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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Even before the economic downturn, there has been a growing recognition that depression must be identified and treated because of its comorbidity with other chronic conditions. The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare reports that individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) are dying 25 years younger than the rest of the population — potentially as a result of the treatment system surrounding these individuals.

In a featured story this week, a new survey finds that unemployed individuals are four times as likely as the employed to report symptoms consistent with SMI; workers whose hours or paychecks have been cut are twice as likely to have these symptoms. Also this week, read about the industry trend toward integration of primary and mental health, the targeted populations and optimal program delivery methods.

Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Patricia Donovan
Editor, Healthcare Business Weekly Update

Please send comments, questions and replies to pdonovan@hin.com.

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

Publisher:
Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com

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October 12, 2009
Vol. XI, No. 38

Sponsored by:
Achieving NCQA's Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition

This week's industry news:

  1. Benchmarks in Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health
  2. Depression Management Benchmarks
  3. Massachusetts Reforms Fail to Address ED Wait Times, Overcrowding
  4. Emergency Room Redirection Handbook
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: How Medical Net Systems EncounterSuite Creates Framework for PCMH
  6. Unemployment Taking Toll on Americansí Mental Health
  7. Health Coaching in Primary Care
  8. Pacific Northwest Doctors Gain More Options for End-of-Life Care Training
  9. Pain Management
  10. New Features on flu.gov Web Site
  11. Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
  12. HealthSounds Podcast: Building a Diabetes Medical Home
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.) Benchmarks in Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health

Several strategies to minimize the direct and indirect impacts of depression on healthcare utilization and cost include the screening for depression by disease management programs, particularly for patients with chronic illnesses associated with high rates of depression. In addition, the adoption of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model, which coordinates all aspects of an individualís care under one medical home roof, is another vehicle for improving the care delivered to individuals with severe mental illnesses.

The Depression and Disease Management in 2008 survey set out to measure the prevalence of depression management programs in the healthcare industry and identify successful program elements and delivery methods.

Get the full story.

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2.) Depression Management Benchmarks: Trends in Integration of Behavioral and Physical Health

Depression Management Benchmarks This resource provides actionable information from 260 organizations on their progress in targeting depression in disease management plus lessons learned from early adopters of an integrated approach to mental and physical health. As healthcare reform unfolds, organizations will benefit from a review of these industry metrics and measurements to evaluate and plan programs and compare performance and utilization data.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Massachusetts Reforms Fail to Address ED Wait Times, Overcrowding

Nearly two-thirds of emergency physicians in Massachusetts report more patients are seeking emergency care as result of state healthcare reforms, and nearly two-thirds of Massachusetts residents say emergency department (ED) wait times for them have increased or remained the same, according to two polls released by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Get the full story.

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4.) Emergency Room Redirection Handbook

Emergency Room Redirection Handbook This two-volume set illustrates innovative strategies to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits. For Emergency Use Only: Curbing Unnecessary Emergency Room Use Through Education, Accountability and Physician Engagement details interventions for decreasing non-urgent ED use, mining data to target high-utilization, high-cost individuals, implementing an ED case management program, communicating proper ED use to targeted populations and much more. In Emergency Exits: Reducing Emergency Room Utilization by Retooling Care-Seeking and Care Access Options, three physicians share the specifics of their health plans' ER diversion initiatives with roots in patient self-care education, physician office adaptability and hospital-health plan partnerships.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: How Medical Net Systems EncounterSuite Creates the Framework for the Patient-Centered Medical Home

The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a concept for the ideal medical practice of the future. The American Academy of Family Practiceís TransforMed program has reported that the technology to create the PCMH framework is not ready and is fragmented. New solutions must be identified. Medical Net Systems EncounterSuite, an online integrated Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Personal Health Record (PHR), provides a unified turnkey software framework for the PCMH. This is accomplished through its integrated PHR/EMR, point of care wellness and disease management guidelines and best practices application, and three tracking modules, patient registries, Inbox (order tracking) and Tracking the Patient at Home module.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Unemployment Taking Toll on Americansí Mental Health

A new national survey shows the economic downturn is taking a toll on the mental health of Americans. Individuals who are unemployed are four times as likely as those with jobs to report symptoms consistent with severe mental illness. Americans who experienced involuntary changes in their employment status, such as pay cuts or reduced hours, also are twice as likely to have these symptoms, even though they are employed full-time.

Get the full story.

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7.) Health Coaching in Primary Care: Persuading Physicians to Prescribe Behavior Change and Self-Efficacy

Health Coaching in Primary Care In this resource, three health coaching thought leaders detail their models for incorporating health coaching into the primary care paradigm. While acknowledging existing demands on busy physicians, they recommend that PCPs school themselves in health promotion and make coaching a team effort to foster behavior change in members and patients. But for this effort to be successful, physicians need a dose of their own medicine, embracing healthy habits themselves — "walking the walk" so they can effectively "talk the talk" with patients.

Learn more about this resource.

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8.) Pacific Northwest Doctors Gain More Options for End-of-Life Care Training

Physicians in the Pacific Northwest now have access to intensive training and new board certification in palliative medicine and hospice care. The new University of Washington (UW) Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program, the first of its kind in the state, is a cooperative effort between Providence Hospice of Seattle and the UW School of Medicine.

Get the full story.

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9.) Pain Management, 2nd edition

Pain Management This 206-page product details the challenges of managing pain; classification of pain, pain measurement; health plan coverage for common tests, procedures, and treatment including complementary/alternative medicine, conventional drug therapies, opioids; patient consents, patient-provider contracts; provider credentialing; pain rehabilitation programs plus anesthesia, orthopedic and rheumatology tests and procedures to manage acute and chronic pain syndromes.

Learn more about this resource.

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10.) New Features on flu.gov Web Site

The federal governmentís one-stop resource for flu information has unveiled several new features. The Web site now features a new H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation guide for adults 18 and older along with a new Flu Myths and Facts section, which provides the public with the latest and most accurate information about the flu.

Get the full story.

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11.) Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings — Inservice Program

Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings This new program discusses the CDC Guideline for hand hygiene in healthcare settings, and its practical application in the healthcare facility. It covers methods of hand hygiene, the advantages of using alcohol-based handrubs, the risks associated with artificial nails and data on disease transmission that has been attributed to poor hand hygiene. This program has been written so that it is appropriate for staff in all departments.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) HealthSounds Podcast: Building a Diabetes Medical Home — The Impact on Practice Work Flow, Patient Outcomes and Healthcare Costs

Building a Diabetes Medical Home Case managers support the building of medical homes for Community Care Plan of Eastern North Carolina patients with diabetes, part of a medical home initiative that saved North Carolina $231 million in healthcare costs in recent years. Roberta Burgess, nurse case manager through Heritage Hospital in Tarboro, N.C., describes Community Care Plan provider toolkits and patient diabetes action plans — two key communication vehicles in the diabetes medical home project.

Listen to this podcast.

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