Infographic: Speed Dating Health Analytics Vendors

March 22nd, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Value-based care (VBC) has many benefits, but it's a massive effort, according to a new infographic by 3M. It changes the entire delivery system. Healthcare organizations need outside help, especially with the data side but choosing a partner is tough.

The infographic examines three tried-and-true qualities to look for in a health analytics vendor.

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results Between Medicare's aggressive migration to value-based payment models and MACRA's 2017 Quality Payment Program rollout, healthcare providers must accept the inevitability of participation in fee-for-quality reimbursement design—as well as cultivating a grounding in health data analytics to enhance success.

As an early adopter of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and the largest sponsor of MSSP accountable care organizations (ACOs), Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) is uniquely positioned to advise providers on the benefits of data analytics and technology, which CHS views as a major driver in its achievements in the MSSP arena. In performance year 2014, nine of CHS's 24 MSSP ACOs generated savings and received payments of almost $27 million.

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results examines program goals, platforms, components, development strategies, target populations and health conditions, patient engagement metrics, results and challenges reported by more than 100 healthcare organizations responding to the February 2016 Digital Health survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

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Infographic: Medicine, Millennials and Mobile

March 20th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Telehealth is becoming a bigger part of the U.S. medical landscape each year, according to a new infographic by URAC.

The infographic examines the growing number of businesses that currently offer or plan to offer telehealth benefits as part of their employee health benefit package and the key driver of this expansion.

Real-time remote management of high-risk populations curbed hospitalizations, hospital readmissions and ER visits for more than 80 percent of respondents and boosted self-management levels for nearly all remotely monitored patients, according to 2014 market data from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN).

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care Management profiles a successful eight-year initiative by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation's (NYCHHC) House Calls Telehealth Program that significantly lowered patients' A1C blood glucose levels.

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Infographic: Big Data Challenges

March 17th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare organizations rely on a narrow swatch of data, thus creating a big hurdle in effectively predicting and preventing claim fraud, waste and abuse (FWA) with advanced profiling and analytics, according to a new infographic by SCIO Health Analytics.

The infographic looks at the sources of data used to identify FWA, levels of sophisticated analytics data use and the type of analytic resources used.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Data Analytics and IntegrationThe 2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Data Analytics and Integration assembles hundreds of metrics on data analytics and integration from hospitals, health plans, physician practices and other responding organizations, charting the impact of data analytics on population health management, health outcomes, utilization and cost.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Data Analytics and Integration examines the goals, data types, collection processes, program elements, challenges and successes shared by healthcare organizations responding to the January 2016 Data Analytics survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network. Click here for more information.

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HINfographic: Home Visits Curb Readmissions and ER Utilization

March 15th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Seventy percent of healthcare organizations providing care to patients in their homes attributed a reduction in either hospital readmissions or in ER utilization to those home visits, according to the December 2016 Home Visits survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

A new infographic by HIN examines the populations targeted by home visits, the primary purpose during a home visit and a promising home visit protocol.

2017 Healthcare Benchmarks: Home Visits Visiting targeted patients at home, especially high utilizers and those with chronic comorbid conditions, can illuminate health-related, socioeconomic or safety determinants that might go undetected during an office visit. Increasingly, home visits have helped to reduce unplanned hospitalizations or emergency department visits by these patients.

2017 Healthcare Benchmarks: Home Visits examines the latest trends in home visits for medical purposes, from populations visited to top health tasks performed in the home to results and ROI from home interventions.

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Infographic: Transitional Care Management

March 13th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Transitional Care ManagementMedicare's billing codes for Transitional Care Management (TCM) highlight the importance of timely post-discharge contact with patients by provider offices, and timely face-to-face follow up and evaluation by TCM providers. Incorporating automated patient communications can facilitate efficient and effective handoffs, and support a consistent track of care to help providers earn TCM reimbursements and avoid hospital readmission penalties, according to a new infographic by West Healthcare.

The infographic looks at the financial impact of reducing readmission penalties and examines how automated patient communications can improve care transitions.

A Leading Care Transitions Model: Addressing Social Health Determinants Through Targeted Home VisitsSun Health, an Arizona non-profit organization, launched its Sun Health Care Transitions program in November 2011. Modeled after the Coleman Care Transitions Intervention® and adapted to meet the needs of its community, the program has been credited with keeping readmission rates well below the national average.

Sun Health's program was part of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' National Demonstration Program, Community-Based Care Transitions Program, which ended in January. Not only did Sun Health lead the CMS demonstration project with the lowest readmission rates, Sun Health also widened the gap between their expected 30-day readmission rate (56 percent lower than expected) and their expected 90-day readmission rate (60 percent less than expected).

During A Leading Care Transitions Model: Addressing Social Health Determinants Through Targeted Home Visits, a March 23, 2017 webinar at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, Jennifer Drago, FACHE, executive vice president, population health, Sun Health, will share the key features of the care transitions program, along with the critical, unique elements that lead to its success.

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Healthcare Reacts to AHCA: Providers ‘Cannot Support Legislation As Drafted’

March 13th, 2017 by Patricia Donovan

American Health Care ActLast week's unveiling of G.O.P. legislation designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) triggered a flurry of concerns and criticisms from healthcare industry sectors.

The proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) would eliminate Obamacare's individual mandate and put in place refundable tax credits for individuals to purchase health insurance. It also proposes restructuring Medicaid and defunding Planned Parenthood. However, the bill seeks to maintain protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions and to permit children to remain on their parents' insurance plans until they reach the age of 26.

As of last Friday, the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) had cleared two committees in the U.S. House of Representatives; a final House vote on the bill is expected the week of March 20.

In a letter to leaders of the House committees that will mark up the AHCA, the American Medical Association (AMA) rejected the ACA replacement bill. In the letter, AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, MD, stated that his organization "cannot support the AHCA as drafted because of the expected decline in health
insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations."

In particular, the AMA, the nation's largest physicians' group representing more than 220,000 doctors, residents, and medical students, objected to the bill's proposed restructuring of Medicaid, claiming it "would limit states’ ability to respond to changes in service demands and threaten coverage for people with low incomes."

The AMA's position was also outlined in a statement issued by Andrew W. Gurman, MD, AMA president.

Meanwhile, the American Hospital Association (AHA), which counts 5,000 hospitals among its members, also opposed the AHCA. In a news release, Rick Pollack, AHA president and CEO, stated that the AHA "cannot support The American Health Care Act in its current form." The AHA stated that it would be difficult to evaluate the bill without coverage estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Echoing AMA apprehension over proposed Medicaid restructuring, Pollack stated that the AHA feared the bill "will have the effect of making significant reductions in a program that provides services to our most vulnerable populations, and already pays providers significantly less than the cost of providing care."

Although Pollack lauded recent Congessional efforts to address behavioral health issues, including the growing opioid abuse epidemic, he stressed that "significant progress in these areas is directly related to whether individuals have coverage. And, we have already seen clear evidence of how expanded coverage is helping to address these high-priority needs."

Also seeking adequate Medicaid funding in the AHCA was America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a national association whose 1,300 members provide coverage for healthcare and related services to more than 200 million Americans.

In a letter to two key House committees, AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner stated that "Medicaid health plans are at the forefront of providing coverage for and access to behavioral health services and treatment for opioid use disorders, and insufficient funding could jeopardize the progress being made on these important public health fronts."

However, AHIP commended the proposed legislation for its "number of positive steps to help stabilize the market and create a bridge to a reformed market during the 2018 and 2019 transition period" and "pledged to work collaboratively to shape the final legislation."

"AHIP members are committed to reducing cost growth by using value-based care arrangements and other innovative programs to address chronic illnesses and better manage the care of the highest-need patients," Tavenner concluded.

In a statement on Friday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, MD, committing his agency to using its regulatory authority to create greater flexibility in the Medicaid program for states, including "a review of existing waiver procedures to provide states the impetus and freedom to innovate and test new ideas to improve access to care and health outcomes."

Infographic: Understanding the Healthcare Information Universe

March 10th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Five percent of Google searches are health-related, equating to roughly five billion health-related searches every month, according to a new infographic by Scribewise.

For healthcare providers, this is a significant opportunity. Healthcare providers are generally mission-driven organizations committed to keeping their community healthy. Healthcare content marketing – creating and delivering high quality, medically-accurate health and wellness information into the marketplace – helps a healthcare provider fulfill its mission.

The infographic details the universe of healthcare information in 2017.

Understanding the Healthcare Information Universe

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results Between Medicare's aggressive migration to value-based payment models and MACRA's 2017 Quality Payment Program rollout, healthcare providers must accept the inevitability of participation in fee-for-quality reimbursement design—as well as cultivating a grounding in health data analytics to enhance success.

As an early adopter of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and the largest sponsor of MSSP accountable care organizations (ACOs), Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) is uniquely positioned to advise providers on the benefits of data analytics and technology, which CHS views as a major driver in its achievements in the MSSP arena. In performance year 2014, nine of CHS's 24 MSSP ACOs generated savings and received payments of almost $27 million.

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results examines program goals, platforms, components, development strategies, target populations and health conditions, patient engagement metrics, results and challenges reported by more than 100 healthcare organizations responding to the February 2016 Digital Health survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today. Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Guest Post: EHRs, Artificial Intelligence and Empathy

March 9th, 2017 by Basil Hayek and Paul Penta, Sapient Health

social_business_strategyCan melding the best of electronic health records (EHRs) and artificial intelligence foster greater empathy among healthcare providers? Basil Hayek, Director of Business Consulting, Sapient Health, and Paul Penta, Manager of Business Consulting, Sapient Health, examine that possibility in this guest post.

EHRs, artificial intelligence, and empathy: If this were a Sesame Street segment, it would be easy to pick the one that is not like the others. But could combining the first two actually enable greater empathy?

First, let's set some context. Industry-wide, there is a high degree of dissatisfaction amongst physicians with EHRs. This can result from the increased clerical burden, poor user interfaces, and feeling of cookbook medicine. These challenges add to the burden already faced by physicians, and contribute to burnout, sub-optimal prescribing and referral behaviors, and erosion of clinician empathy.

As empathy diminishes, so do outcomes. Studies across multiple conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and the common cold, found evidence supporting this hypothesis. In addition, a broad evidence review saw a consistent positive association between patient experience, patient safety and clinical effectiveness. As clinician empathy can dramatically influence a patient’s experience, it can be surmised that empathy is a contributing factor.

There are various approaches to addressing EHR challenges. Healthcare organizations are deploying scribes, tablets and optimization programs. Legislative and policy changes are in the works. Although not enacted before the end of the congressional session, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee introduced a bill last year to help improve EHR usability. In addition, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within the Department of Health & Human Services has called for certification requirements on EHR usability.

Ultimately, healthcare provider satisfaction with EHRs will improve through these tactics. That's not to say that EHRs cannot move from simply meeting a HCP’s expectations to exceeding them. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) will play a role.

When AI is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is probably IBM's Watson. Watson, which gained fame for winning Jeopardy against two former champions in 2011, has dramatically evolved its cognitive capability and reach to make an impact in various industries, including healthcare. Healthcare providers can use Watson to analyze medical records, assist in diagnosis, and help find evidence-based treatments, and its capabilities continue to grow. These developments are exciting, but only hint at what is achievable, which includes helping to achieve the Quadruple Aim of an improved patient experience, improved population health, reduced costs, and an improved clinician experience.

AI can contribute in realizing the Quadruple Aim due to its ability to efficiently analyze large volumes of data, discover patterns, and make logical inferences. The potential population health and cost implications resulting from AI are fairly self-evident. What is intriguing is how AI can play a role in helping improve the provider and patient experience. How this could come together is better told through two scenarios.

Scenario 1:

Consider 47-year-old Gary, recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He is due for a follow-up with his doctor to review his treatment after completing blood work. In the first scenario, Gary is trying to navigate his diagnosis in the current state environment.

Because of a lab location that requires him to drive instead of taking public transit, Gary misses three scheduled lab appointments and is forced to reschedule his follow-up. When he finally completes his labs and meets with his doctor, she seems hurried and spends most of the time looking at her laptop as she updates Gary’s chart. Although she notes his A1Cs have risen, she opts to continue the same regimen until his next appointment. Gary leaves feeling uncertain about the effectiveness of his medication, and has doubts on whether the side effects of heartburn and indigestion are worth it.

Now, let’s look at a version of this same narrative where AI enables a better all-around experience.

Scenario 2:

After Gary misses his first lab appointment, the AI-enhanced EHR offers to reschedule at a location one stop away from his house. He attends that appointment and keeps his follow-up with his doctor. Prior to this appointment, his doctor reviews an AI-generated clinical summary, which highlights key factors to consider for Gary’s treatment and confirms that she has reviewed the latest research relevant to Gary’s condition and history.

She greets Gary when he arrives and asks how he’s doing with the medication. When he mentions heartburn and indigestion, she acknowledges they’re common side effects, and recommends that he be diligent about taking it with food and using an antacid until the side effects diminish.

She turns Gary’s attention to a large wall-mounted screen showing a patient-optimized view of his health record. She uses a tablet as a second screen to direct the conversation via a physician view. Gary sees his blood glucose trends and notices that the side effects he just mentioned are in his record. As they discuss additional medication to help control Gary’s rising A1Cs, the doctor asks Gary to confirm the accuracy of the displayed list of medications and supplements. Gary mentions he has also started taking low dose aspirin.

Shortly after he says this, aspirin appears on the screen. The physician view on her tablet alerts her of new research indicating an interaction between aspirin and a candidate medication. With this information, she recommends an alternative combination drug, and Gary walks out with a new prescription and confidence in managing his diabetes.

Conclusion:

In the second scenario, AI enabled the following technologies and associated benefits to provide an alternate and improved experience:

  • Prescriptive analytics based on clinical and socio-demographic perspectives of EHR data: offloads intent from the patient and reduce barriers to care;
  • Context-aware clinical natural language processing: offloads data entry from the physician, and allows the patient to more naturally participate in the treatment conversation;
  • Cognitive computing to assess medical evidence: allows physicians to more easily review information relevant to a specific patient.

These enablers are neither new nor novel. However, combined they provide unobtrusive interventions that reduce the clerical and cognitive burden on physicians and provide improved opportunities for patient engagement. With time to think and a renewed focus on the person sitting in front of them, physicians can return to an empathy-driven encounter, and everyone wins.

About the Authors:

Basil Hayek, Director of Business Consulting, Sapient Health

Basil Hayek, Director of Business Consulting, Sapient Health

Basil Hayek is responsible for digital strategy and delivery for Sapient Health. He supports a broad portfolio of clients, with a focus on health plans, pharmacy, and retail health. He gets excited about bringing together his technology, data, and product background to drive engagement and deliver business results for companies and better health outcomes for individuals. Basil graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Computer Science.

Paul Penta, Manager of Business Consulting, Sapient Health

Paul Penta, Manager of Business Consulting, Sapient Health


As a Manager of Business Consulting at Sapient Health, Paul Penta draws on his experience building technology for patients in a clinical chronic care environment to enable digital change in healthcare organizations. With a focus on digital and technology strategy, Paul always keeps the patient at the center of the experience. Often taking on a cross-functional role, Paul excels in leading the strategic merger of process and product to achieve impactful metrics. Paul received an MBA from Boston University.


HIN Disclaimer: The opinions, representations and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of the Healthcare Intelligence Network as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

Infographic: Comparing the Affordable Care Act and the House Republican Bill

March 8th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Comparing the Affordable Care Act and the House Republican BillRepublicans in the U.S. House of Representatives released on Monday legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

A new infographic by the New York Times compares the key features of ACA with what has been proposed by the House Republicans.

Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2017: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry Not in recent history has the outcome of a U.S. presidential election portended so much for the healthcare industry. Will the Trump administration repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? What will be the fate of MACRA? Will Medicare and Medicaid survive?

These and other uncertainties compound an already daunting landscape that is steering healthcare organizations toward value-based care and alternative payment models and challenging them to up their quality game.

Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2017: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry, HIN's 13th annual business forecast, is designed to support healthcare C-suite planning during this historic transition as leaders prepare for both a new year and new presidential leadership.

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Infographic: Technology and the 21st-Century Medicine Bag

March 6th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

The traditional clinician's medicine bag is now a thing of the past, but its replacement promises to be even more useful as a means of facilitating better patient care, according to a new infographic by Transcend Insight. Now, a doctor's visit is facilitated via laptop or with a smartphone -- technologies and products of healthcare innovation.

Healthcare innovation, in fact, is transforming everything from how physicians diagnose and treat their patients to how healthcare systems are reimbursed for their services. Here’s a quick look at how that transformation is unfolding, and how four key technologies in particular have become critical components of modern-day medicine.

Technology and the 21st-Century Medicine Bag

Remote Patient Monitoring for Chronic Condition Management: Leveraging Technology in a Value-Based System Encouraged by early success in coaching 23 patients to wellness at home via remote monitoring, CHRISTUS Health expanded its remote patient monitoring (RPM) enrollment to 170 high-risk, high-cost patients. At that scaling-up juncture, the challenge for CHRISTUS shifted to balancing its mission of keeping patients healthy and in their homes with maintaining revenue streams sufficient to keep its doors open in a largely fee-for-service environment.

Remote Patient Monitoring for Chronic Condition Management: Leveraging Technology in a Value-Based System chronicles the evolution of the CHRISTUS RPM pilot, which is framed around a Bluetooth®-enabled monitoring kit sent home with patients at hospital discharge.

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today. Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.