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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Of the 1.8 billion prescriptions dispensed annually in the U.S., only 50 percent are taken correctly by the patient, says the WHO. And as we learned last week from Dr. Beth Chester of Kaiser Permanente (KP), a review of HEDIS data reveals that 55,000 deaths could be avoided each year by improving medication management of chronic conditions — especially hypertension and diabetes.

In response to escalating cost and utilization tied to poor medication adherence, the healthcare industry is beginning to hold organizations more accountable for their practices in this area. About a third of objectives proposed by CMS this month to demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs are related to the electronic documentation and prescribing of medications, with the care goals of improving quality, safety, efficiency and reducing health disparities.

Two newer HEDIS metrics — one related to medication reconciliation post-discharge and the other involving medication review in the elderly — only give health plans credit when these activities are performed by a prescribing practitioner or a clinical pharmacist, Dr. Chester explained during a conference on medication therapy management in the patient-centered medical home. She said healthcare utilization and costs for KP's patients with targeted chronic illnesses diminished drastically once pharmacists stepped in to review medications, adding that "accrediting organizations such as NCQA have begun to recognize pharmacist’s expertise when it comes to medication review and reconciliation."

Several of the stories in this week's issue illustrate the need for tighter management of medications. To learn what your colleagues are doing to improve medication management and compliance in their populations, take our e-survey on Medication Adherence. Respond by January 31 and you'll receive a free e-summary of the results.

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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January 11, 2010
Vol. XII, No. 2

Sponsored by:
Health Coaching Evaluation — Measuring the ROI on Healthcare Utilization and Costs

This week's industry news:

  1. Can Patient Activation Be Measured?
  2. Three Pillars of Health Coaching
  3. Missouri Providers Experiencing Significant Payment Delays
  4. Improving Patient Collections in an Unhealthy Economy
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Role-Based Access Governance and HIPAA Compliance
  6. Antidepressants Work Best for Severe Depression
  7. Depression Management Benchmarks
  8. Seniors Struggle Under Weight of Multiple Medication Use
  9. Comorbidity Care Models
  10. VA, Kaiser Permanente Share E-Health Data to Improve Veteran Care
  11. The Next Generation of Health Coaching
  12. HealthSounds Podcast: Health Coaching ROI
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Medication Adherence

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This week's industry news

1.) Can Patient Activation Be Measured?

Dr. Judith Hibbard, professor of health policy at the University of Oregon and developer of the Patient Activation Measure™ (PAM), answers the question of whether or not patient activation can be measured.

We started out the process of defining activation by first asking whether it is something that we can measure. The first step was to get some clarity on the definition of activation because people use the term loosely.

Get the full story.

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2.) Three Pillars of Health Coaching: Patient Activation, Motivational Interviewing and Positive Psychology

Three Pillars of Health Coaching This resource provides the fundamentals of three essential tools — Patient Activation Measure™, motivational interviewing and positive psychology — that health coaches can use to elicit behavior change, move clients along the path to self-management and have a positive impact on health outcomes and utilization.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Missouri Providers Experiencing Significant Payment Delays

A new report from the Missouri Department of Insurance shows healthcare providers across Missouri are dealing with significant payment delays in the claims filed with insurance companies for treatment of patients. The report on Missouri’s “prompt pay” law, submitted to Gov. Jay Nixon after an executive order last year, shows more than 26 percent of claims at Missouri hospitals are past due by 90 days or more.

Get the full story.

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4.) Improving Patient Collections in an Unhealthy Economy: Technologies and Processes to Speed Payments

Improving Patient Collections in Unhealthy Economy A flagging economy, coupled with the increase of high-deductible health plans, are causing many healthcare organizations to see a lag in patient payments. From an assessment of current processes to how operational issues and technology can improve the revenue cycle, industry experts from Beacon Partners provided practical strategies, techniques and tools to improve patient collections without alienating patients during this 90-minute webinar.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: Role-Based Access Governance and HIPAA Compliance — A Pragmatic Approach

The recently passed Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) will impose more stringent regulatory and security requirements to the privacy rules of HIPAA. Compliance with the letter of the guideline can be difficult for organizations without strong access governance processes and policies. This paper focuses on a set of best practices for implementing an access governance framework and the specific access controls requirements for HIPAA/HITECH.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Antidepressants Work Best for Severe Depression

A 30-year study of antidepressant drug treatment data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that the benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo may be minimal, or nonexistent, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms. University of Pennsylvania researchers say, however, the benefit of medications is substantial for patients with very severe depression.

Get the full story.

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7.) 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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8.) Seniors Struggle Under Weight of Multiple Medication Use

America's seniors are being overwhelmed by the number of prescription drugs they take on a daily basis. According to a new national survey conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Medco Health Solutions, Inc., which looked at more than 1,000 people ages 65 and older who use medications, more than half (51 percent) take at least five different prescription drugs regularly and one in four take between 10 and 19 pills each day.

Get the full story.

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9.) Comorbidity Care Models: Integrated Action Plans for Complex Healthcare Needs

Comorbidity Care Models This resource presents emerging models of care for comorbidity, with a special focus on the needs of aging multi-morbid patients as well as those whose comorbidity encompasses physical and behavioral health conditions.

Learn more about this resource.

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10.) VA, Kaiser Permanente Share E-Health Data to Improve Veteran Care

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Kaiser Permanente have launched a pilot medical data exchange program in San Diego, which will enable clinicians from VA and Kaiser Permanente to obtain a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health using EHR information, including information about health issues, medications and allergies.

Get the full story.

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

The Next Generation of Health Coaching To optimize program success and ROI, health coaching will need to be powered by multi-channel outreach — land lines, Web, e-mail, cell phones and even PDAs — and reinforced by tightly interwoven communication and incentive programs. In this 43-page special report, 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.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) HealthSounds Podcast: Health Coaching ROI

Health Coaching ROI The dismal economy of 2009 has been a bright spot for health coaching and other health improvement programs, notes Dr. Jim Reynolds, chief medical officer for Health Fitness Corporation. Dr. Reynolds also compares early results from a Massachusetts' smoking cessation program for Medicaid beneficiaries with outcomes in commercial populations, and describes what Year 1 of a coaching program for improved medication adherence might yield in the way of behavior change and cost impacts.

Listen to this podcast.

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