Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

Last week CMS made good on its June 2008 promise to launch a star-based ranking system of Americaís 15,800 nursing homes that participate in Medicare or Medicaid. The initial evaluation revealed some quality gaps — nearly a quarter of facilities received only a one-star rating. Facilities are assigned one- to five-star ratings based on three key areas — health inspection surveys, staffing information and quality of care measures. The ratings are publicly available at http://www.medicare.gov and will be updated monthly. A nursing home may not be the only long-term care choice, and the updated Web site also includes links to information for community-based alternatives to nursing homes.

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is a difficult and emotional decision. A facility's star ranking is only one aspect of the evaluation process, along with a thorough site visit and discussions with nursing home staff, residents and residents' families. We're betting it won't be long before CMS invites nursing home residents to rate their experiences, as it has done with hospital patients at http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/. Read about a recent study of HCAHPS data that links patient satisfaction and the quality of care in the HIN blog.

Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Patricia Donovan
Editor, Healthcare Business Weekly Update

Please pass this along to any of your colleagues or, better yet, have them sign up to receive their own copy at http://www.hin.com/freenews2.html where you can also learn about our other news services.


Healthcare Business Weekly Update
Volume X, No. 38
December 22, 2008

Sponsored by: Emergency Room Utilization: Developing a Team-Approach to Address Overcrowding Factors That Increase Wait Time

During Emergency Room Utilization: Developing a Team-Approach to Address Overcrowding Factors That Increase Wait Time, a 90-minute webinar on January 14, 2009, three industry insiders will describe the strategies that their organizations have implemented to improve throughput in the ER to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.

For more information, please visit:http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3872


Table of Contents
  1. Health IT Recommendations Issued to New Administration and 111th Congress
  2. Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2009: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry
  3. A Three-Pillar Approach to Physician Engagement
  4. Engaging Physicians in Pay for Performance: Promoting Partnerships That Align Data, Dollars, Care & Quality
  5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Targeting Depression Through Disease Management
  6. FDA Requires Warnings about Risk of Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior for Antiepileptic Medications
  7. Understanding FDA Drug and Biologic Adverse Event Regulations, 2006 Edition
  8. One Star for Quarter of Nation's Nursing Homes in CMS Ranking
  9. From Quality to Excellence: Using Comparative Data to Improve Health Care Performance
  10. HHS Announces Health IT Privacy and Security Toolkit
  11. PHRs & the New Risks Over Privacy, Security and HIPAA: Addressing the Challenges of Patient-Controlled Health Information
  12. Featured Healthcare Podcast: More Integrated Care Delivery in 2009
  13. Take the Monthly e-Survey: Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs


1. Health IT Recommendations Issued to New Administration and 111th Congress

To ensure that health IT is appropriately addressed in anticipated healthcare reform policy in 2009, the HIMSS workgroup has developed three unified recommendations for the new Congress and administration concerning the role of health IT in healthcare reform.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/Hindustry_MC122208_health_IT.html



2. Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2009: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry

In Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2009: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry, two key thought leaders reflect upon the volatile economic climate and historical election results to frame an industry outlook for the coming twelve months.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3866



3. A Three-Pillar Approach to Physician Engagement

Dr. Fred Hosler, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Alegent Health, describes how his company engages their physicians.

Our physicians informed us of the necessary elements to engage them and to have them significantly assist us in achieving the results we desired. It came down to creating some standardization. Eighty-seven percent of our 1,200 physicians practiced at multiple facilities.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/hospital_HSmanagement122208_engage_physicians.html



4. Engaging Physicians in Pay for Performance: Promoting Partnerships That Align Data, Dollars, Care & Quality

In this special report, two industry leaders chronicle the development of mutually beneficial provider-plan partnerships in PFP. They identify practice workflow issues that can derail physician participation in PFP and provide inside details on how they have engaged physicians in PFP programs and sustained motivation for continued participation.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3836



TALK TO THE HIN COMMUNITY: Share your reaction to a story or a strategy that's working at your organization. Send an email to editor@hin.com or post a comment to the HIN blog at:
http://blog.hin.com/

5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Targeting Depression Through Disease Management

Nearly 6 percent of men and almost 10 percent of women worldwide will experience a depressive episode in any given year, and in America alone, approximately 18.8 million adults have depression. In an October 2008 e-survey from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN), 250 healthcare professionals shared how their organizations are targeting depression as part of their disease management (DM) initiatives.

To download this complimentary white paper, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/library/registerdepdm.html



6. FDA Requires Warnings about Risk of Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior for Antiepileptic Medications

The FDA will require the manufacturers of antiepileptic drugs to add to these products' prescribing information, or labeling, a warning that their use increases risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (suicidality). The action includes all antiepileptic drugs, including those used to treat psychiatric disorders, migraine headaches and other conditions, as well as epilepsy.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/behavioral_health122208_antiepileptic_drugs.html



7. Understanding FDA Drug and Biologic Adverse Event Regulations, 2006 Edition

This source will help you and your staff make sense of often confusing reporting directives and protocols — and youíll gain a greater sense of control over the adverse events reporting process.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3049



8. One Star for Quarter of Nation's Nursing Homes in CMS Ranking

CMS has released quality ratings for each of the nationís 15,800 nursing homes that participate in Medicare or Medicaid. Facilities are assigned star ratings from a low of one star to a high of five stars based on health inspection surveys, staffing information and quality of care measures.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/long_term_care122208_nursing_home_rating.html


There are other free email newsletters available from HIN!

HealthCoach Huddle, a monthly e-newsletter, brings you the most up-to-date news on health coaching, from coaching strategies to interviews and quotables from the industry's leading health coaches.

Medical Home Monitor tracks the construction of medical homes around the country and their impact on healthcare access, quality, utilization and cost. As providers and payors reframe care delivery, this monthly e-newsletter will cover the pilots, practice transformations, tools and technology that will guide healthcare organizations toward clinical excellence.

To sign up for our free email newsletters, please visit
http://www.hin.com/freenews2.html


9. From Quality to Excellence: Using Comparative Data to Improve Health Care Performance

In this book you'll learn how to incorporate comparative measurement data into your organization's quality and patient safety improvement strategies. You'll discover how to select credible data sources to determine if your performance measures up to that reported by other organizations.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3385



10. HHS Announces Health IT Privacy and Security Toolkit

In a keynote address to the Nationwide Health Information Network Forum, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced key privacy principles and a toolkit to guide efforts to harness the potential of new technology and more effective data analysis, while protecting privacy.

To read this story in its entirety, go to:
http://www.hin.com/sw/healthLaw_regulation122208_PHI_privacy_security.html



11. PHRs & the New Risks Over Privacy, Security and HIPAA: Addressing the Challenges of Patient-Controlled Health Information

Because PHRs foreshadow many aspects of the evolving national EHR system, healthcare organizations must think through the consequences of offering and accepting PHRs. This audio seminar was produced to help healthcare organizations face the possible challenges of PHRs.

For more information, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=3686



12. Featured Healthcare Podcast: More Integrated Care Delivery in 2009

The growing trend toward integrated care delivery systems can help the U.S. healthcare system refocus on its primary goals — providing coordinated care and returning patients to their optimal health status, explains Perry Hanson, partner with Wipfli, a national accounting and business consulting firm that provides consulting, tax and audit advice for the healthcare industry. Integrated care delivery can also help the U.S. reverse its current last-place rankings in quality, access and efficiency among the global health community, he adds. Citing the success of the medical home model of care in Minnesota, Hanson calls the patient-centered model a "beacon of hope" for a beleaguered healthcare industry.

To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/podcasts/podcast.htm#70



13. Take the Monthly e-Survey: Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released last month found that from 2000 to 2004, at least 443,000 people in the U.S. died prematurely each year as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, an increase from 438,000 deaths annually for 1997-2001. This report also found that smoking costs the nation $193 billion per year in healthcare expenditures and productivity losses, up from a previous estimate of $167 billion.

Take HIN's e-survey on tobacco cessation and prevention efforts by December 31 and receive a summary of the compiled results following the survey.

To take the survey and receive your free executive summary of the results, please visit:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=nLYKV_2fjmJj1utDyRLKr_2bIA_3d_3d


Contact HIN:

Editor: Patricia Donovan, pdonovan@hin.com;
Associate Editor: Jessica Papay, jpapay@hin.com;
Sales & Marketing Coordinator: Deirdre McGuinness, dmcguinness@hin.com;
Publisher: Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com

For more information on the products and services available through
the Healthcare Intelligence Network, contact us at (888) HIN-3530
(446-3530), (732) 528-HIN8, (528-4468), fax (732) 292-3073 or email
us at info@hin.com

While we encourage you to forward this email to your
colleagues, these articles may not be redistributed in any other publication,
reproduced for publication in any form, distributed on an intranet or network or
by e-mail distribution or distributed for commercial purposes without the express
written permission of the Healthcare Intelligence Network.


All contents of this message Copyright 2008