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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan By the time you read this, I will have returned from a week in Florida, where I took a turn helping my parents recuperate from separate falls. They are on the mend thanks to friends, family and a parade of home healthcare providers. Last Tuesday, in between visits from physical therapists and nurses, we watched the inaugural proceedings. As we listened to President Obama pledge to make healthcare affordable and accessible for all, I realized that many of the problems plaguing healthcare were coming to life right in this sunlit condo. For more of these impressions, please visit the HIN blog.

But even the optimism surrounding Obama's swearing-in wasn't enough to jump-start the stock market that day. If your organization hasn't realized it already, the old rules don't apply. In this week's issue, Wipfli partner Perry Hanson recommends a survival strategy for healthcare organizations — figure out how to make your brand stand out in a changing healthcare marketplace.

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

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

Associate Editor:
Jessica Papay, jpapay@hin.com

Publisher:
Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com

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This week's featured download: Educating Consumers on Consumer-Driven Healthcare

Educating Consumers on Consumer-Driven Healthcare

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For advertising and sponsorship opportunities in the Healthcare Business Weekly Update, contact our Sales & Marketing Coordinator: Deirdre McGuinness, dmcguinness@hin.com

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January 26, 2009
Vol. XI, No. 4

Sponsored by:
Improving Patient Collections in an Unhealthy Economy: Technologies and Processes to Speed Payments

This week's industry news:

  1. The Economy as Opportunity: Defining Your Brand in a New Healthcare Marketplace
  2. Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2009: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry
  3. Joint Commission to Include Patient Satisfaction Data on Quality Check™
  4. Relieving the Costs and Consequences of Chronic Pain: A Best Practice Multimodal Approach
  5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Telehealth Improves Access to Clinicians for Every American
  6. Alcohol Tax Increases Deter Drinking
  7. Promising Outcomes: The Impact of Positive Psychology on Health and Wellness Coaching
  8. Ethical Dilemmas at End-of-Life Face Doctors, Leave Patients in Pain
  9. How Stronger Hospice-Physician Education Programs Can Improve End-of-Life Care, ALOS and Your Bottom Line
  10. FDA Pilot Program to Improve Safety of Drugs and Active Drug Ingredients Produced Outside United States
  11. Understanding FDA Drug and Biologic Adverse Event Regulations, 2006 Edition
  12. Featured HealthSounds Podcast: Turning Healthcare's Financial Bleeding into Actionable Items
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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This week's industry news

1.) The Economy as Opportunity: Defining Your Brand in a New Healthcare Marketplace

Perry Hanson, a partner with Wipfli, a national accounting and business consulting firm, discusses the trend of increasing healthcare costs and how providers, hospitals and physicians could react to this trend in 2009.

Both government and all others can’t and will not continue to absorb increasing healthcare costs. We are not competitive globally when we have excessive healthcare costs. In addition, more of these costs are being shifted to employees in the form of high-deductible health plans. This trend will continue, despite pockets of resistance among various employee groups.

Get the full story.

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

Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2009 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 2009.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Joint Commission to Include Patient Satisfaction Data on Quality Check™

Patients' perceptions about the care they received at a particular hospital can now find this information on The Joint Commission’s Quality Check™ Web site, www.qualitycheck.org. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) data from CMS’ Hospital Compare Web site is posted on Quality Check™ beginning this month and will be updated quarterly.

Get the full story.

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4.) Relieving the Costs and Consequences of Chronic Pain: A Best Practice Multimodal Approach

Relieving the Costs and Consequences of Chronic Pain Featuring contributions from two of pain management's foremost experts, this special report offers multi-faceted strategies in pain assessment and management to improve quality of life for the chronic pain patient, reducing healthcare utilization in the process.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Telehealth Improves Access to Clinicians for Every American

A newly released white paper “Telephone Connectivity Supports Medical Home Model and Removes Barriers to Care,” by Kenneth P. Moritsugu, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.M., articulates the value of telehealth — namely the utilization of the telephone to provide physician or consumer-directed cross coverage 24/7 — as an emerging and effective application in tackling specific issues related to episodic care as well as chronic care management for diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiac disease.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Alcohol Tax Increases Deter Drinking

As leaders of many national, state and local governments debate whether to raise taxes on alcohol to boost revenues, their decisions also could influence how much their constituents imbibe in coming years, say University of Florida (UF) researchers.

Get the full story.

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7.) Promising Outcomes: The Impact of Positive Psychology on Health and Wellness Coaching

Promising Outcomes This special report explores evidence-based theories and coaching models, research linking physical and mental health, and critical coaching skills and outcomes that help bring about lasting behavior change associated with reduced healthcare costs.

Learn more about this resource.

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8.) Ethical Dilemmas at End-of-Life Face Doctors, Leave Patients in Pain

Physicians who do not understand end-of-life laws face ethical dilemmas and may cause their patients unnecessary pain, according to researchers at several medical centers.

Get the full story.

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9.) How Stronger Hospice-Physician Education Programs Can Improve End-of-Life Care, ALOS and Your Bottom Line

Stronger Hospice-Physician Education Programs In this report, you will learn how charitable foundations and other organizations are funding and developing educational programs for physicians on end-of-life care and the management techniques hospices can use to increase the average length of stay.

Learn more about this resource.

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10.) FDA Pilot Program to Improve Safety of Drugs and Active Drug Ingredients Produced Outside United States

The FDA has launched a voluntary pilot program that would help promote the safety of drugs and active drug ingredients produced outside the United States. The FDA plans to select 100 applicants to participate in the Secure Supply Chain pilot program.

Get the full story.

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

Understanding FDA Drug and Biologic Adverse Event Regulations This source will help you and your staff make sense of often confusing reporting directives and protocols — and you’ll gain a greater sense of control over the adverse events reporting process.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) Featured HealthSounds Podcast: Turning Healthcare's Financial Bleeding into Actionable Items

Beacon Partners With a revenue cycle that is measured by claims denials, collaborative data mining by billing and IT can identify origins of financial "bleeding" and turn these problems into actionable items, explain Beacon Partner experts Kevin Burchill, director; Sean McDonagh, practice director; and Ben Tobin, management consultant. Patient-friendly IT can also improve the patient experience on the front end while obtaining data to improve collections on the back end. This is a practice frequently employed by more financially robust providers. The three experts also debate the merits of offering patient discounts for prompt payment and placing patient credit reports in providers' hands.

Listen to this podcast.

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