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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

With a reduction in hospital readmissions to improve quality and achieve savings high on the healthcare reform agenda, the CMS Hospital Compare site is now providing data on 30-day readmissions rates for patients with heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. On average, about a fifth of patients with these conditions are rehospitalized within 30 days of discharge, a statistic CMS is hoping to influence with the publication of this data. The Hospital Compare measures are endorsed by the NQF and supported by the Hospital Quality Alliance. Also last week, a study published in an American Heart Association journal found that hospitals in New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Washington and Oregon had the least deaths and fewest hospital readmissions following a heart attack or heart failure. The worst performing states were Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Louisiana.

The availability of this data is good news for consumers who want to maximize their chances of a successful recovery from these conditions and for healthcare organizations hoping to reduce the cost of avoidable readmissions, especially for the Medicare population. The CMS readmission measures — as well as improved data on previously reported mortality rates — are risk-adjusted and take into account previous health problems to "level the playing field" among hospitals and to help ensure accuracy in performance reporting.

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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July 13, 2009
Vol. XI, No. 26

Sponsored by:
Finding Success in Health Behavior Change — A 45-Minute Interactive Roundtable

This week's industry news:

  1. Three Ways to Evaluate Health Coaching Performance
  2. Health Coaching Benchmarks: Operations and Performance Data for Optimal Program ROI and Participant Health Status
  3. CMS Hospital Compare Site Posts 30-day Readmission Rates
  4. Retooling Care Transitions to Reduce Hospitalizations in Medicare Patients
  5. Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: An Integrated Care Program For Chronically-Ill, High-Cost Patients Aims For Better Health Outcomes
  6. Family History Predicts Risks for Developing Mental Illnesses
  7. Tracking Mental Health Outcomes: A Therapist's Guide to Measuring Client Progress, Analyzing Data, and Improving Your Practice
  8. National Poll Shows Broad Support for Long-Term Care Reform
  9. Constructing Care Transitions to Reduce Hospital Admissions
  10. $40 Million in Grants Will Help Insure More Children
  11. Reducing Uncompensated Care Costs for the Chronically Ill Through a Medical Home Approach
  12. Featured HealthSounds Podcast: Upfront Investments in Uncompensated Care Management Pay Off
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.) Three Ways to Evaluate Health Coaching Performance

Three health coaching experts share their organization’s methods for evaluating a health coach’s performance to ensure client satisfaction.

Hummingbird Coaching Services provides a monthly report card to every coach, which includes customer review. “Much of it is quality reviews of their interactions with clients, and whether they followed the coaching model versus perhaps dipping into the prescriptive side,” explains Sean Slovenski, Hummingbird’s president and CEO.

Get the full story.

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2.) Health Coaching Benchmarks: Operations and Performance Data for Optimal Program ROI and Participant Health Status

Health Coaching Benchmarks Whether you're planning to launch a new health coaching program in the coming year or expanding an existing initiative, the key to success is access to reliable data to help you evaluate your program and compare performance and utilization data. This exclusive 35-page report analyzes the responses of more than 230 of your peer organizations to HIN's 2008 survey on health and wellness coaching, presenting the data in easy-to-follow graphs and tables. This industry snapshot is enhanced by recommendations and advice from 15 leading experts in health coaching on the most common coaching concerns --- from coaching caseloads to call center staffing to coaching intervention frequency and duration.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) CMS Hospital Compare Site Posts 30-day Readmission Rates

The CMS Hospital Compare Web site now reports on how frequently patients return to a hospital after being discharged for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia, a possible indicator of how well the facility did the first time around.

Get the full story.

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4.) Retooling Care Transitions to Reduce Hospitalizations in Medicare Patients

Retooling Care Transitions This special report is an essential resource for healthcare organizations wishing to evaluate their care transition efforts against best practices in the industry. This 40-page resource delivers current trends in care transition programs as well as advice and guidance from industry thought leaders on key elements of care transition programs — from enhancements to the hospital discharge process to medication reconciliation ideas to better utilization of home visits during care transitions.

Learn more about this resource.

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5.) Featured Healthcare Business White Paper: An Integrated Care Program For Chronically-Ill, High-Cost Patients Aims For Better Health Outcomes

McKesson Corporation and CMS Health Integrated provided CoverColorado with the nation’s first integrated care program for high-risk health plan participants. More than 3,000 people with chronic and high-cost health conditions now have access to an around-the-clock, integrated care program that includes both DM and case management services.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Family History Predicts Risks for Developing Mental Illnesses

Researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) have found that 30 minutes or less of question-and-answer about a patient’s family history of depression, anxiety or substance abuse is enough to predict the patient's approximate risks for developing each disorder and how severe their future illness is likely to be.

Get the full story.

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7.) Tracking Mental Health Outcomes: A Therapist's Guide to Measuring Client Progress, Analyzing Data and Improving Your Practice

Tracking Mental Health Outcomes Outcomes assessment has become an increasingly critical component of contemporary mental health practice, yet most therapists receive little or no training in accepted outcomes assessment and documentation methods. This resource fills this gap, providing step-by-step guidance on choosing the best outcomes-tracking methods and instruments for your practice. You’ll see how to integrate them into everyday clinical procedures and use the data they supply to improve the quality of care you provide as well as fully comply with insurance company and regulatory agency requirements.

Learn more about this resource.

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8.) National Poll Shows Broad Support for Long-Term Care Reform

A new survey shows that nearly 80 percent of people are more likely to support a healthcare reform proposal that improves coverage for long-term care services for seniors. Moreover, substantial majorities of Americans among all demographic groups, including gender, age, income and party affiliation, express deep concern about affording long-term care services as well as strong support for improving long-term care coverage as part of health reform.

Get the full story.

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9.) Constructing Care Transitions to Reduce Hospital Admissions

Care Site Inspections Already a focus on CMS' agenda this year, a focus on transitions in care can significantly affect health outcomes, ER utilization, cost to patients, providers and insurers and burdens on caregivers and family members. The Transitions of Care is a critical component of Geisinger Health Systems medical home program and a huge opportunity. During this webinar, Doreen Salek, director business operations of health services for Geisinger Health Plan, will share the essentials behind the transition teams for a medical home pilot at Geisinger that reduced hospital admissions by 20 percent and overall healthcare costs by 7 percent while improving patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes.

Learn more about this resource.

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10.) $40 Million in Grants Will Help Insure More Children

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the availability of up to $40 million in grants to help reach families whose children qualify but are not yet enrolled in state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP).

Get the full story.

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11.) Reducing Uncompensated Care Costs for the Chronically Ill Through a Medical Home Approach: A Health System Case Study

Reducing Uncompensated Care Costs During this webinar, two experts will describe how, with a small up-front investment, Baptist Health was able to manage its health system costs more effectively and provide care for chronic diseases in more appropriate settings.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) Featured HealthSounds Podcast: Upfront Investments in Uncompensated Care Management Pay Off

Dr. Ricardo Guggenheim Increasingly, uninsured patients are seeking chronic care via the ER, where they are stabalized, possibly admitted and eventually discharged. However, this cycle is not conducive to managing chronic diseases, and in the end will result in higher costs and poor quality of care for these individuals, says Dr. Ricardo Guggenheim, vice president of care management services at McKesson Health Solutions. Dr. Guggenheim discusses what areas stand to see improvements as a result of managed uncompensated care, why it is essential to invest in managing uninsured care costs and future plans for Mckesson's Care Advisor program.

Listen to this podcast.

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