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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Three years after the last Commonwealth Fund international health system comparison, the news hasn't changed much. Even with one more country — the Netherlands — added to the mix, the U.S. healthcare system still ranks last in six key performance areas. A featured story in this issue, the report highlights glaring inefficiencies in a system that spent nearly twice as much per capita — $7,290 — on healthcare in 2007 as did the first-ranked Netherlands healthcare system.

This year, the U.S. once again placed last when it comes to providing safe care, and next to last on coordinated care. Happily, there are some movements on the horizon to reverse these trends. This week we profile Kaiser's Safe Transitions program that is reducing medication-related adverse events in the payor's skilled nursing facility population.

You'll also read about a NJ-based collaborative of 50 healthcare organizations doing its part to improve system efficiency by reducing hospitalizations and readmissions among patients with heart failure. The CDC estimates that heart failure will cost the United States $39.2 billion in 2010 — in healthcare services, medications, and lost productivity.

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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June 28, 2010
Vol. XII, No. 24

Sponsored by:
Minimum Medical Loss Ratios — How Health Plans Should Prepare for the January Compliance Requirements

This week's industry news:

  1. U.S. Still Ranks Last on Health System Performance Based on Quality, Efficiency
  2. 2010 Healthcare Benchmarks Yearbook
  3. Kaiser Safe Transitions Reduces Adverse Drug Events in SNF Population
  4. Improving Medication Adherence Through the Medical Home Model
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Ways to Favorably Leverage Healthcare Costs
  6. Parenting Style Can Prevent Binge Drinking Among Teens
  7. New Chart: Medical Home Transformation
  8. Three Pillars of Health Coaching
  9. NJ Collaborative Primed to Reduce Readmissions for Heart Failure
  10. Reducing Readmissions for Heart Failure Patients
  11. CMS Proposes New Rules to Ensure Equal Visitation Rights
  12. Hospitals in a Medical Home
  13. HealthSounds Podcast: Priority Health Reduces Avoidable Readmissions
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.) U.S. Still Ranks Last on Health System Performance Based on Quality, Efficiency, Access

Despite having the most expensive healthcare system, the U.S. ranks last overall compared to six other industrialized countries — Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — on measures of health system performance in five areas.

Get the full story.

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

2010 Healthcare Benchmarks Yearbook This resource is a comprehensive collection of benchmarks in key areas of healthcare activity and growth: the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), reducing readmissions, 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.) Kaiser Safe Transitions Reduces Adverse Drug Events in SNF Population

Dr. Beth Chester, senior director of clinical pharmacy services and quality at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, describes Kaiserís Safe Transitions program and how it can reduce adverse events during discharge from a skilled nursing facility (SNF).

Get the full story.

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4.) Improving Medication Adherence Through the Medical Home Model

Improving Medication Adherence Through the Medical Home Model With approximately half of the population using at least one prescription medication and nearly three-quarters of all physician office visits involving medication therapy, how can the medical home raise medication adherence and compliance levels, and what are the potential financial gains to be realized? This report answers these questions by prescribing effective tactics and disease-specific success stories for in-house management of medication therapy — from the use of technology to drafting virtual or co-located pharmacists to the medical home team.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: The Moment of Force — Four New Ways to Favorably Leverage Healthcare Costs

By resting your financial lever on one of four new healthcare cost-saving fulcrums, you can reduce the burden of employee healthcare costs more easily and effectively than by brute force. In fact, the solution is less about muscle than it is about manipulating simple techniques to maximize employee health. Learn more about these cost-saving strategies in this white paper.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Parenting Style Can Prevent Binge Drinking Among Teens

Parenting style strongly and directly affects teens when it comes to heavy drinking — defined as having five or more drinks in a row — according to a Brigham Young University study.

Get the full story.

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7.) New Chart: Time Needed for Medical Home Transformation

Medical Home Transformation

Patient-centered medical home (PCMH) pilots are in high gear around the country and high on the healthcare reform agenda. We wanted to see how long it takes a physician practice to transform itself into a full patient-centered medical home.

Click here to view the chart.

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8.) Three Pillars of Health Coaching: Patient Activation, Motivational Interviewing and Positive Psychology

Three Pillars of Health Coaching This resource provides the fundamentals of three essential tools — Patient Activation Measure™, motivational interviewing and positive psychology — that health coaches can use to elicit behavior change, move clients along the path to self-management and have a positive impact on health outcomes and utilization.

Learn more about this resource.

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9.) NJ Collaborative Primed to Reduce Readmissions for Heart Failure

More than 5 million individuals in the U.S. suffer from chronic heart failure, making it one of the most common reasons for hospitalizations and readmissions. To address this costly issue, the New Jersey Hospital Associationís (NJHA) Institute for Quality and Patient Safety launched a yearlong collaborative partnership to reduce hospital readmissions due to heart failure.

Get the full story.

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10.) Reducing Readmissions for Heart Failure Patients: A Multidisciplinary Approach for the Medicare Population

Reducing Readmissions for Heart Failure Patients Learn how Hackensack Hospital is reducing readmissions of heart failure patients through a program of continuous care, patient education and self-management.

Learn more about this resource.

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11.) CMS Proposes New Rules to Ensure Equal Visitation Rights for All Hospital Patients

CMS has proposed new rules for hospitals that would protect patientsí rights to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay, including visitors who are same-sex domestic partners.

Get the full story.

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12.) Hospitals in a Medical Home: Partners in Enhancing Access, Health Status and Cost Avoidance

Hospitals in a Medical Home In this resource, the director of a medical home network demonstrates how hospitals can partner with medical homes to deliver patient-centered care to uninsured and low-income patients while reaping the financial benefits associated with decreased utilization and duplication of services.

Learn more about this resource.

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13.) HealthSounds Podcast: Priority Health Reduces Avoidable Hospital Readmissions

Mary Cooley Priority Health members play an active role in keeping themselves out of the hospital, explains Mary Cooley, manager of case and disease management at Priority Health. She describes the four-point strategy that is reducing readmissions at Priority Health, the challenges that still exist and the essential tool that Priority supplies to help providers identify and close care gaps.

Listen to this podcast.

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