Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older ­- about one in four adults ­- suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. The NIMH Web site also reports that the burden of mental illness on health and productivity in the United States accounts for over 15 percent of the total burden of disease -- more than the disease burden caused by all cancers. That's why a bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate requiring health insurers to provide equal amounts of coverage for mental and physical illnesses should help ease the burdens on both sufferers of mental disorders and the economies to which they contribute.

Also in the news this week is a first-ever Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan for Alzheimer's disease and chronic dementia patients, to be launched by Evercare in Arizona. The coverage, benefits and services are intended to meet the specific needs of this population.

The debilitating effects of mental and dementia-related illnesses cause many sufferers to fall through healthcare system cracks. If your organization has found a way to locate and engage these hard-to-reach individuals, please share your strategies by responding to HIN's monthly e-survey on this topic at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=x_2fL2LZq0773NH6utbyu1Fg_3d_3d. You'll receive a free e-summary of the results.

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 VIX, No. 30
September 24, 2007

Sponsored by: Developing Effective Strategies to Reduce Non-Emergent Emergency Department Use

Hospitals and health plans nationwide are developing strategies to reduce the reliance on EDs for non-emergent care. During Developing Effective Strategies to Reduce Non-Emergent Emergency Department Use, a 90-minute audio conference on September 25, 2007, you'll hear from two healthcare organizations on the most effective strategies they’ve implemented to address non-emergent ED use.

For more information, please visit:http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3728


Table of Contents
  1. Healthcare Industry Must Protect EHR Systems
  2. Electronic Health Records: A Practical Guide for Professionals and Organizations
  3. Building a Quality- and Performance-Oriented Specialty Provider Network
  4. Toward Transparency in Healthcare: Competing for Quality and Consumers
  5. Featured Healthcare Podcast: Making Patients Team Players
  6. Senate Legislates Equal Mental Health Coverage for Employees
  7. Consultation Skills for Mental Health Professionals
  8. Evercare Offers Special Needs Plan for Alzheimer’s and Chronic Dementia Patients
  9. Alzheimer's Disease - The Evaluation and Management of Dementia
  10. NIH Plans to Implement Stem Cell Executive Order
  11. Changing the U.S. Health Care System
  12. Healthcare Research Roundup: September 2007


1. Healthcare Industry Must Protect EHR Systems

Security risks associated with electronic health record (EHR) systems were the topic of a 15-month study performed by the eHealth Vulnerability Reporting Program (eHVRP). The study assessed industry information security practices, evaluated the level of EHR-related risk, benchmarked healthcare information security practices against other industries and drafted recommendations that will be beneficial to protecting information systems in the healthcare industry.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/Hindustry_MC092407.html



2. Electronic Health Records: A Practical Guide for Professionals and Organizations

Revised and updated to include the latest trends and applications in electronic health records, the third edition of Margret K. Amatayakul’s Electronic Health Records: A Practical Guide for Professionals and Organizations offers step-by-step guidelines for developing and implementing EHR strategies for healthcare organizations.

For more information on, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3629



3. Building a Quality- and Performance-Oriented Specialty Provider Network

(Paul Thompson is product development director with Cigna Healthcare.)

The Cigna Care Network is a quality and performance-oriented program that is incentive-based. It’s directed at the member — bringing the information to our membership, getting their interest and utilizing this data and then driving them to action. This is not a pay-for-performance (PFP) program directed at physicians, although Cigna Healthcare does have PFP initiatives in certain of our markets.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/hospital_HSmanagement092407.html



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

With consumers just a mouse click away from choosing another physician or hospital, healthcare organizations must find a way to drive quality through effective public reporting or face a possible loss of business. In this special report, a panel of experts discusses 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 on, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3694



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 Podcast: Making Patients Team Players

When you ask patients for feedback on care, you may not always like what you hear. Nonetheless, HealthPartners includes patients in program design sessions, and its patient advisory councils have more candidates than the organization can currently use. Beth Waterman, HealthPartners vice president of primary care and clinic operations, describes how patients and others were selected to participate in the two-day rapid design session in 2002 that framed the award-winning prepared practice team model. The prepared practice teams have since been carefully duplicated at more than 20 HealthPartners clinics. A Care Model Process oversight team sends quarterly program updates to all practice teams to ensure the structure and consistency that are program hallmarks.

To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/podcasts/podcast.htm#47



6. Senate Legislates Equal Mental Health Coverage for Employees

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill (S. 558) requiring health insurers to provide equal levels of coverage for treatment of mental illnesses as is provided for treatment of physical illnesses. The Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 has now been referred to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/behavioral_health092407.html



7. Consultation Skills for Mental Health Professionals

Filled with numerous case examples and checklists, Consultation Skills for Mental Health Professionals contains a wealth of information on this important area of practice. It provides a comprehensive source for working with a diverse clientele in a variety of settings, discussing both traditional mental health consultation models and the fast-growing field of organizational consulting.

For more information on, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3626



8. Evercare Offers Special Needs Plan for Alzheimer’s and Chronic Dementia Patients

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gave healthcare coordination program Evercare the approval to offer a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan to Alzheimer’s disease and chronic dementia patients. The program -- called The Evercare® Health Plan for People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia -- will provide patients with complete Medicare coverage, extra benefits and services intended to meet the specific needs of this population. The plan is the first of its kind and will be available in Maricopa County, Arizona.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/long_term_care092407.html


There are other free email newsletters available from HIN!

Health Management Career Center Update is a free bi-monthly email newsletter for healthcare management professionals seeking new career opportunities and healthcare organizations that are seeking to fill health management positions within their companies.

Healthcare Buyer's Connection is a bi-monthly email newsletter for buyers and sellers of healthcare products and services. It highlights news on trends in healthcare purchasing and marketing and recommends reading for keeping up-to-date on e-commerce.

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



9. Alzheimer's Disease - The Evaluation and Management of Dementia

Alzheimer's Disease - The Evaluation and Management of Dementia is a 70-page report that details diagnosis, non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical management of this common cluster of disabling disorders. It also includes references and web links/other resources. This product is updated annually.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3597



10. NIH Plans to Implement Stem Cell Executive Order

In an effort to implement President Bush’s Executive Order to explore methods to expand the number of approved stem cell lines "without creating a human embryo for research purposes or destroying, discarding, or subjecting to harm a human embryo or fetus,” the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will begin conducting research to find alternative methods to generate stem cells.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/sw/healthLaw_regulation092407.html



11. Changing the U.S. Health Care System

The third edition of Changing the U.S. Health Care System is a thoroughly revised and updated compendium of the most current thought on three key components of healthcare policy improving access, ensuring quality, and controlling costs. Written by a panel of healthcare policy experts, this third edition highlights the most recent research relevant to health policy and management issues. New chapters address topics such as the disparities in health and in healthcare, information systems, and performance in the area of nursing. Revisions to chapters from the previous edition emphasize the most recent developments in the field.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3567



12. Healthcare Research Roundup: September 2007

Highlights from the month's Healthcare Daily Data Bytes include some disturbing findings on the links between pregnancy and eating disorders, and day care and iron deficiencies in toddlers. Also, find out what some patients think about a patient-centered approach and the cure-all proposed by some Americans for the U.S. healthcare system woes.

For more research highlights, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/sw/healthcare_research_roundup092407.html


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