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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Over the next 18 months, a new 139-hospital quality network launched by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will brainstorm on methods to reduce hospital readmissions, improve emergency room throughput and enhance provider-patient communications. The hospital teams should consider the multi-pronged educational approach taken by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan to curb avoidable ER use. Both the quality network and Kaiser's strategy are profiled in this week's issue.

Also this week, read about the larger warnings and disturbing color graphic images depicting smoking's negative health consequences that cigarette makers may have to place on cigarette packages in the next few years. The proposed warnings are part of HHS's broader tobacco cessation and prevention effort.

If your organization has a program on tobacco cessation and prevention or just wants to find out what's happening in the field, take this month's e-survey on tobacco cessation and prevention programs. More than 40 healthcare organizations have responded so far. You'll get a free 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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This week's featured download: Benchmarks in Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs

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November 15, 2010
Vol. XII, No. 42

Sponsored by: Evidence-Based Policies Inform Healthcare Decisions, Reduce Practice Variability

With a strong emphasis on high-value healthcare and the growing demand for comparative effectiveness assessments of healthcare services led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and further encouraged by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, healthcare organizations are increasingly turning to the use of evidence-based policies to inform healthcare decisions. Download the new free white paper, Evidence-Based Policies Inform Healthcare Decisions, Reduce Practice Variability to learn the process behind creating, implementing and auditing evidence-informed healthcare policies, including a framework of evidence-informed policy and practice.

This week's industry news:

  1. Hospital Quality Network Targets Readmissions, ED Use and Communication
  2. Medical Home Case Studies
  3. Four-Point 'Call First' Campaign Cuts Avoidable ER Visits
  4. 27 Interventions to Reduce Avoidable ER Use
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Improving Patient Care
  6. Childhood Abuse Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk in Adults
  7. New Chart: Key Case Manager Communication Tools
  8. Benchmarks in Health & Wellness Incentives, 2010 Edition
  9. Physician Alerts Reduce Unnecessary Blood Testing in Elderly Patients
  10. How To Create an ACO Framework
  11. New Tobacco Strategy Includes Graphic Health Warnings
  12. Health Coaching for Behavior Change
  13. HealthSounds Podcast: Health Risk Assessments
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.

Missed the last issue? Read it here.

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Take the monthly e-survey:
Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs

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This week's industry news

1.) Hospital Quality Network Targets Readmissions, ED Use and Communication

More than 200 teams from 139 hospitals across the country have been selected to participate in the Aligning Forces for Quality Hospital Quality Network, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) is RWJF’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of healthcare in 17 targeted regions, as well as reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for reform.

Get the full story.

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2.) Medical Home Case Studies: Profiles in the Patient-Centered Approach

Medical Home Case Studies The patient-centered medical home is a centerpiece of health reform and a critical catalyst for improving quality and containing costs across all sectors of the healthcare industry — from Medicare and Medicaid populations to commercial products. The 11 profiles in this resource document experiences on the adoption, organization, delivery, funding and outcomes of the medical home model.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Four-Point 'Call First' Campaign Cuts Avoidable ER Visits

A multi-pronged member education program is helping to route patients to the most appropriate healthcare venue, explains Sara Tracy, senior manager of emergency services at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado.

Get the full story.

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4.) 27 Interventions to Reduce Avoidable ER Use

27 Interventions to Reduce Avoidable ER Use This 45-page resource describes 27 separate initiatives launched by Kaiser and WellPoint around the country that are effectively reducing avoidable emergency department use and redirecting patients to more cost-effective care venues.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: Improving Patient Care with Identity and Access Management

After evaluating proposals from several leading vendors, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City selected RSA ClearTrust® Web access management software as the central component of its identity and access management strategy. The RSA Security solution provides administrators with fine-grained capabilities for managing users’ access to mission-critical applications and sensitive information, based on an individual’s role and unique user profile.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Childhood Abuse Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk in Adults

A new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers demonstrates an association between child abuse and risk for type 2 diabetes in women. Previous work has identified associations of childhood abuse with adult obesity and stress responsivity, both of which may link child abuse with diabetes through physiologic pathways.

Get the full story.

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7.) New Chart: Key Case Manager Communication Tools

Case Manager Communication Tools

Healthcare case managers coordinate all phases of patient care — from management of the chronically ill to overseeing hospitalized patients from pre-admission through post-discharge. We wanted to identify the key communication tools that case managers use to communicate with their clients and patients.

Click here to view the chart.

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8.) Benchmarks in Health & Wellness Incentives, 2010 Edition: Utilization and Effectiveness Data to Drive Health Promotion, Compliance and ROI

Benchmarks in Health & Wellness Incentives An all-new follow-up to the best-selling 2009 edition, this resource is packed with actionable new metrics on incentives activity, including the prevalence of incentives, favored incentive types, the population health management activities most often incentivized, identification and eligibility of recipients, and incentive program challenges, measurement tools, results and ROI.

Learn more about this resource.

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9.) Physician Alerts Reduce Unnecessary Blood Testing in Elderly Patients

An electronic message sent to physicians the moment they ordered a blood test for elderly patients reduced unnecessary use of a test that is often false-positive for the elderly, according to a paper published in the November edition of American Journal of Managed Care.

Get the full story.

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10.) How To Create an ACO Framework Through Clinical Integration with Independent Physicians

ACO Framework As healthcare organizations begin to align to create accountable care organizations (ACOs) and negotiate for bundled payment contracts, the clinical integration of providers allows for the coordination of services among the organizations required for shared accountability and reward. Advocate Physician Partners' clinical integration program, which includes over 3,000 physicians, has resulted in improvements in patient outcomes and significant cost savings, according to its 2010 Value Report. During this webinar, the senior medical director with Advocate Physician Partners will share Advocate's clinical integration strategy.

Learn more about this resource.

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11.) New Tobacco Strategy Includes Graphic Health Warnings

HHS proposed a comprehensive tobacco control strategy that includes nine larger and more noticeable textual warning statements and color graphic images depicting the negative health consequences of smoking on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements.

Get the full story.

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12.) Health Coaching for Behavior Change: Motivational Interviewing Methods and Practice

Health Coaching for Behavior Change Integrative medicine includes the best of conventional medicine but redefines health to include the person's body, mind, spirituality and community — with a special focus on the patient-practitioner bond. Borrowing from integrative medicine, this resource presents motivational interviewing skills and how they can be used to invite and elicit behavior change and impact health coaching outcomes.

Learn more about this resource.

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13.) HealthSounds Podcast: Health Risk Assessments — Administration, Delivery and Completion Benchmarks

Health Risk Assessments Who's using health risk assessments (HRAs), and how are they administered? What are the top incentives driving HRA completion, and what are the top three uses for HRA data? What completion rates can be expected? In this month's healthcare benchmarks podcast, Healthcare Intelligence Network executive VP and COO Melanie Matthews shares the latest market research on HRA use. This month's metrics are derived from HIN's June 2010 survey on HRAs, with commentary from Dr. Marcia Wade, Aetna Medicare’s senior medical director.

Listen to this podcast.

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