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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Sometimes fostering a little healthy competition in a quality improvement effort gets results, whether at the practice level or hospital-wide. To encourage its five physicians to use evidenced-based guidelines, Greenhouse Internists' health educator posts monthly physician-reported results of HEDIS diabetes measures — the percentage of diabetics who had A1C’s over 9 or under 7, for example — over the microwave in the practice's kitchen.

"When you go to put your sandwich in the microwave oven, you can’t help but stare at this chart and see where you are relative to your colleagues," explains Greenhouse Internists President Richard J. Baron, M.D., F.A.C.P. Dr. Baron says presenting comparative performance data helps motivate the doctors to change, gives them a sense of how they’re doing with respect to evidence-based guidelines and moves them along the improvement curve.

In a featured story this week, a study from the Center for Studying Health System Change suggests strategies for increasing participation by time- and funding-strapped physicians in quality improvement programs. Beyond a visible program champion and clear communications, the study recommends the use of "credible data to identify areas that need improvement...physicians assume they are providing good quality of care until they are shown data proving otherwise."

And as healthcare reform moves into the next phase, did last week's passage of the Senate Finance Committee healthcare bill affect your expectations for the coming year? Take the 2010 Healthcare Trends e-survey by October 31 and find out how your colleagues are gearing up for the next 12 months.

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 19, 2009
Vol. XI, No. 39

Sponsored by:
Healthcare Trends and Forecasts in 2010 — Marketplace and Health Reform Drivers

This week's industry news:

  1. Transition Coaching Targets Adults at High Risk of Readmission
  2. Reducing Readmission Risk for the Elderly
  3. Hospitals Compete Against Physicians' Time, Financial Pressures for Engagement in Quality Improvement
  4. Engaging Physicians in Pay for Performance
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Benchmarks in Patient Education
  6. Internet Use Cuts Depression Among Senior Citizens
  7. The Next Generation of Health Coaching
  8. Injury and Hazards in Home Healthcare Nursing are Growing Concern
  9. Infection Prevention Manual for Home Health Care
  10. Montana Goes Smoke-free
  11. Reducing Readmissions for Heart Failure Patients
  12. HealthSounds Podcast: Achieving NCQA's Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition
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.) Transition Coaching Targets Adults at High Risk of Readmission

Danielle Butin, former director of Northeast Health Services for SecureHorizons, a division of UnitedHealthcare, discusses how health coaching programs have benefited managed care members’ health.

Using a health coaching model in a managed care environment has positively impacted our membership in a number of ways. We have seen a steady reduction in claims based upon this program. Members have reported improved functional status and quality of life.

Get the full story.

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2.) Reducing Readmission Risk for the Elderly through Care Transition Coaching

Reducing Readmission Risk for Elderly This resource presents new models of care coordination for the elderly, including an Oxford Health Plan care transition coach program modeled on research from Eric Coleman, M.D., at the University of Colorado. This resource also reports on Inspiris's care team approach to managing care transitions for the frail elderly — adults 65 and older who comprise 40 percent of elderly hospitalizations and who are particularly vulnerable during transitions from one care site to another.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Hospitals Compete Against Physicians' Time, Financial Pressures for Engagement in Quality Improvement

While physicians are essential to hospital quality improvement efforts, competing time and financial pressures pose hurdles to physician participation, according to a study released by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Get the full story.

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4.) Engaging Physicians in Pay for Performance: Promoting Partnerships That Align Data, Dollars, Care & Quality

Engaging Physicians in Pay for Performance In this resource, two industry leaders chronicle the development of mutually beneficial provider-plan partnerships in PFP. They identify practice workflow issues that can derail physician participation in PFP and provide inside details on how they have engaged physicians in PFP programs and sustained motivation for continued participation.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: Benchmarks in Patient Education — Prevention, Self-Care Top Lessons

How prevalent are patient and member education programs, and which health areas are addressed by these efforts? How are healthcare organizations delivering health education, and who is the primary health educator? What is the chief impact of patient education programs, and how do organizations measure ROI from patient education efforts? The Healthcare Intelligence Network set out to answer these questions and others during its 2009 Patient Education and Outreach Benchmarks e-survey. This executive summary of responses from 134 healthcare organizations offers lessons in the value of educating patients and members about disease management and self-care.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Internet Use Cuts Depression Among Senior Citizens

Spending time online reduces depression by 20 percent for senior citizens, the Phoenix Center reports in a new policy paper. In addition to the quality of life benefits, the policy paper said reducing the incidence of depression by widespread Internet use among older Americans could trim the nation’s healthcare bill.

Get the full story.

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7.) The Next Generation of Health Coaching: Multi-Platform Models for Sustained Behavior Change

The Next Generation of Health Coaching In this 43-page special report, these health coaching veterans set the stage for Health Coaching 3.0 and describe the skills, technology and training that will be required to equip health coaches for this eventuality. To optimize program success and ROI, health coaching will need to be powered by multi-channel outreach — land lines, Web, email, cell phones and even PDAs — and reinforced by tightly interwoven communication and incentive programs.

Learn more about this resource.

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8.) Injury and Hazards in Home Healthcare Nursing are Growing Concern

Patients continue to enter home healthcare “sicker and quicker,” often with complex health problems that may require extensive nursing care. This increases the risk of needlestick injuries in home healthcare nurses. While very few studies have focused on the risks of home healthcare, it is the fastest growing healthcare sector in the U.S.

Get the full story.

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9.) Infection Prevention Manual for Home Health Care

Infection Prevention Manual for Home Health Care The latest edition of the Infection Prevention Manual provides facilities with a comprehensive resource for policies and procedures reflecting the most current standards for infection prevention. The policies are written for compliance with OBRA regulations, OSHA regulations, CDC recommendations, JCAHO standards for home healthcare and current national standards of practice. The newest revision of the manual includes new forms, policies and updated references. The manual comes with all content on a CD-Rom in MS Word format so you may customize it for your facility.

Learn more about this resource.

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10.) Montana Goes Smoke-free

Bars in Montana are now smoke-free, making Montana the 22nd state in the country to have a comprehensive smoke-free law in workplaces, restaurants and bars. Previously, Montana workplaces and restaurants were already smoke-free.

Get the full story.

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11.) Reducing Readmissions for Heart Failure Patients: A Multidisciplinary Approach for the Medicare Population

Reducing Readmissions for Heart Failure Patients Learn how Hackensack Hospital is reducing readmissions of heart failure patients through a program of continuous care, patient education and self-management.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) HealthSounds Podcast: Achieving NCQA's Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition

Achieving NCQA's Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition Grand Valley Health Plan's (GVHP) workgroup approach helps the staff model HMO to successfully disseminate workflow changes resulting from its NCQA medical home recognition process, explains Barbara Luskin, GVHP quality manager, and also created location champions in the process. Luskin describes how GVHP demonstrates compliance with the most challenging NCQA "must-pass" elements and shares GVHP's early returns in patient satisfaction ratings, quality of care and healthcare utilization.

Listen to this podcast.

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