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From the editor

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Despite President Obama's impassioned campaign for healthcare reform legislation by August 7, the Senate acknowledged late last week that it would not complete the job before leaving for its summer recess. Citizens working shortened work weeks — or not working at all due to job loss or mandatory furloughs — may wish Congress would just stick around and get the job done so the national economy can begin to right itself from the financial impact of runaway healthcare costs, among other factors.

In the meantime, I took a look at the public Web site where recipients of federal stimulus dollars are required to post funding notifications and financial and activity reports each week. In recent HHS activity, there was $3 million in funding over the next 18 months to support career scientists, development of a Web site and hotline to provide information for workers denied COBRA claims (one of our featured stories this week), and $90 million to improve access to vital drinking water and wastewater services in the American Indian and Alaska Native communities. While it's gratifying to see some healthcare improvement activities going forward, it's time to focus on the major task at hand — addressing rising costs and access to care.

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 27, 2009
Vol. XI, No. 28

Sponsored by:
Meet the Medical Home Neighbor: Accountable Care Organizations

This week's industry news:

  1. Care Pathways, Telemonitoring Foster Self-Management
  2. Model Medical Homes: Benchmarks and Case Studies in Patient-Centered Care
  3. Jackson Surgical Assistants Company Helps Improve Operating Room Productivity
  4. Hospitals in a Medical Home: Partners in Enhancing Access, Health Status and Cost Avoidance
  5. Healthcare Business White Paper: Encouraging Independence — Promoting CDHPs and Decision Support Tools in the Workplace
  6. Hispanic American Groups Differ in Levels, Types of Substance Abuse
  7. Designing, Implementing and Managing Treatment Services for Individuals with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
  8. New Report Offers Policy Recommendations for Including Long-Term Care Services in Healthcare Reform
  9. NOT ur parents' healthcare anymore: The 411 on selling health via new media
  10. Web Site, Toll-free Line Assist Unemployed Workers in Appealing COBRA Denials
  11. Improving Patient Collections in an Unhealthy Economy: Technologies and Processes to Speed Payments
  12. HealthSounds Podcast: Anatomy of an Accountable Care Organization
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.) Care Pathways, Telemonitoring Foster Self-Management

As part of its successful medical home pilot, Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) has crafted patient education tools that support nurse case managers in their care coordination efforts, whether conveyed to the patient telephonically or face to face, explains Janet Tomcavage, R.N., M.S.N., GHP's vice president of health services.

ďFor example, thereís no better way to teach foot care to diabetics than to have them take off their shoes and socks when they come into the office and show them the parts of the feet that they need to look at."

Get the full story.

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2.) Model Medical Homes: Benchmarks and Case Studies in Patient-Centered Care

Model Medical Homes This resource is a landmark publication that documents the healthcare industry's adoption of the patient-centered medical home model of care. This exclusive 65-page report analyzes the responses of more than 220 healthcare organizations to HIN's 2009 Industry Survey on the Patient-Centered Medical Home Model and contains case studies on medical home adoption by Geisinger Health Plan, MetCare, Reardon Consulting, the HealthQuilt Quality Health Record and Hagen Wall Consulting.

Learn more about this resource.

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3.) Jackson Surgical Assistants Company Helps Improve Operating Room Productivity

Jackson Healthcare has created a national surgical assistant management company, called Jackson Surgical Assistants, which helps surgeons and hospitals improve operating room productivity. The company uses precision process management to help hospitals with recruiting, placement, scheduling and billing support of trained clinicians to assist during surgery — ultimately raising operating room profitability.

Get the full story.

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

Hospitals in a Medical Home In this special report, 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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5.) Healthcare Business White Paper: Encouraging Independence — Promoting CDHPs and Decision Support Tools in the Workplace

Rising costs, shifts in employment and ever-changing benefits plans are driving a cross-industry move to alternative HR services that give employees clear information, more relevant choices and greater autonomy. The problem is this: No matter how good a new service is, it wonít be successful if employees donít use it. Luckily, a strategic communications program can encourage employee adoption of new services such as CDHPs and decision support tools at a cost that quickly pays for itself. Discover the elements of such a communication strategy in this white paper.

Download this complimentary white paper.

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6.) Hispanic American Groups Differ in Levels, Types of Substance Abuse

Nearly 8.3 percent of all Americans of Hispanic origin ages 12 or over were classified as needing treatment in the past year for alcohol disorders, according to a new national study. The study by SAMHSA also reveals that only 7.7 percent of these over 2.6 million Hispanic Americans with drinking disorders received the help they needed at a specialty treatment facility.

Get the full story.

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7.) Designing, Implementing and Managing Treatment Services for Individuals with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Blueprints for Action

Designing, Implementing and Managing Treatment Services Sequential or parallel treatments for co-occurring disorders are much less effective than a quality co-occurring treatment program. Most mental health and substance abuse professionals know how to provide an effective program for individuals with a substance use or mental health disorder, but few are aware of the issues involved in providing services for those with dual diagnosis. This book gives you the tools you need to develop an effective program specific to co-occurring treatment as well as to implement and manage the program's services.

Learn more about this resource.

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8.) New Report Offers Policy Recommendations for Including Long-Term Care Services in Healthcare Reform

The SCAN Foundation has released a policy report by Georgetown University researchers presenting four distinct policy options for including long-term care support and services in healthcare reform. The report comes on the heels of a national omnibus survey on long-term care, also from The SCAN Foundation, showing that nearly 80 percent of Americans would be more likely to support a healthcare reform package that includes improved coverage for long-term care services.

Get the full story.

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9.) NOT ur parents' healthcare anymore: The 411 on selling health via new media

NOT ur parents' healthcare anymore This resource provides detailed experiences of three healthcare marketers on their novel marketing and product development tactics of traditional healthcare and health insurance products that are grabbing the attention of Generation X and Generation Y.

Learn more about this resource.

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10.) Web Site, Toll-free Line Assist Unemployed Workers in Appealing COBRA Denials

CMS has a new Web site and helpline where certain unemployed workers may request expedited review of a denial by their former employers of eligibility for COBRA premium assistance under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Get the full story.

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11.) Improving Patient Collections in an Unhealthy Economy: Technologies and Processes to Speed Payments

Improving Patient Collections Within the context of the current economic environment, coupled with the increase of high-deductible health plans, many healthcare organizations are seeing a lag in patient payments. From an assessment of current processes to how operational issues and technology can improve the revenue cycle, industry experts from Beacon Partners provide practical strategies, techniques and tools to improve patient collections without alienating patients.

Learn more about this resource.

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12.) HealthSounds Podcast: Anatomy of an Accountable Care Organization

Dr. Craig Samitt 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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