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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Have you ever spent half a day at a hospital waiting for a family member to be discharged? If you think it was an inefficient use of your time, consider the financial impact of these delays on hospitals. According to a new study from the University of Marylandís Robert H. Smith School of Business — a featured story this week — these kinds of communication delays and failures cost hospitals $12 billion a year. That loss equals about 2 percent of hospital revenues nationwide. The researchers prescribe a healthy infusion of IT to help streamline communication among hospital caregivers. In a related story, the CHOICES program at St. Peter's Hospital pays attention to critical care transitions for elderly patients and their caregivers — such as the hospital discharge — to improve care delivery and reduce wasteful practices.

Early indicators point to a honing-in on healthcare waste by the Obama administration. In its budget brief, the HHS notes that "reducing fraud, waste, and abuse is an important part of restraining spending growth and providing quality healthcare service delivery to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The budget proposes to dedicate additional resources that will initially be targeted to improving oversight and program integrity activities for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program (Part D), Medicare Advantage, and the Medicaid Program."

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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March 16, 2009
Vol. XI, No. 10

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

This week's industry news:

  1. Giving Patients CHOICES to Reduce Hospital Readmissions
  2. Discharge Planning Primer: Community Collaborations to Decrease Hospital Readmissions Risk
  3. U.S. Hospitalsí Poor Communication Costs $12 Billion Annually
  4. The Business Case for Web 2.0 in Healthcare: Building Brands and Redefining the Patient Experience
  5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Anticipatory Care Management — Medication Adherence Interventions
  6. Single Question Can Identify Unhealthy Alcohol Use in Patients
  7. Health Coaching in Primary Care: Persuading Physicians to Prescribe Behavior Change and Self-Efficacy
  8. Doctor-Patient Conversations at End-of-Life Associated with Lower Medical Expenses
  9. How Stronger Hospice-Physician Education Programs Can Improve End-of-Life Care, ALOS and Your Bottom Line
  10. Report Shows Why Healthcare Reform Must Include Public Health Insurance Plan
  11. The Executive Report on Managed Care
  12. Featured HealthSounds Podcast: New Approach to Chronic Pain — Focus on Patient, Not Condition
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This week's industry news

1.) Giving Patients CHOICES to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Nora Baratto, manager of case management at St. Peterís Hospital CHOICES Program, describes how attention to care transition for older patients and their families can improve care and reduce costs.

We developed the CHOICES program, in part, because of inappropriate ED use in the 1990s. There is still a great deal of misinformation about where to access care for clients, older adults and family members. Many people think that the ER is still the primary place to access care.

Get the full story.

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2.) Discharge Planning Primer: Community Collaborations to Decrease Hospital Readmissions Risk

Discharge Planning Primer In this 32-page special report, two industry experts describe the coordinated approaches central to their hospital discharge processes and the impact their programs have had on patients' outcomes and satisfaction, hospital readmission rates and healthcare costs.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) U.S. Hospitalsí Poor Communication Costs $12 Billion Annually

Researchers from the University of Marylandís Robert H. Smith School of Business put a price tag on the cost of poor communication in U.S. hospitals at $12 billion per year. The research, newly released from the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS), is the first to quantify the economic impact of a healthcare system rife with communication delays and failures.

Get the full story.

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4.) The Business Case for Web 2.0 in Healthcare: Building Brands and Redefining the Patient Experience

The Business Case for Web 2.0 in Healthcare In The Business Case for Web 2.0 in Healthcare: Building Brands and Redefining the Patient Experience, experts recount how strategic utilization of Web 2.0 tools is driving prospective patients to their Web sites and to their facilities in record numbers. Even recruiters are feeling the impact of these efforts.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Anticipatory Care Management — Medication Adherence Interventions

The story is in the statistics: 65 percent of all prescriptions show non-compliance; 33 percent of all prescriptions are not even filled; Medication-related hospital admissions cost $100 billion every year. Yet, studies show that education interventions can be effective in improving adherence. Learn how medication adherence interventions can improve outcomes while lowering costs.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Single Question Can Identify Unhealthy Alcohol Use in Patients

Researchers at Boston Medical Center (BMC) have found that a single-screening question recommended by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) accurately identifies unhealthy alcohol use in primary care patients. This research supports the use of the brief screen in the primary care setting.

Get the full story.

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7.) Health Coaching in Primary Care: Persuading Physicians to Prescribe Behavior Change and Self-Efficacy

Health Coaching in Primary Care In this special report, three health coaching thought leaders detail their models for incorporating health coaching into the primary care paradigm. While acknowledging existing demands on busy physicians, they recommend that PCPs school themselves in health promotion and make coaching a team effort to foster behavior change in members and patients.

Learn more about this resource.

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8.) Doctor-Patient Conversations at End-of-Life Associated with Lower Medical Expenses

Few physicians are eager to discuss end-of-life (EOL) care with their patients. Yet such conversations may result in better quality of life for patients and could lower national healthcare expenditures for cancer care alone by tens of millions of dollars each year, according to a study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

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.) Report Shows Why Healthcare Reform Must Include Public Health Insurance Plan

National healthcare reform legislation must provide consumers the option to join a new public health insurance plan that would directly compete with private health insurance plans, according to a new report released by the Institute for Americaís Future.

Get the full story.

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11.) The Executive Report on Managed Care

Executive Report on Managed Care The Executive Report on Managed Care will provide you with twice-monthly news and information on issues affecting the managed care industry, legislation and regulations, real-life examples of how managed care organizations are benefiting from innovative programs and cost-saving initiatives.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) Featured HealthSounds Podcast: New Approach to Chronic Pain — Focus on Patient, Not Condition

Dr. Agostino Villani Too often, pain management tends to focus on the conditions rather than the people experiencing the pain, says Dr. Agostino Villani, internationally recognized expert on chronic pain, CEO of Triad Healthcare, Inc., and author of Pain is Not a Disease. According to Dr. Villani, this way of thinking depersonalizes the experience of pain and treats it as a disease instead of the complex, personal event that it really is. In Part 1 of this interview with Dr. Villani, he discusses his new book as well as pain management programs, pain level reduction strategies, side effects of pain medications and the fight against commercialization of pain management.

Listen to this podcast.

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