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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

In a week that will hopefully find the U.S. Senate rested from the Thanksgiving recess and ready to resume the healthcare reform debate, some of the financial fruits from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for health IT are also in evidence. In separate stories this week, Iowa’s Medicaid program is the first to get matching federal funds for EHR incentives for its providers, while $80 million in federal grants will help groom a workforce to support burgeoning health IT initiatives through a combination of college training programs and educational materials.

If you didn't get around to taking our Reducing Readmissions e-survey before your Thanksgiving recess, we've extended the deadline. You have until Wednesday, December 2 to complete the survey and receive an executive 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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November 30, 2009
Vol. XI, No. 45

Sponsored by:
Aligning Reimbursement To Reduce Avoidable Hospital Readmissions

This week's industry news:

  1. Iowa Medicaid First to Receive Federal Matching Funds for EHR Incentives
  2. EHRs: Transforming Your Medical Practice
  3. Do Incentives Drive Participation in Health and Wellness?
  4. Health Coaching Benchmarks
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs
  6. Depression As Deadly as Smoking
  7. Depression Management Benchmarks
  8. People Entering 60s May Have More Disabilities Than in Prior Generations
  9. Reducing Readmission Risk for the Elderly
  10. HHS To Make $80 Million Available to Support HIT Workforce
  11. Transparency e-Tools
  12. HealthSounds Podcast: Reducing Hospital Readmissions Improves Care Quality, Decreases Costs
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.) Iowa Medicaid First to Receive Federal Matching Funds for EHR Incentives

Iowa’s Medicaid program is the first to receive federal matching funds for HIT planning activities necessary to implement the EHR incentive program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (recovery act), CMS has announced. Iowa will receive approximately $1.16 million in federal matching funds.

Get the full story.

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2.) EHRs: Transforming Your Medical Practice

EHRs: Transforming Your Medical Practice This is a practical guide to EHRs for everyone in the medical practice setting, so they can make the implementation process efficient and correct. This best-selling medical practice efficiency primer provides the latest trends in technology application for maximum results, cost-reduction strategies that save you money, HIPAA privacy compliance to practice operations and information on all the critical areas of successful EHR implementation.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Do Incentives Drive Participation in Health and Wellness?

Three industry experts discuss the use and impact of incentives in gaining participation in health and wellness initiatives.

The number of employers who are using incentives today to drive participation in health and wellness initiatives is on the rise, notes Jennifer Hidding, former director of interactive health management of consumer solutions at OptumHealth. “In 2007, 62 percent of employers were engaging in some incentive program supporting their behavior change or health and wellness programs."

Get the full story.

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4.) Health Coaching Benchmarks: Operations and Performance Data for Optimal Program ROI and Participant Health Status

Health Coaching Benchmarks Whether you're planning to launch a new health coaching program in the coming year or expanding an existing initiative, the key to success is access to reliable data to help you evaluate your program and compare performance and utilization data. This exclusive 35-page report analyzes the responses of more than 230 of your peer organizations to HIN's 2008 survey on health and wellness coaching, presenting the data in easy-to-follow graphs and tables. This industry snapshot is enhanced by recommendations and advice from 15 leading experts in health coaching on the most common coaching concerns — from coaching caseloads to call center staffing to coaching intervention frequency and duration.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: Putting out the Addiction — Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs

By funding an expansion of healthcare coverage for children with a 61-cent tobacco tax per cigarette pack, the U.S. government is doing their part in the crusade for tobacco cessation and prevention. Now, HIN examines how over 220 wellness companies, behavioral healthcare providers, PCPs, DM organizations, employers, health plans and hospital/health systems are contributing to the area of tobacco cessation and prevention.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Depression As Deadly as Smoking

A study by researchers at the University of Bergen, Norway, and the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) at King's College London has found that depression is as much of a risk factor for mortality as smoking. Utilizing a unique link between a survey of over 60,000 people and a comprehensive mortality database, the researchers found that over the four years following the survey, the mortality risk was increased to a similar extent in people who were depressed as in people who were smokers.

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.) People Entering 60s May Have More Disabilities Than in Prior Generations

In a development that could have significant ramifications for the nation's healthcare system, baby boomers may well be entering their 60s suffering far more disabilities than their counterparts did in previous generations, according to a new UCLA study. The findings, researchers say, may be due in part to changing American demographics.

Get the full story.

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

Readmission Risk for the 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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10.) HHS To Make $80 Million Available to Support HIT Workforce

HHS has plans to make available $80 million in grants to help develop and strengthen the HIT workforce. The grants that will be made available include $70 million for community college training programs and $10 million to develop educational materials to support these programs. Both programs will support the immediate need for skilled HIT professionals who will enable the broad adoption and use of HIT throughout the United States.

Get the full story.

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11.) Transparency e-Tools: Healthcare IT That Meets Employer, Consumer and Accreditation Demands

Transparency e-Tools In this resource, contributing authors describe the challenges of developing Web technologies that support decision-making and promote good health, building effective performance metrics, structuring incentive programs and getting people to use them. Although there are still many hurdles to overcome, the transparency vision includes an informed, involved and connected healthcare consumer who effectively navigates the Web for decision support, comparison-shopping and healthcare spending management.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) HealthSounds Podcast: Reducing Hospital Readmissions Improves Care Quality, Decreases Costs

Reducing Hospital Readmissions While Improving Care Quality, Decreasing Cost Maryland's Hospital Preventable Readmissions program rewards efforts that reduce hospital readmissions while improving care quality and decreasing cost. Dianne Feeney, associate director of quality initiatives for the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC), describes HSCRC's response to hospitals that claim they can't afford the empty beds that result from programs like these, as well as processes to help ensure that higher-risk patients are not refused admittance to hospitals. She also explains how partnerships with "siloed settings" — nursing homes and home health providers — can reduce common errors that occur during patient handoffs.

Listen to this podcast.

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