Infographic: Telemedicine Trends

July 29th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Telemedicine is a growing field that is bringing healthcare into homes via computers, tablets or smartphones, according to a new infographic by Austin Benefits Group.

The infographic examines telemedicine trends, including potential savings from telemedicine, the expected number of telemedicine patients by 2018 and telemedicine reimbursement and outcomes.

The world of digitally enabled care is exploding: the number of patients using telehealth services will rise to 7 million in 2018, according to IHS Technology; healthcare apps and 'wearables' are trending in technology circles and healthcare providers' offices; and CMS's new 'Next Generation ACO' model is expected to favor expanded telehealth coverage.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine delivers actionable new telehealth metrics on technologies, program components, successes and ROI from 115 healthcare organizations. This 60-page report, now in its fourth year, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and telemedicine initiatives, with historical perspective from 2009 to present.

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Care Transitions Playbook Sets Transfer Rules for Post-Acute Network Members

July 28th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

St. Vincent's Health Partners best practices care transitions playbook documents more than 140 patient transfer protocols.

St. Vincent's Health Partners best practices care transitions playbook documents more than 140 patient transfer protocols.

A primary tool for Saint Vincent’s Health Partners Post-Acute Network is a playbook documenting more than 140 transitions for patients traveling from one care setting to another, including the elements of each transition and ways network members should hold each other accountable during the move. Here, Colleen Swedberg, MSN, RN, CNL, director of care coordination and integration for St. Vincent’s Health Partners, explains the playbook's data collection process and information storage and describes a typical care transition entry.

The playbook is made up of several sections, including one with current expectations, based on the Michigan Quality Improvement Consortium, which we can review online. From an evidence-based point of view, they’ve listed the evidence for many common conditions patients are seen for in medical management. This is kept up to date. This is an electronic document stored on our Web site that can only be accessed by individuals subscribed to the network. We’ve also put this on flash drives for various partners.

A second section contains actual metrics for any network contracts. The metrics appear in such a way that the highest standard is included. For example, physician providers, as long as they provide the highest level of care in the metric, can be sure they’re meeting all the metrics. Those metrics are based on HEDIS® standards.

The third section is the transition section, laid out in two to three pages. For example, a patient moves from the hospital inpatient setting to a skilled nursing facility, such as Jewish Senior Services. For that transition, the playbook documents all the necessary tools for that patient: a personal health record, a medication list, whatever is needed. Also included is any communication with the primary care physician, if that provider has been identified. Finally, this section identifies the responsibility of the sending setting—in this case, the hospital inpatient staff. What do they need to organize and make sure they’ve done before the patient leaves and starts that transition, and what is the responsibility of the receiving organization?

That framework is the same for every transition: the content and tools change according to the particular transition. A final section of the playbook details all of the tools used for care transitions. For example, in our network, we’re just now working on the use of reviews for acute care transfers, which is an INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers) tool. In fact, many settings, including all of our SNFs, as it turns out historically, have used that tool. This tool is in the playbook, along with the reference and expectation of when that tool would be used.

Source: Post-Acute Care Trends: Cross-Setting Collaborations to Align Clinical Standards and Provider Demands

http://hin.3dcartstores.com/Post-Acute-Care-Trends-Cross-Setting-Collaborations-to-Align-Clinical-Standards-and-Provider-Demands_p_5149.html

Post-Acute Care Trends: Cross-Setting Collaborations to Align Clinical Standards and Provider Demands examines a collaboration between the first URAC-accredited clinically integrated network in the country and one of its partnering PAC providers to map out and enhance a patient's journey through the network continuum—drilling down to improve the quality of the transition from acute to post-acute care.

Infographic: Substance Abuse Trends

July 27th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Substance abuse—involving drugs, alcohol or both—adversely impacts individuals, families and communities. Stopping substance abuse before it begins can increase a person's chance of living a longer, healthier and more productive life, according to a new infographic by Healthy People 2020.

The infographic examines adolescent alcohol or illicit drug use trends and Healthy People 2020 targets for adolescent substance use and binge drinking in adults.

Behavioral health conditions affect nearly one of five Americans, leading to healthcare costs of $57 billion a year, on par with cancer, according to a 2009 AHRQ brief. Despite this impact, and the ACA's provision for behavioral healthcare as an essential health benefit, progress toward total integration of behavioral healthcare into the primary care system has been slow.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care captures healthcare's efforts to achieve healthcare parity and honor the joint principles of the patient-centered medical home, including a whole person orientation and provision of coordinated and/or integrated care.

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Infographic: Increasing Patient Engagement with mHealth Apps

July 25th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

To improve the patient experience and increase patient engagement, providers are deploying mobile health (mHealth) apps, according to a new infographic by Vmware Inc. But how can healthcare IT diagnose with certainty which mHealth apps among thousands are compliant, secure and user-friendly?

The infographic examines mobile app trends in healthcare.

Intermountain Healthcare's strategic six-point patient engagement framework not only has transformed patient care delivered by the Salt Lake City-based organization but also has fostered an attitude of shared accountability throughout the not-for-profit health system.

Framework for Patient Engagement: 6 Stages to Success in a Value-Based Health System details Intermountain's multilayered approach and how it supports its corporate mission: Helping people live the healthiest lives possible.

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Infographic: The Data Behind Diabetes

July 22nd, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

The number of people living with diabetes has quadrupled since 1980, growing to more than 400 million. And with this rise in disease, sales of diabetes-related products have also climbed. In fact, in 2015, American consumers spent $592 million on such products, according to the World Health Organization.

Managing diabetes requires a proper balance of professional medical management, blood sugar control, and maintaining a healthy diet. So there is great value in understanding the diabetic patient and consumer journey through each step of the management process, all the way from the doctor's office to the grocery aisles. And today, thanks to the power of data insights, healthcare providers and physicians, product manufacturers, and retailers can better tailor their offerings and experiences to aid diabetic patients and consumers in their path to healthy living.

A new infographic by Nielsen reflects key insights around the diabetic consumer.

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care ManagementReal-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: Are You Ready to Add Recurring Revenue to Your Physician Practice?

July 20th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Some 68 percent of the Medicare population have two or more chronic conditions, according to a new infographic by CareSync.

The infographic examines how physician practices can bill for chronic care management (CCM) services under CMS' CCM program and the impact of CCM on outcomes and the patient experience.

Chronic Care Management Reimbursement Compliance: Physician Requirements for Value-Based RevenueBeyond providing added revenue, billing via Medicare Chronic Care Management (CCM) CPT codes helps to bridge physician practices to value-based care delivery models like the accountable care organization (ACO) or patient-centered medical home (PCMH). Use of the CCM codes is also an opportunity to launch or enhance a chronic care management program. According to 2015 market data, nearly half of responding healthcare organizations lack a formal chronic care management structure, leaving critical reimbursement dollars on the table.

However, practices poised to bill under CCM codes must contend with vague guidance from CMS in certain areas and conflicting interpretations from outside sources on CCM implementation.

Chronic Care Management Reimbursement Compliance: Physician Requirements for Value-Based Revenue sets the record straight on CCM reimbursement compliance, offering strategies for navigating obstacles and meeting requirements.

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MACRA Mantra for Physician Practices: “Chase the Quality, and the Dollars Will Follow”

July 19th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

Physician practices should position themselves to be paid for volume now and value in the future, McKesson's Eric Levin advised webinar participants.


If provider discontent doesn't prompt a delay, the controversial MACRA legislation will become reality in just six months, shaking up traditional physician reporting and reimbursement as healthcare knows it.

And while the proposed MACRA rule is still in flux, the bones of the law aren't expected to change, notes Eric Levin, McKesson's director of strategic services. From this point forward, he says, care coordination will be the ticket to success in eventual MACRA value- and performance-based healthcare models.

"As clinical alignment and care coordination increase, if you are not participating in some type of value-based care program, most likely you're not being reimbursed or rewarded for that work," Levin told participants in The New Physician Quality Reporting: Positioning Your Practice for MACRA's Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, a July 2016 webinar now available for replay.

In outlining MACRA's intent, Levin chiefly focused on the Merit-Based Incentive Payment Systems (MIPS) rather than the second reimbursement path, alternative payment systems (APMs), since the majority—88 percent—of physicians is expected to qualify under MIPS rather than APMs.

Zeroing in on MIPS, Levin reviewed eligibility, performance categories and data submission options, among other points. He then detailed the plethora of current and planned technical assistance options from CMS—including eventual practice transformation networks to provide peer-level support to physicians—before offering practical ways physician practices can prepare now for MACRA.

His six immediate action steps for practices included dipping a toe into analytics and data aggregation. "Look at the data. Learn how to risk-stratify. See the gaps in care you currently have and where those can be filled in so you're not just measuring but actually improving quality," Levin advised. The CMS Quality and Resource Use Report is useful for estimating a practice's MIPS score, he added.

In offering six additional tactics to become MACRA-ready, Levin recommended physician practices acquaint themselves with national benchmarks as a primer in quality measurement.

And on Levin's accompanying five-point MACRA implementation checklist is a reminder to stay current on CMS's proposed and final MACRA rulings. Fostering relationships with technology vendors wouldn't hurt either, he added.

His final points covered additional MACRA implementation resources, including education from provider associations, as well as the benefits of Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition and engagement in CMS's Chronic Care Management initiative in MACRA preparation.

"These programs will really help you begin the value-based journey if you have not started."

Levin emphasized providers should not wait for the final rule. Rather, physician practices should "learn how to focus on quality outcomes and costs, helping focus on the patient as well as that patient-provider relationship. Look at how you can identify ways to increase inexpensive patient encounters."

Before concluding, Levin answered participants' questions on how MACRA and MIPS will impact specialty providers; lessons practices can take from participation in the Physician Quality Reporting System, Meaningful Use and other value-based initiatives to enhance MACRA success; recommendations for small and solo practices; and other key concerns.

Learn more about Levin's presentation.

Infographic: The Impact of Medication Reconciliation on Readmission Rates

July 18th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Medication reconciliation programs, in which pharmacists review patients' medication regimens and provide adherence counseling during the patient's transition from hospital to home, reduced ths risk of hospital readmission by 50 percent and helped avoid unnecessary healthcare costs, according to a new study from the CVS Health Research Institute.

A new infographic by CVS highlights the survey findings, including details on the impact of medication non-adherence on readmission rates and how a pharmacist intervention reduced readmission risks.

Medication Management: Using Clinical Pharmacists To Complete Comprehensive Drug Therapy Management Post Discharge in High-Risk PatientsA clinical pharmacist-driven medication management effort at Novant Health identifies patients at high-risk for readmissions or ED visits related to adverse drug events. Using a combination of medication reconciliation, pharmacotherapy review, and patient education, Novant Health's clinical pharmacists are working to reduce preventable readmissions by optimizing medication regimens and removing barriers to adherence among these high-risk patients.

During Medication Management: Using Clinical Pharmacists To Complete Comprehensive Drug Therapy Management Post Discharge in High-Risk Patients a 45-minute webinar on February 3rd, now available for replay, Rebecca Bean, director, population health pharmacy, Novant Health, shares her organization’s medication management approach and why a clinical pharmacist is key to the program’s success.

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Infographic: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Healthcare

July 15th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is growing in the healthcare industry, according to a new infographic by Neofect. Applications can be used for a variety of medical purposes including: diagnostics and planning, training through simulation, rehabilitation, and can also be used as treatment for depression, autism, phobias, pain management, and addiction.

The infographic looks at the benefits of VR and AR in the healthcare field and what needs to happen to make these technologies more refined and mainstream in healthcare.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital HealthPerson-centric health management is slowly acknowledging the device-driven lives of patients and health plan members and incorporating these tools into care delivery and management efforts.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital Health examines program goals, platforms, components, development strategies, target populations and health conditions, patient engagement metrics, results and challenges reported by healthcare organizations responding to the February 2016 Digital Health survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

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Infographic: Patient Empowerment in Healthcare

July 13th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Patient empowerment has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, and it's happening at a time when patients have more information at hand than ever before. Emerging as a new paradigm, patient empowerment promises to help improve medical outcomes while also lowering healthcare costs, according to a new infographic by LabFinder.

The infographic outlines steps for taking patient empowerment from concept to practice.

Transformational patient-centered models emerging post-ACA are designed to succeed with a core of engaged, activated patients, yet enlistment of individuals in chronic care management, telehealth and other health enhancement interventions continues to challenge the healthcare industry.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Patient Engagement documents strategies, program components, successes and challenges of engaging patients and health plan members in self-care from 133 organizations responding to the 2015 Patient Engagement survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

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