threatening to pummel our eastern coastline with winds greater than 110 mph; store shelves have been emptied of bottled water and batteries and anyone searching for a generator might be out of luck.

Healthcare too is preparing for the winds of change as reform laws descend upon it, and many preparations are being made in its wake. HHS just announced it is awarding $40 million in grants to identify and enroll children eligible for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The two-year grants are authorized under the Childrenís Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009, and part of the administrationís push to ensure all eligible children.

In a move to address shifting reimbursement plans, CMS is proposing four bundled payment plan models. These models are designed to align payments for services delivered during an episode of care, rather than paying for services separately. This new initiative will give providers the flexibility to determine which episodes of care and which services will be bundled together.

And lastly, nearly one of every 10 mid-sized or big employers might stop offering health coverage to workers after insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014, states a recent survey from Towers Watson. The survey, which involved more than 1200 companies, says that the companies are willing to risk the ensuing fees and tax headaches that could arise with such a move. Last year, the average annual health insurance premium for employer-sponsored family coverage was $13,770 per worker, with companies picking up most of that tab, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust. That cost has more than doubled since 2000.

But survey officials stress that these results arenít written in stone, and that employers could change their minds given all the unresolved variables, not unlike the hurricane headed our way. Weíll just have to see what path the storm takes.

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 Papay
Associate Editor:
Jessica Papay, jpapay@hin.com

Publisher:
Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com

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August 29, 2011
Vol. XIII, No. 32

Sponsored by:
The Role of Embedded Case Managers in Clinical Transformation

This week's industry news:

  1. Increased Hiring of Hospital Physicians May Drive Up Healthcare Costs
  2. Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2011
  3. 4 Proposed Bundled Payment Models Encourage Continuity of Care
  4. Medical Home Reimbursement ABCs
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: 2010 Benchmarks in Managing Care Transitions Across Sites
  6. Patient Registry Results from Accountable Care
  7. New Chart: Which Providers Will Participate in ACOs?
  8. Health Management Tools for ACOs
  9. Obesity Costs States $15 Billion a Year in Medical Expenses
  10. 2011 Benchmarks in Population Health Management
  11. Greening the Supply Chain Initiative Targets Healthcare Industry
  12. Disease Management and Wellness in the Post-Reform Era
  13. HealthSounds Podcast: 4 Ways to Risk-Rank Patients to Reduce Readmissions
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.) Increased Hiring of Hospital Physicians May Drive Up Healthcare Costs

The trend of hiring more hospital physicians might be driving up healthcare costs, and not improving quality of care, says a new study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Get the full story.

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2.) Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2011: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare Feeling the squeeze from softening service demands, growing competition, reimbursement cuts and increased regulatory oversight, the healthcare industry is ripe for financial relief. In this 35-page resource, two key thought leaders look ahead to healthcare reform 2.0 — implementation and rollout and craft a healthcare reform strategy checklist, putting the smart money on models of consolidation and clinical integration that will not only increase throughput and market share but also reduce unnecessary utilization and cost.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) 4 Proposed Bundled Payment Models Encourage Continuity of Care

A new initiative from HHS is designed to align payments for services delivered during an episode of care, rather than paying for services separately.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


4.) Medical Home Reimbursement ABCs: Funding Care Delivery through ACOs, Bundled Payments and Concrete Contracts

Medical Home Reimbursement ABCs This essential 50-page resource provides a primer on emerging reimbursement models that are getting payors' and providers' attention while delivering cost savings. It profiles three healthcare organizations that are redefining healthcare reimbursement with their pilots of new payment models and contracting strategies.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: 2010 Benchmarks in Managing Care Transitions Across Sites

This white paper captures the top programs and activities by 87 healthcare organizations to coordinate key care transitions in response to the Healthcare Intelligence Network May 2010 Managing Care Transitions Across Sites e-survey.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Patient Registry Results from Accountable Care

Registry data is a valuable tool for accountable care, explains Dr. Gregory Spencer, chief medical officer with Crystal Run Healthcare, and can be effectively used to monitor everything from routine health maintenance issues to high risk diabetes diagnoses.

Get the full story.

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7.) New Chart: Which Providers Will Participate in ACOs?

Which Providers Will Participate in ACOs? Accountable care organizations (ACOs) create integrated delivery systems that encourage teams of physicians, hospitals and other providers to collaboratively coordinate care for ACO members. We wanted to see which providers will participate in ACOs in the near future.


Click here to view the chart.

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8.) Health Management Tools for ACOs: Improving Outcomes for Accountable Care Organizations

Health Management Tools for Accountable Care Organizations This 40-page resource examines the building blocks of population health management that drive improvements in healthcare quality and efficiency in ACOs — while positioning healthcare organizations for core measure improvement and increased reimbursement. One such building block is an effective patient registry, which provides usable, actionable data — a true snapshot of the patient population being served and for which the organization is accountable.

Learn more about this resource.

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9.) Obesity Costs States $15 Billion a Year in Medical Expenses

States spend up to $15 billion a year in medical expenses related to obesity, according to a new study by researchers at RTI International, Duke University, and the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ.)

Get the full story.

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10.) 2011 Benchmarks in Population Health Management: What's Working in Coaching, Weight Control and Tobacco Cessation

2011 Benchmarks in Population Health Management This resource takes a comprehensive look at industry activity in health coaching as a whole, then drills down to obesity management and tobacco cessation program data. The disease management data contained in this benchmarks report are derived from three separate surveys conducted in 2010 by the Healthcare Intelligence Network, to which a total of 425 organizations responded.

Learn more about this resource.

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11.) Greening the Supply Chain Initiative Targets Healthcare Industry

Practice Greenhealth has launched a new initiative designed to encourage more environmentally friendly product purchasing within the healthcare industry.

Get the full story.

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12.) Disease Management and Wellness in the Post-Reform Era

Disease Management and Wellness in the Post-Reform Era This book charts the rapidly changing course care management and health promotion programs will take over the next several years, as they adjust to reform-law requirements and new tools like social marketing websites. It includes chapters on health reform, medical homes, wellness incentives, behavior change, social media, outcomes measurement, behavioral economics, coordinated care, build-versus-buy decisions, building internal disease management programs, improving Medicare star quality ratings, and more.

Learn more about this resource.

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13.) HealthSounds Podcast: 4 Ways to Risk-Rank Patients to Reduce Readmissions

>Dr. Stuart Levine To achieve the lowest rates of readmissions in its history, HealthCare Partners Medical Group of California first identifies patients at high risk for readmission. HealthCare Partners corporate medical director Dr. Stuart Levine describes HCP's four key strategies to risk-rank patients and suggests proactive measures to limit the number of individuals who are rehospitalized.

Listen to this podcast.

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