Given the alarming state of our nation's economy, there are few surprises in the newly released 2008 Stress in America survey from the American Psychological Association, a featured story this week. The survey found that the economy is a significant stressor for eight out of 10 Americans and that women are more stressed than men about money (83 percent vs. 78 percent), the economy (84 percent vs. 75 percent), job stability (57 percent vs. 55 percent), housing costs (66 percent vs. 58 percent) and health problems affecting their families (70 percent vs. 63 percent).

It doesn't take a crystal ball to predict more stress-related health conditions in the months ahead. That's why the timing of the new mental health parity bill is fortuitous. The bill, which mandates equal coverage for mental and physical conditions by January 2010, was a surprise component of the economic bailout bill passed earlier this month. The bill reinforces or adds to existing state parity laws in Minnesota and more than 40 other states to ensure that payors already offering coverage for mental illness, addiction and other behavioral health conditions will reimburse on the same terms as medical and surgical conditions.

This law could have implications for current and future behavioral health offerings, including those for depression management. Take our e-survey on depression and disease management programs and receive a complimentary e-summary of the results in November to help you with program planning in the year to come.

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. 28
October 13, 2008

Sponsored by: Managing Comorbidities in Disease Management

During Managing Comorbidities in Disease Management, a 90-minute webinar on October 29, 2008, two industry experts will examine disease management programs that improve health and reduce healthcare costs for those patients with comorbid conditions.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3837


Table of Contents
  1. Extra Payments to Medicare Advantage Plans to Total $8.5 Billion
  2. Medicare Advantage News
  3. CIGNA Expands Quality Reporting to Improve U.S. Healthcare System
  4. 101 Tools for Improving Health Care Performance
  5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Medical Homes: Awareness and Early Successes
  6. Women Bearing Brunt of Stress From Economic Decline
  7. Stress in Health and Disease
  8. HHS Guides Nursing Homes Toward Compliance
  9. Understanding Reimbursement for Skilled Nursing Facilities
  10. How-toís for Patient Safety Organizations Now Available
  11. Patient Safety Improvement Guidebook
  12. Featured Healthcare Podcast: Using Motivational Interviewing to Elicit Behavior Change


1. Extra Payments to Medicare Advantage Plans to Total $8.5 Billion

Private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will be paid an average 12.4 percent more per enrollee in 2008 compared to what the same enrollee would have cost in the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/Hindustry_MC101308.html



2. Medicare Advantage News

Medicare Advantage News provides the news and expert analysis you need to increase enrollees and revenues in the Medicare Advantage program, and sidestep the dangerous pitfalls ahead.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=2789



3. CIGNA Expands Quality Reporting to Improve U.S. Healthcare System

Data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) shows that CIGNA's health plans continue to raise the bar on quality, improving or already achieving high scores in a number of key areas, such as colorectal cancer screening and childhood immunizations. According to a CIGNA analysis of the NCQA data, CIGNA's programs have led to a greater than 25 percent improvement in key indicators of healthcare quality for its HMO and point of service plans over the past seven years.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/hospital_HSmanagement101308.html



4. 101 Tools for Improving Health Care Performance

101 Tools for Improving Health Care Performance is a toolbox of interventions that will help you accelerate positive change in your organization. The experienced authors provide the field-tested tools you need to handle a host of performance issues.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3384



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 Business White Paper: Medical Homes: Awareness and Early Successes

Early pilots of the patient-centered medical home model are making good on its promise of improved outcomes,compliance and care. Get an overview of the medical home concept as well as the highlights from 188 healthcare organization responses to HIN's 2008 non-scientific online survey on the medical home at work.

To download this complimentary white paper, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/library/registermedhome08.html



6. Women Bearing Brunt of Stress From Economic Decline

Women are bearing the brunt of financial stress from the declining state of the nationís economy, according to data from the American Psychological Associationís (APA) newly released 2008 Stress in America survey. Compared with men, more women say they are stressed about money (83 percent vs. 78 percent), the economy (84 percent vs. 75 percent), job stability (57 percent vs. 55 percent), housing costs (66 percent vs. 58 percent) and health problems affecting their families (70 percent vs. 63 percent).

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/behavioral_health101308.html



7. Stress in Health and Disease

This book describes how stress affects the brain of young people, as well as adults, and covers the topic from all perspectives showing how stress affects life in general, from the societal and organizational level, to the individual, organ and molecular level. This book also offers a number of evidence-based methods to cope with stress.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3477



8. HHS Guides Nursing Homes Toward Compliance

HHS has published a new voluntary guidance that will help nursing facilities develop compliance programs that address major Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse problems related to poor quality of care, billing Federal healthcare programs and kickbacks.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/long_term_care101308.html


There are other free email newsletters available from HIN!

Healthcare Daily Data Bytes put at your fingertips each day a "Data Byte" from the healthcare industry — facts, figures, statistics and percentages on healthcare spending, costs, utilization and performance. You can also register for free access to Healthcare Daily Data Byte archives.

HealthSounds Podcasts delivers a free weekly audio interview with a healthcare innovator to your e-mailbox. Listen to thought leaders answer key questions about the most pressing issues and trends in healthcare — impact of retail clinics, implications of Web 2.0 for healthcare, medical home models and much more.

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



9. Understanding Reimbursement for Skilled Nursing Facilities

This report is part of a hospital desk reference series designed to present complicated information regarding compliance and reimbursement issues relative to Medicare and Medicaid programs in a useful and "plain English" format.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3419



10. How-toís for Patient Safety Organizations Now Available

A new interim guidance that outlines how to become a Patient Safety Organization (PSO) is now available from HHS. This interim guidance allows HHS' AHRQ to begin receiving applications from qualified entities that wish to become PSOs. This guidance will remain effective until HHS issues a final rule for PSOs, which will then supersede the interim guidance.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/healthLaw_regulation101308.html



11. Patient Safety Improvement Guidebook

This book offers step-by-step instructions for designing and implementing an effective proactive patient safety management initiative, including measuring important elements of patient safety, how to identify the error-producing factors in high-risk patient care processes, using comparative data to establish improvement opportunities, and much more.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3391



12. Featured Healthcare Podcast: Using Motivational Interviewing to Elicit Behavior Change

A health coach's use of motivational interviewing (MI) can pave the way to a partnership resulting in an individual's behavior change, explains Kristin S. Vickers Douglas, Ph.D., L.P., a clinical health psychologist at the Mayo Clinic and medical director of its EmbodyHealth coaching program. Frequently called upon to employ MI in her practice as well as train health coaches in the technique, Dr. Vickers Douglas describes the dimensions of MI and its value in determining and reacting to an individual's readiness to change.

To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/podcasts/podcast.htm#68


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

For more information on the products and services available through
the Healthcare Intelligence Network, contact us at (888) HIN-3530
(446-3530), (732) 528-HIN8, (528-4468), fax (732) 292-3073 or email
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