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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Content Editor Cheryl Miller

For less than $2.00 a person, nearly $290 billion annually in avoidable healthcare costs could be averted.

That’s the ultimate hope of a new study on medication non-adherence from Kaiser Permanente. Motivated by previous reports showing that one in three patients prescribed a medication by their healthcare provider never pick it up from the pharmacy, and among those that do, nearly 3 in 4 do not take prescription drugs according to providers’ orders, researchers initiated a call- back system. Patients who were newly prescribed cholesterol lowering statins received automated reminders within one week if they failed to pick their prescriptions up. The study showed they were 1.6 times more likely to fill it than those who didn’t receive a reminder. Automated mail reminders were also sent to those who failed to follow up after the initial phone call.

Both prompts cost researchers $1.70 per participant, and researchers believe the practice can be applied to patients with a wide range of chronic diseases.

For every dollar invested in wellness programs, employers of mid-sized companies save an average of $5.81, due to improved employee health, according to the American Journals of Health Promotion. The savings is attributed to a 27 percent reduction in employee sick leave, a 26 percent reduction in health costs, and a 32 percent decrease in workers’ compensation and disability claims.

But healthcare costs still remain high, in fact, more than half of U.S. companies spent significantly more on healthcare costs this past year, hindering business growth. An expert panel, comprised of executives from ADP and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, among others, has been created to look at employee wellness programs as a way of offsetting these expenses.

The costs of implementing Medicaid expansion under the ACA would be modest compared to significant increases in federal funds, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The coverage and budget impacts of the Medicaid expansion would vary across states. States that had already expanded coverage to adults — such as Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, and Maryland — could see savings under the ACA due to higher matching rates for already covered populations. Meanwhile, states with relatively large uninsured populations prior to any coverage expansions — including Nevada, Florida and Mississippi — could see higher increases in state costs, but these increases are expected to be small compared to decreases in the uninsured and increases in federal matching funds.

And lastly, the costs of earning A’s on hospital rankings? Priceless. According to the newly updated Hospital Safety ScoresSM, the grades assigned to U.S. hospitals for their rates of preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents, and infections, showed that both Massachusetts and Maine had outstanding hospital safety results: 83 percent of Massachusetts hospitals and 80 percent of Maine hospitals were awarded “A’s.”

Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Cheryl Miller
Editor, Healthcare Business Weekly Update

Please send comments, questions and replies to cmiller@hin.com.

HIN Associate Editor Jessica Papay
Associate Editor:
Jessica Papay, jpapay@hin.com

Publisher:
Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com

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December 3, 2012
Vol. XIV, No. 44

Sponsored by:
Care Coordination for Dual Eligibles: A Results-Oriented Approach


This week's industry news:

  1. More Midsized Companies Adopt Employee Wellness Programs to Help Reduce Escalating Healthcare Costs
  2. 2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health & Wellness Incentives
  3. State Costs for Medicaid Expansion Modest Compared to Increased Federal Funds: Study
  4. Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2013
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Reducing Readmissions in 2012
  6. Automated Phone and Mail Notices Increase Medication Adherence
  7. New Chart: Top Measures of ACO Success
  8. Pharmacists and Medication Adherence
  9. Updated Hospital Safety Scores Show Minimal Improvement; Massachusetts, Maine Hospitals Outperform All
  10. Infection Prevention Manual for Long Term Care, 2012 Edition
  11. 6 Key Analytics for Successful Population Health Management
  12. Profiting from Population Health Management
  13. Infographic: How Technology Impacts Healthcare’s Future
  14. Care Coordination for Dual Eligibles
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This week's industry news

1.) More Midsized Companies Adopt Employee Wellness Programs to Help Reduce Escalating Healthcare Costs

More than half of U.S. companies spent significantly more on healthcare costs this past year, and nearly all of them cite controlling these costs as a priority, according to a study from the ADP Research Institute.

Get the full story.

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2.) 2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health & Wellness Incentives

2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health & Wellness Incentives This best seller for three years running is packed with actionable new data on current and planned incentives activity, presented in more than 50 easy-to-follow graphs and tables.




Learn more about this resource.

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3.) State Costs for Medicaid Expansion Modest Compared to Increased Federal Funds: Study

The costs of implementing Medicaid expansion under the ACA would be modest compared to significant increases in federal funds, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


4.) Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2013: A Strategic Planning Session

Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2013 This annual, must-attend event provides a first look analysis at the key trends and opportunities for healthcare organizations in the coming year.



Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: Reducing Readmissions in 2012 — Home Visits Double for the Recently Discharged

Reducing Readmissions in 2012 This white paper provides details on programs to curb readmission rates, along with the conditions most likely to trigger readmissions and much more, as discussed by 119 healthcare organizations who responded to HIN's survey on reducing hospital readmissions.



Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Automated Phone and Mail Notices Increase Medication Adherence

Patients on cholesterol medicine are more likely to be adherent if reminded to fill their prescriptions by phone and mail messages, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Get the full story.

>>Return to this week's industry news


7.) New Chart: Top Measures of ACO Success

New Chart: Top Measures of ACO Success Participation in accountable care initiatives has more than doubled in the last year. Almost a third of healthcare companies — 31 percent — participate in an ACO, up from 14 percent in 2011. And healthcare companies report that patient satisfaction is the top metric being used to measure the success of their ACO. We wanted to see which other metrics besides patient satisfaction help to measure the success of an ACO.

Click here to view the chart.

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8.) Pharmacists and Medication Adherence: Brief Interventions, Motivational Interviewing and Telepharmacy

Pharmacists and Medication Adherence This 50-page resource describes a number of interventions in which pharmacists help to guide patients and health plan members to higher levels of medication adherence — programs that take place in the pharmacy, in the physician practice, or virtually. It also answers more than 30 questions on the role of the pharmacist in reducing non-adherence.

Learn more about this resource.

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9.) Updated Hospital Safety Scores Show Minimal Improvement; Massachusetts, Maine Hospitals Outperform All

Updates to the Hospital Safety ScoresSM, the scores assigned to U.S. hospitals for their rates of preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents, and infections, show that most hospitals, while making some progress, still have a long way to go to deliver consistently safe healthcare, according to The Leapfrog Group (Leapfrog).

Get the full story.

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10.) Infection Prevention Manual for Long Term Care, 2012 Edition

Infection Prevention Manual for Long Term Care This all-new edition provides facilities with a comprehensive resource for policies and procedures reflecting the most current standards for infection prevention.



Learn more about this resource.

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11.) 6 Key Analytics for Successful Population Health Management

The development of a successful population health management program starts with the data and the data analysis, notes Patricia Curran, principal in Buck Consultants’ National Clinical Practice.

Get the full story.

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12.) Profiting from Population Health Management: Applying Analytics in Accountable Care

Profiting from Population Health Management: Applying Analytics in Accountable Care This resource provides both a primer in population health management (PHM), identifying the challenges and opportunities of a robust population health management program, and an advanced case study in the use of analytics in PHM.


Learn more about this resource.

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13.) Infographic: How Technology Impacts Healthcare’s Future

Technology is changing healthcare for patients, providers, payors and government. This infographic from Xerox depicts the impact of mhealth, health insurance exchanges, meaningful use requirements and the increasing availability of 'big data' on the healthcare industry.

Read this blog post.

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14.) Care Coordination for Dual Eligibles: A Results-Oriented Approach

Care Coordination for Dual Eligibles: A Results-Oriented Approach SCAN Health Plan's Interdisciplinary Care Team for dual eligibles is a diverse multiprofessional group encompassing many geriatric specialists, explains Dr. Timothy Schwab, chief medical officer of SCAN Health Plan. Dr. Schwab describes some of the challenges of risk stratification in a dual eligible population, and details case management support for the percentage of dual eligibles that require support for disabilities.

Listen to this podcast.

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