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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Access to specialty care is a challenge, particularly for safety net patients or those in rural areas. Telemedicine is one way to improve this access, as demonstrated by a joint telemedicine initiative between the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and a 250-bed nursing home 150 miles away. In a featured story this week, learn how nursing home patients with Parkinson's disease "visit" with movement disorder specialists at URMC without ever leaving the nursing home, and the resulting effect on patient quality of life, motor function and satisfaction with care.

Another unique telemedicine program delivers "curbside consults" and interactive telemedicine with behavioral health specialists to safety net patients who are part of a unique medical home pilot program in Texas. To learn more about the HealthQuilt initiative and its "telepsychiatry" application for patients with depression, visit the HIN blog.

Both telemedicine systems are low-tech and low-cost, consisting of a laptop, software and a Web camera that allows the physicians to interact with and visually assess patients. Telemedicine has its limitations, and not all payors are willing to reimburse for it. But with expanded demand and federal funding for health IT, it will be interesting to watch how the role of telemedicine evolves during healthcare reform.

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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June 22, 2009
Vol. XI, No. 23

Sponsored by:
Healthcare Trends in 2009 — A Mid-Year Financial and Legislative Update

This week's industry news:

  1. Measuring the Performance of Health Coaches
  2. Health Coaching Playbook Vol. I: All-Star Tips on Hiring, Training, Technology and ROI
  3. Hospital Patient Safety Grants Focus on Medication Reconciliation, Infection Reduction
  4. Medication Reconciliation Strategies to Reduce Hospital Adverse Drug Events
  5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Care Transitions Across Sites — Closing Gaps in Healthcare Settings
  6. Personality Linked to Body's Ability to Withstand Stress
  7. Stress in Health and Disease
  8. Telemedicine Expands Reach of Specialty Care for Nursing Home Parkinsonís Patients
  9. Health IT in Care Management to Improve Health and Effect Behavior Change
  10. HHS Workgroup Begins to Define 'Meaningful Use' of EHRs
  11. Risks and Liabilities in EMRs: Protecting Privacy, Avoiding Penalties and Litigation
  12. Featured HealthSounds Podcast: Under One Roof — Integrating Primary Care and Behavioral Healthcare in the Medical Home
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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This week's industry news

1.) Measuring the Performance of Health Coaches

Two industry experts in health coaching describe how their organizations measure the performances of telephonic and online coaches.

Question: Are there different measures for evaluating the efforts of telephonic and online coaches?

Response: (Darcy Hurlbert, Ceridian LifeWorks) For telephonic coaching, we look at outcomes — quit rate, percent weight lost — metrics around that. We administer satisfaction surveys at three months post-enrollment. We look at coach satisfaction and on-time rates. How many calls are they completing within the allotted number of days and on time within a 24-hour turnaround?

Get the full story.

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2.) Health Coaching Playbook Vol. I: All-Star Tips on Hiring, Training, Technology and ROI

Health Coaching Playbook Vol. I To provide essential background on key health coaching considerations, the Healthcare Intelligence Network has assembled responses to popular FAQs in a single comprehensive resource. In the Health Coaching Playbook Vol. I: All-Star Tips on Hiring, Training, Technology and ROI, 12 health coaching strategists answer more than 50 questions related to recruiting a team of behavior change agents, equipping them with the tools and technology to foster behavior change and utilizing metrics and measurements to evaluate coach performance and program success. They draw upon their real-life coaching experiences to share practical advice that can help to reduce healthcare costs and prepare organizations for the next generation of health coaching.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Hospital Patient Safety Grants Focus on Medication Reconciliation, Infection Reduction

The Cardinal Health Foundation has awarded a total of $1 million in grants for new and innovative programs to improve patient safety at 35 hospitals, health systems and community health clinics across the country. Grants of up to $35,000 per facility will provide funding for programs that implement creative and replicable methods to improve the quality of patient care.

Get the full story.

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4.) Medication Reconciliation Strategies to Reduce Hospital Adverse Drug Events

Medication Reconciliation Strategies In this special report, two experts describe their hospital's emphasis on quality and perfect care processes and provide the inside details on their medication management programs, which have a goal of eliminating adverse drug events.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: Care Transitions Across Sites — Closing Gaps in Healthcare Settings

When transitioning patients from one healthcare setting to another, itís not uncommon to encounter gaps in care that have the potential to negatively impact their health. To remedy this problem and reduce associated costs, organizations are taking steps to better plan patients' care transitions and close these gaps in care. These simple strategies can have a significant effect on health outcomes, likelihood of readmission and ER visits, cost to patients, providers and insurers and the burden on caregivers and family members. This white paper from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN) is based on HINís April 2009 e-survey in which respondents were asked to share their organizationís care transitions programs.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Personality Linked to Body's Ability to Withstand Stress

Humans' ability to withstand stress-related, inflammatory diseases may be associated, not just with humans' race and sex, but with humans' personality as well, according to a study published in the July issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

Get the full story.

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7.) Stress in Health and Disease

Stress in Health and Disease Stress in Health and Disease is focused on the various causes of stress and its neuro-cognitive and biological implications. World-renowned authors from Europe as well as the U.S. describe how stress affects the brain of young people and adults. The authors cover the topic from all perspectives, showing how stress affects life in general, from the societal and organizational level to the individual, organ and molecular level.

Learn more about this resource.

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8.) Telemedicine Expands Reach of Specialty Care for Nursing Home Parkinson's Patients

An innovative telemedicine project is providing distant nursing home patients with Parkinson's disease access to neurologists at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). A pilot study of the project demonstrates that the system can improve the quality of life and motor function of patients.

Get the full story.

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9.) Health IT in Care Management to Improve Health and Effect Behavior Change

Health IT in Care Management The most sophisticated technology in the world will not engage patients and members in health improvement if they are not convinced of the value of the program to their health, the commitment of their providers to the process and the credibility of the entire care team. Those are some of the findings detailed in Health IT in Care Management to Improve Health and Effect Behavior Change, which describes the enrollment and engagement of patients in telemedicine programs in a variety of care settings.

Learn more about this resource.

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10.) HHS Workgroup Begins to Define 'Meaningful Use' of EHRs

Building on the historic $19 billion investment for Health IT provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), the HIT Policy Committee, a Federal Advisory Committee (FACA) to the HHS, has begun to define 'meaningful use' of EHRs.

Get the full story.

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11.) Risks and Liabilities in EMRs: Protecting Privacy, Avoiding Penalties and Litigation

Delivering Disease Management to Medically Underserved During this audio conference, authoritative panelists identified the challenging legal issues, outlined the major risks and potential liabilities in managing EHRs, and offered best practices and practical solutions to avoid litigation and penalties.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) Featured HealthSounds Podcast: Under One Roof — Integrating Primary Care and Behavioral Healthcare in the Medical Home

Liz Reardon Individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses are likely to die 20 years earlier than people without such conditions, says Liz Reardon, president of Reardon Consulting and a member of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (NCCBH) Integration Consulting Team. Putting the right medical home services in place for adults with chronic mental illness can help to reduce this disparity, suggests Reardon, explaining why the earliest medical homes for children with complex health needs are great models for behavioral healthcare organizations.

Listen to this podcast.

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