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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

About 20 hours ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed historic healthcare reform legislation by a vote of 219-212, without a single Republican vote. The passage was fueled by an eleventh-hour package of compromises that garnered sufficient Democratic support to approve the bill, which will have both immediate and long-term effects.

In the coming weeks and months, the Healthcare Business Weekly Update will cover the programs and initiatives resulting from the reform and their impact on the business of healthcare.

More than a year in the making, the legislation is expected to ultimately provide healthcare coverage to about 32 million uninsured in the country, leaving another 23 million uninsured. In a featured story this week, learn how physicians, hospitals and health plans have been working to soften the financial blow of rising numbers of un- and underinsured over the last year.

Last week the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the healthcare legislation — which will cost an estimated $950 billion over the next 10 years — will produce "the largest deficit reduction of any bill we have adopted in Congress since 1993." This savings is largely due to the bill's proposed reductions in growth of Medicare spending.

One possible counter to reduced Medicare spending will be the establishment of medical homes for this population, a strategy already employed by almost two-thirds of organizations responding to our fourth annual survey on the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). There's still a week left to take the survey and receive an e-summary of the results, including data on practice conversion time, PCMH effect on healthcare utilization, key members of the PCMH team, challenges and benefits, and much more. Join the more than 131 organizations that have already responded.

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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March 22, 2010
Vol. XII, No. 11

Sponsored by: Health Integrated

In its third year, Health Integratedís Executive Leadership Series is a gathering of health plan executives, national policy thought leaders and health management experts sharing ideas, perspectives and real-world solutions to challenging issues facing health plans today. Executives can network, learn and discuss topics of key importance. Join us.

This week's industry news:

  1. How Healthcare Blunts Financial Impact of Uninsured
  2. 2010 Healthcare Benchmarks Yearbook
  3. Project RED Redesigns Discharge Workflow to Reduce Hospital Readmissions
  4. Reducing Hospital Readmissions Toolkit
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: 2010 Benchmarks in Medication Adherence Programs
  6. Americans Visiting Rural Western States Face Greater Suicide Risk
  7. Depression Management Benchmarks
  8. High-Intensity Approach to End of Life Results in Survival Benefit
  9. The Medical Home Case Manager
  10. $162 Million in Recovery Act Funds Supports Health Information Exchange
  11. Transparency e-Tools
  12. HealthSounds Podcast: Meet the Medical Home Neighbor
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.) How Healthcare Blunts Financial Impact of Uninsured

According to a 2007 Commonwealth Fund study, nearly 25 million Americans are underinsured and canít close the gap between their insurance coverage and their medical bills. At the beginning of 2009, the number of uninsured Americans was estimated at 52 million. In response to a 2009 e-survey, 127 healthcare organizations described how theyíre softening the financial blow of the un- and underinsured on their organizations.

Get the full story.

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2.) 2010 Healthcare Benchmarks Yearbook: Metrics, Measurements and Innovations

2010 Healthcare Benchmarks Yearbook This comprehensive collection of benchmarks documents key areas of healthcare activity and growth — from the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) to reduction of hospital readmissions to the use of health coaching, patient outreach, financial incentives and telehealth to foster behavior change and reverse healthcare spend.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Project RED Redesigns Discharge Workflow to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge), a tool that can reduce hospital readmissions by 30 percent and associated costs by a third by providing an after-hospital care plan and ensuring patients have individualized and appropriate discharge information, may soon be available commercially following a recent licensing agreement.

Get the full story.

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4.) Reducing Hospital Readmissions Toolkit

Reducing Hospital Readmissions Toolkit This comprehensive four-volume set illustrates innovative strategies to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions. This set includes the following titles: Retooling Care Transitions to Reduce Hospitalizations in Medicare Patients, Discharge Planning Primer, Reducing Readmissions for Heart Failure Patients, and Reducing Readmission Risk for the Elderly through Care Transition Coaching.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: 2010 Benchmarks in Medication Adherence Programs

Beyond increasing risk of death, poor medication adherence is tied to as much as $290 billion annually in increased medical costs and responsible for 33 to 69 percent of all medication-related hospital admissions in the United States, at a cost of about $100 billion per year. This white paper from the Healthcare Intelligence Network captures the efforts of 107 healthcare companies to improve medication adherence in their populations, from targeted populations and conditions of medication adherence programs to the components of a successful medication adherence program, as reflected by their responses to the January 2010 Medication Adherence e-survey.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Americans Visiting Rural Western States Face Greater Suicide Risk

Suicide has geographical differences, with people in the rural mountains of the West more likely than those in the more urbanized East to take their own lives, a new University of Florida study shows.

Get the full story.

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7.) Depression Management Benchmarks: Trends in Integration of Behavioral and Physical Health

Depression Management Benchmarks This resource provides actionable information from 260 organizations on their progress in targeting depression in disease management plus lessons learned from early adopters of an integrated approach to mental and physical health.

Learn more about this resource.

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8.) High-Intensity Approach to End of Life Results in Survival Benefit

Patients admitted to hospitals with a high-intensity approach to end-of-life care live longer than those admitted to hospitals with a low-intensity approach, according to a new study by the University of Pittsburgh, published in the journal Medical Care.

Get the full story.

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9.) The Medical Home Case Manager: Profiting from Patient-Centered Care Coordination

The Medical Home Case Manager In a survey of healthcare organizations on the patient-centered medical home model, 60 percent of respondents include case managers on the medical home care team, with more than half of these respondents embedding case managers in the primary care practice. This resource provides an inside look at the selection, training, skill set, processes and benefits of the Geisinger Health Planís case managers embedded within the payorís medical home practices.

Learn more about this resource.

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10.) $162 Million in Recovery Act Funds Supports Health Information Exchange

Approximately $162 million has been awarded to 16 states and qualified state designated entities (SDEs) to facilitate non-proprietary health information exchange (HIE) that adheres to national standards, based on recent HIE awards announced by HHS. HIE is critical to enabling care coordination and improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare.

Get the full story.

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11.) Transparency e-Tools: Healthcare IT That Meets Employer, Consumer and Accreditation Demands

Transparency e-Tools In this resource, contributing authors describe the challenges of developing Web technologies that support decision-making and promote good health, building effective performance metrics, structuring incentive programs and getting people to use them. Although there are still hurdles to overcome, the transparency vision includes an informed, involved and connected healthcare consumer who effectively navigates the Web for decision support, comparison-shopping and healthcare spending management.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) HealthSounds Podcast: Meet the Medical Home Neighbor — Accountable Care Organizations

Accountable Care Organizations The accountable care organization (ACO) — a network of primary care physicians, one or more hospitals, and subspecialists that provide patient-centered care — is receiving increasing attention as healthcare reform unfolds. Not only do ACOs complement the medical home model, but they are inextricably linked, says Dr. Craig Samitt, M.B.A., president and CEO of Dean Health System. Dr. Samitt discusses how ACOs complement the medical home model, the pros and cons of mandatory and voluntary ACOs and creating reimbursement strategies for ACOs.

Listen to this podcast.

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