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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Are you ready to be an ACO? In this week's issue, healthcare consultant John Harris poses five key questions that healthcare organizations should ask before pursuing the accountable care organization model. CMS's Medicare Shared Savings Program — ACOs for Medicare beneficiaries — launches in just one year, which gives healthcare companies scant time to prepare. ACOs by commercial payors are already underway.

Where to begin? Clinical integration of independent physicians is a logical first step. "Nine of ten Americans get their medical care in solo or small practice, so if we’re really going to reengineer the delivery system, we have to find ways to include these small practices and deliver higher quality and safer care," said Dr. Mark Shields last week during a webinar on clinical integration of independent physicians. "But to do that, you really need infrastructure. You have to provide resources to drive those outcomes. You need to develop a culture that evolves over time. It’s constant work and needs to be a constant focus of any organization."

Also this week, we launch a new survey on reducing hospital readmissions, another key initiative of healthcare reform that will place hospital data under Medicare's microscope. It's our second annual look at this issue, and if you respond by December 31, you'll get 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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December 6, 2010
Vol. XII, No. 45

Sponsored by:
Redesigning the Physician Practice for Improved Efficiency and Increased Revenue

This week's industry news:

  1. Are You Ready to be an ACO?
  2. Essential Guide to Accountable Care Organizations
  3. ‘Trigger Tool’ Study Finds No Reduction in Harm Due to Medical Care
  4. Medication Reconciliation Strategies
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Role Based Access Governance, HIPAA Compliance
  6. Report Provides Tips for Pediatricians on Spotting Youth Eating Disorders
  7. New Chart: Top Conditions Tied to Readmissions
  8. Guide to Health Coaching
  9. Baby Boomers Value Long-Term Care Insurance
  10. NOT ur parents' healthcare anymore
  11. Healthy People 2020 Targets Adolescent Health, Dementia
  12. Real ROI from Health Management
  13. HealthSounds Podcast: Maximizing the Nurse Advice Line
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:
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This week's industry news

1.) Are You Ready to be an ACO?

An accountable care organization (ACO) raises several strategic questions that must be answered quickly before healthcare organizations decide how they may want to participate in an ACO, says John Harris, principal with the consulting firm of DGA Partners.

Get the full story.

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2.) Essential Guide to Accountable Care Organizations: Challenges, Risks and Opportunities of the ACO Model

Essential Guide to Accountable Care Organizations This resource answers key questions surrounding ACOs so that hospitals, PHOs, IPAs and other physician organizations, networks or group practices can weigh the merits now of creating an ACO and complete the necessary groundwork before CMS's ACO operational date of January 2012.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) ‘Trigger Tool’ Study Finds No Reduction in Harm Due to Medical Care

Researchers using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Global Trigger Tool to assess patient safety efforts at 10 randomly selected North Carolina hospitals over a five-year span found no decrease in patient harm during that time.

Get the full story.

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4.) Medication Reconciliation Strategies to Reduce Hospital Adverse Drug Events

Medication Reconciliation Strategies In this special report, two experts describe their hospital's emphasis on quality and perfect care processes and provide the inside details on medication management programs that are helping to eliminate adverse drug events.

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 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.) Report Provides Tips for Pediatricians on Spotting Youth Eating Disorders

A new American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report provides pediatricians with several recommendations based on recent research to help them recognize and treat youth eating disorders sooner.

Get the full story.

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7.) New Chart: Top Conditions Tied to Readmissions

Top Conditions Tied to Readmissions

Responding organizations face many challenges related to the reduction of hospital readmissions. We wanted to see which health conditions are targeted by programs to reduce hospital readmissions.

Click here to view the chart.

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8.) Guide to Health Coaching

Guide to Health Coaching This guide defines the role of the health coach in population health management, provides tactics to motivate individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles, and offers an inside look at health coaching at the Mayo Clinic, including the clinic's use of health IT and incentives to encourage repeat and long-term participation. Q&A chapter answers more than 50 questions on health coaching.

Learn more about this resource.

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9.) Baby Boomers Highly Value Long-Term Care Insurance, But Many Have Not Purchased the Protection

American baby boomers age 46 to 64 already confronting a difficult economic environment, are ill-prepared for the negative impacts of a long-term care event and have ignored the lessons learned through the experiences of their parents, according to a survey by Mathew Greenwald at Greenwald & Associates.

Get the full story.

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10.) NOT ur parents' healthcare anymore: The 411 on selling health via new media

NOT ur parents' healthcare anymore This resource provides detailed experiences of three healthcare marketers on their novel marketing and product development tactics of traditional healthcare and health insurance products that are grabbing the attention of Generation X and Generation Y.

Learn more about this resource.

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11.) Healthy People 2020 Targets Adolescent Health, Dementia

Adolescent health and dementia are among 13 new areas targeted by Healthy People 2020, the nation’s new 10-year goals and objectives for health promotion and disease prevention, and “myHealthyPeople,” a new challenge for technology application developers recently unveiled by HHS.

Get the full story.

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12.) Real ROI from Health Management: Cost Savings through Coaching and Disease Management

Real ROI from Health Management In this resource, industry experts detail the measures to look at when evaluating health coaching and population health programs and provide case studies of how they are using these measures to demonstrate a health management ROI.

Learn more about this resource.

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13.) HealthSounds Podcast: Maximizing the Nurse Advice Line To Ensure Appropriate Healthcare Utilization

Maximizing the Nurse Advice Line More than a third of healthcare organizations have launched nurse advice lines to reduce avoidable emergency room use and direct patients to the most appropriate care venue, according to a July 2010 survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network. The staffing and operation of Optima Health's nurse advice line is influenced by many factors, explains Patricia Curtis, director of operations, clinical care services for Optima Health. Curtis describes the distinct responsibilities of the LPNs and RNs who staff the advice line as well as the diverse needs of the member populations who call the advice line.

Listen to this podcast.

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