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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan More than $150 billion of the $787 billion economic stimulus package — about 19 percent — will directly or indirectly impact healthcare. (See a list of these line items in the HIN blog.) The package comes with a promise of transparency: At www.recovery.gov, you can read a full text of the legislation, track the distribution of these funds by federal agencies — even share how the hoped-for economic recovery is affecting you. It's not a moment too soon. Within our industry, we're noting that even award-winning organizations can't escape the capital crunch. For example, Eastern Maine Medical Center, the 2008 HIMSS Davies Organizational Award winner for use of health IT to enhance patient care quality and safety, just announced job eliminations, overtime reductions and construction delays.

It's the same story on the consumer side: In this week's issue, read how the economy has derailed some Gen-Xers from planning for long-term care needs and is being blamed for a drop in employee engagement rates in 2008. Advice from companies with higher engagement rates: Demonstrate a strong commitment to employee well-being by helping to maintain the health and vitality of workers.

Incentives for health and wellness programs can be part of that commitment. Take this month's e-survey on Health & Wellness Incentives Utilization to find out how your peers use gift cards, benefit-based incentives, raffles, point systems and more to engage and enroll individuals in health improvement programs. You'll be e-mailed a summary of survey results once the survey is completed.

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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Healthcare Industry Response to the Uninsured: Organizations Take Steps to Counter Financial Impact

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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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February 23, 2009
Vol. XI, No. 7

Sponsored by:
Physician Quality Reporting Initiative in 2009 — How To Avoid Submission Errors and Improve Reimbursement

This week's industry news:

  1. Four Occasions When Care Transition Breakdowns Occur
  2. Coordinating Care Transitions for the Elderly and Dually Eligible: Fostering Self-Management and Reducing Readmissions
  3. 10-State Project to Study Methods to Reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections in Hospital ICUs
  4. CDC Infection Control Guidelines
  5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Putting out the Addiction — Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs
  6. 2008 Drop in Employee Engagement Attributed to Economic Turmoil
  7. Benchmarks in Health & Wellness Incentives: Utilization and Effectiveness Data to Drive Health Promotion, Compliance and ROI
  8. Generation X Feels Unprepared for Long-Term Care Costs and the Future
  9. NOT ur parents' healthcare anymore: The 411 on selling health via new media
  10. CVS Pays $2.25 Million and Toughens Practices to Settle HIPAA Privacy Case
  11. Protecting Patient Data at the Front Door: Vetting Prospective Employees for HIPAA and Other Data Protection Laws
  12. Featured HealthSounds Podcast: Improving Patient Engagement in Telephonic and Online Health Improvement Programs for Lasting Behavior Change
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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Take the monthly e-survey:
Health & Wellness Incentives Utilization

You'll be emailed a synopsis of the survey results.


This week's industry news

1.) Four Occasions When Care Transition Breakdowns Occur

Gregg Lehman, Ph.D., president and CEO of HealthFitness Corporation and former president and CEO of INSPIRIS, Inc., describes occasions when patient care transition breakdowns can occur.

When do breakdowns in care transitions occur? Breakdowns when moving from a primary care physician (PCP) to a specialty physician are common — often, information is not well documented. And because it’s common for this population to be cognitively impaired, it can be difficult for them to effectively communicate their symptoms to the physician.

Get the full story.

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2.) Coordinating Care Transitions for the Elderly and Dually Eligible: Fostering Self-Management and Reducing Readmissions

Coordinating Care Transitions for the Elderly Throughout this 65-page report, respected thought leaders share their unique approaches to care transition management that positively impact cost and engage the patient in their care decisions.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) 10-State Project to Study Methods to Reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections in Hospital ICUs

Hospital associations in 10 states have been selected to participate in a program to test methods of reducing central-line associated blood stream infections in hospital ICUs, according to HHS’ AHRQ. The project aims to reduce the average rate of central line-associated blood stream infections in hospitals by 80 percent, from the national average of five infections per 1,000 catheter days to one infection for every 1,000 catheter days.

Get the full story.

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4.) CDC Infection Control Guidelines

CDC Infection Control Guidelines The CDC Infection Control Guidelines for Healthcare Facilities is packed with resources invaluable to your infection control program. The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens regulations have been included as a bonus. This product puts at your fingertips all the major resources used by ICPs on a daily basis.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Featured 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.) 2008 Drop in Employee Engagement Attributed to Economic Turmoil

Sixty-six percent of firms surveyed by Quantum Workplace found a drop in their employee engagement between 2007 and 2008, suggesting economic turmoil causing employee dissatisfaction.

Get the full story.

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7.) Benchmarks in Health & Wellness Incentives: Utilization and Effectiveness Data to Drive Health Promotion, Compliance and ROI

Benchmarks in Health & Wellness Incentives In an economic climate where many are delaying medical care to disastrous and costly outcomes, now is a critical time for organizations to compare their incentives for health improvement against best practices in the healthcare space. Benchmarks in Health & Wellness Incentives: Utilization and Effectiveness Data to Drive Health Promotion, Compliance and ROI is the one-of-a-kind resource healthcare payors and purchasers can use to evaluate their incentives offerings and benefit from colleagues' experiences and advice.

Learn more about this resource.

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8.) Generation X Feels Unprepared for Long-Term Care Costs and the Future

Many members of Generation X say they feel unprepared for long-term care and do not feel they are taking the necessary steps to prepare for their futures, according to a survey released by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Respondents also said that the current economic downturn has only worsened their financial situations.

Get the full story.

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

NOT ur parents' healthcare anymore NOT ur parents' healthcare anymore: The 411 on selling health via new media 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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10.) CVS Pays $2.25 Million and Toughens Practices to Settle HIPAA Privacy Case

HHS and the FTC have announced that CVS, the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chain, will pay the U.S. government a $2.25 million settlement and take corrective action to ensure it does not violate the privacy of its millions of patients when disposing of patient information, such as identifying information on pill bottle labels.

Get the full story.

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11.) Protecting Patient Data at the Front Door: Vetting Prospective Employees for HIPAA and Other Data Protection Laws

Protecting Patient Data at the Front Door Protecting Patient Data at the Front Door can help healthcare organizations develop standards for hiring workers, which include vetting prospective employees beyond HIPAA, using background checks in evaluating prospects and much more.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) Featured HealthSounds Podcast: Improving Patient Engagement in Telephonic and Online Health Improvement Programs for Lasting Behavior Change

Dr. Randall Williams The daily engagement of Medicaid beneficiaries in self-care health monitoring programs can help healthcare organizations avoid many of the challenges inherent in working with this frequently underserved population, explains Pharos Innovations CEO Dr. Randall Williams. Once participants are identified, they are very receptive to the daily contact, which has resulted in extremely high program engagement rates.

Listen to this podcast.

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