Infographic: Physicians’ Salaries 2014

July 21st, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

Physicians are becoming more proactive in managing their incomes by being more selective about insurers and patients and providing ancillary services. In addition, a small but growing number of physicians are moving toward cash-only practices.

A new infographic from Medscape looks at these trends, along with details on how the Affordable Care Act is impacting physician practices, the income gender disparity among physicians and physician career satisfaction.

Physicians' Salaries 2014

In today's value-based healthcare sphere, providers must not only shoulder more responsibility for healthcare outcomes, cost and quality but also align with emerging compensation models rewarding these efforts — models that often seem confusing or contradictory. The challenges for payors and partners in creating a common value-based vision are sizing the reimbursement model to the provider organization and engaging physicians' skills, knowledge and behaviors to foster program success.

6 Value-Based Physician Reimbursement Models: Action Plans for Alignment, Analytics and Profitability examines a set of provider compensation models across the collaboration continuum, advising adopters on potential pitfalls and suggesting strategies to survive implementation bumps.

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Infographic: Rethinking Home Healthcare

July 18th, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

With more than 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day and a growing desire from seniors to age in place, there is a growing need for home healthcare services.

A new infographic from Barton Associates shows the growing need for home healthcare, as well as how home care improves the quality of life for seniors.

Rethinking Home Healthcare

Home Health Quickflips© can be used as a reference for documentation, patient eligibility and "how to" instructions for OASIS items which impact reimbursement and quality outcomes. This resource can be a teaching tool for new employees and home health managers.

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Telephonic Case Management Targets High-Risk, High-Cost Conditions

July 17th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

While the complex comorbid are the primary targets of telephonic case managers, the newly discharged, those in acute stages of chronic illness, frequent utilizers and high-risk, high-cost patients also receive their fair share of attention from telephonic case managers, according to new market data from the Telephonic Case Management survey conducted in May 2014 by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

To expand the scope of care coordination, telephonic case management is evolving as a cost-effective and efficient means of monitoring and engaging individuals with chronic illness or a weak circle of care, according to an inaugural survey on Telephonic Case Management by the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN).

More than 84 percent of respondents utilize telephonic case managers, according to this new market data, with more than half — 54 percent — making contact with patients from virtual home offices. And while the telephone is an essential tool of the trade, these case managers also draw on motivational interviewing and robust data from electronic health records (EHRs) and case management software to help them manage their populations.

The complex comorbid are the primary targets of telephonic case managers, the survey found, but the newly discharged, those in an acute stage of chronic illness, frequent utilizers and high-risk, high-cost patients also receive their fair share of telephonic attention from these case managers.

While charged primarily with the management of chronic illness and transitions in care, most telephonic case managers also find themselves in the role of patient educator and health coach, say 75 percent of respondents.

  • „„The case management assessment is the primary method of identifying candidates for telephonic contact, report 61 percent of respondents.
  • „„One-fifth of telephonic case managers work within a primary care practice.
  • „„Engagement of members in telephonic case management is the primary challenge of the program, say 43 percent of respondents.
  • „„Workloads of telephonic case managers fall into the 50-99 case range, say 30 percent of respondents.

Excerpted from 2014 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telephonic Case Management.

Infographic: Are You Ready for Sensors in Healthcare?

July 16th, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

The market for wearable sensors is increasing dramatically. Devices are being designed to help people manage chronic conditions, recover more quickly from injuries, analyze physical and environmental abnormalities that may lead to more serious health issues and detect unhealthy habits before they cause problems, according to Pathfinders Software.

A new infographic from Pathfinders Software takes a look at the types of wearables available, how they are used, their wireless capability and other details on this technology.

Are You Ready for Sensors in Healthcare

From home sensors that track daily motion and sleep abnormalities to video visits via teleconferencing, Humana's nine pilots of remote patient monitoring test technologies to keep the frail elderly at home as long as possible. When integrated with telephonic care management, remote monitoring has helped to avert medical emergencies and preventable hospitalizations among individuals with serious medical and functional challenges. In Remote Patient Monitoring for Enhanced Care Coordination: Technology to Manage an Aging Population, Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic clinical operations in Humana's care management organization, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge, reviews Humana's expanded continuum of care aimed at improving health outcomes, increasing satisfaction and reducing overall healthcare costs with a more holistic approach.

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Replicating Home Care Telehealth for Non-Homebound Curbs Readmissions

July 15th, 2014 by Patricia Donovan

Community Health Network considers it a failure of the system if a patient with chronic illness has to go to the hospital. Deborah Lyons, Community Health Network's disease management executive director, describes how the integration of telehealth into care of heart failure patients is helping to keep hospital readmission rates down for this population.

It’s all part of Community’s network strategy. That’s really a failure of the system if a patient has to go to the hospital—at least for those with chronic diseases. Our strategy has been to keep patients out of the hospital regardless of disease type. We want to keep patients out of the hospital.

As part of an integrated strategy, we’ve used our experts in home care to do high-risk home visits rather than creating a siloed entity to do this. Home care was doing telehealth for their homebound patients in home care, and we didn’t want to recreate this functionality. We chose to work with our home care telehealth experts and expand this to the non-homebound population.

This network strategy helps us to better manage the health of patients by looking at what expertise exists and then expanding it to meet the population needs.

When we first started developing the strategy, we also started with heart failure originally because we have a lot of heart failure patients and an issue with readmissions.

When we looked at the heart failure patients, we found that first, about 43 percent of our patients that were readmitted were patients that were discharged home to self-care, meaning they didn’t qualify for traditional home care. They weren’t going into a facility. These were people that were going home alone. And this group was driving 43 percent of our readmissions.

When we looked at what was occurring in our own network, we also found that our home care agency was doing telehealth with their home care patients and had a national best readmission rate. We asked ourselves how we could replicate this for our non-homebound patients. There are experts there that are getting great results. Now we want to apply this to our non-homebound population. And that’s where we decided to do this with IVR, the automated telephonic system that calls the patients at home.

Excerpted from: New Horizons in Healthcare Home Visits

Infographic: Trends in Account-Based Health Plans

July 14th, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

High deductible health plans and HSAs have been in the market for over a decade and adoption rates (particularly for HDHPs, HSAs and HRAs) continue to accelerate rapidly, according to a new survey by Alegeus Technologies.

The survey also found a significant consumer education gap and a need for enhanced decision-support resources to help consumers better manage their ever-growing responsibility for healthcare. An infographic by Alegeus Technologies highlights the survey findings, including details on market penetration of account-based plans, consumer proficiency in these plans and account perceptions and enrollment barriers.

2014 Consumer and Employer Healthcare Benefits Survey

As health plan operators last year were preparing to offer plans on the state-run and federally facilitated health insurance exchanges, they could only guess at the age and health of the population that would enroll, and they had no information about how their competitors would price their plans. Now that open enrollment is over, Public Exchanges Data: Premium Analysis and Carrier Participation for 2014 takes a look at how it all played out. This report offers a highly detailed overview of where carriers participated, the types of products they offered and how their prices stacked up against their competitors.

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Infographic: The Rising Cost of On-Call Physicians

July 11th, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

Nearly twice as many physicians were paid for time devoted to being on-call this year than last -- with some earning more than $1,000 per day, according to the Medical Group Management Association's On-Call Survey: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data, reflected in a new infographic.

More than 60 percent of physicians reported receiving a daily stipend for taking call, a stark contrast to last year, when only 35 percent did. Additionally, primary care physicians saw their median daily on-call compensation rate soar in the past year, up to $250 in 2013 from the $150 claimed in 2012. PCPs in the western geographic section of the United States reported making as much as $1,103 per day in on-call compensation.

Even physicians who were not monetarily rewarded for their on-call duties received some sort of benefit. Of the 37 percent of physicians who said they received no additional compensation for taking on-call coverage, 33 percent reported being rewarded with time off.

This infographic looks at on-call compensation by practice size and compensation methods.

The Rising Cost of On-Call Doctors

Shifting reimbursement models are forcing hospital executives to rethink their approach to physician relationships. New cost and quality demands require hospitals to explore all alternatives—including tighter alignment with physicians. The New Hospital-Physician Enterprise: Meeting the Challenges of Value-Based Care provides expert advice on structuring and sustaining hospital-physician relationships in the post-reform environment.

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6 Criteria for Remote Patient Monitoring Applications in Managed Care

July 10th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

Among the six criteria that Humana uses to evaluate vendors for remote patient monitoring applications are reducing medical costs and generating a positive ROI at a program level, says Gail Miller, vice president of telephonic clinical operations in Humana's care management organization, Humana Cares/SeniorBridge. Applicants have a tough bar to pass, because programs not only have to work, they have to work better on those already being care managed.

First, we put together criteria for what we wanted to do in a managed care application. We were looking at reducing medical cost and generating positive return on investments (ROIs) at a program level. Our studies are more difficult to set up because all these people are under care management. Whenever anyone is going to work with us, they have to understand that they have a tough bar to pass, because not only does the program have to work, it also has to work better on someone who is already being care managed. We are looking for that incremental lift that we could get from remote monitoring.

Everything has to be customer friendly and easily adaptable to our members’ lifestyles. We want our members to feel rewarded by their efforts to monitor their health. We want to involve the members, physicians, caregivers and families so that everybody in the care circle is included, and we want to test with little disruption to our large organization.

We have more than 2,000 nurses and social workers on the telephone. This is something that you have to consider to introduce new pieces of technology, in addition to considering how you are going to put it into your operational stream. We have been able to do that. We decided to move forward with this new care management model using all of the tools that we had and to extend our reach by using remote monitoring.

We were specifically looking for remote monitoring technology to help our members manage their conditions, to reduce hospitalizations, and to improve their consumer experience. We have nine remote monitoring care management pilots underway. We have a tenth pilot that is in development. People have to consent to both care management for Humana Cares as well participation for the pilot.

The member selection for our remote monitoring program was based on complex clinical analysis. There was no additional cost to our members to participate in these pilots, and the equipment that we use is considered a loan to the member for the duration of the pilot or as long as they are members of Humana if that pilot is rolled out.

Excerpted from: Remote Patient Monitoring for Enhanced Care Coordination: Technology to Manage an Aging Population.

J&J and Canyon Ranch Partner on Corporate Wellness Program

July 10th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

An organization is only as healthy as its leadership.

And that’s one of the key reasons behind a recent corporate wellness venture between Johnson & Johnson's Human Performance Institute (HPI) and Canyon Ranch. The Human Performance Institute has collaborated with Canyon Ranch by combining the principles of their flagship course, Corporate Athlete® with Canyon Ranch’s integrative wellness offerings. The hybrid course, called The EXCELerate Program — The Power of Energy for Purpose & Performance, offers clients a five-day health and wellness experience that incorporates the full resources and amenities of Canyon Ranch’s flagship property in Tucson, Arizona and HPI’s premier energy management performance training program.

We spoke to Bill Donovan, the General Manager of the Human Performance Institute, Wellness & Prevention, Inc., about this program.

HIN: Can you tell us a little about the program?

(Bill Donovan) The purpose of this program is to expand our reach and impact more lives by working together to create the ultimate wellness experience. The Human Performance Institute’s Corporate Athlete training is based on 30 years of proprietary research and depth of knowledge in training elite performers. We started with professional athletes in the world of sports. We learned very quickly that the strategy of increased performance in sports was easily transferable to any environment. So we moved into other areas, surgery, medical, Special Forces, military; now Fortune 500 executives are the main focus for us. The program combines the sciences of performance psychology, nutrition, and exercise physiology. And the premise is to help train people to expand their energy so they can increase their performance in work and in life.

When you look at Canyon Ranch, they’ve also been around for over 30 years. They have an award-winning integrative approach to wellness. Their world-class facilities create the perfect environment for this wellness experience to come to life. Together we educate, empower, inspire, and help create lasting change in people through the blended experience. Canyon Ranch is very much hands-on, one on one. HPI is more group training. Together, we create customized experiences that cover critical dimensions of health and can truly have impact.

Who is Canyon Ranch and Human Performance Institute targeting for enrollment in their new EXCELerate program?

The program is designed to benefit anyone, but the key targets are senior level executives and leaders that are looking to improve health, performance, and be able to thrive in the face of constant demand and pressures. One thing we see in the world today is that the demands and pressures being put upon us and our leaders in particular continue to increase. How do we rise up in the face of that and not only survive but thrive?

Secondarily, we’re focusing on past graduates of our respective programs; graduates of HPI and Canyon Ranch loyals who want a more in-depth and immersive experience.

What will this program's impact be on absenteeism, productivity and performance for employees in general?

It’s designed with senior leaders in mind, and built on the premise that the culture of an organization is often a reflection of its leadership. So if you believe that great success and change starts with leadership, then that’s what this program is about. It’s an immersive five day training program designed to help individuals make healthy, sustainable life changes, resulting in optimized well being, improved health, and enhanced performance.

When a senior leader, who is often the busiest person in the organization, can role model the behaviors that people aspire to, whether it is an optimistic outlook, focus, better work/life balance, better fitness, or eating habits, or maybe even overall health across all dimensions: mental, emotional and physical, they give hope and inspire those they lead. That is the critical first ingredient towards creating cultural change within an organization.

How will this program differ from standard wellness or disease management programs?

The immersive experience is a big part of it. I don’t know of any program that brings together the best of both group training around performance with holistic, hands-on, unique, individual experiences to really focus on helping to improve health. Bringing together the best of Canyon Ranch and HPI and our Corporate Athlete Program create something unlike anything in the market, and I think this really sets us apart.

To learn more on the program, with dates scheduled for July 13-18, and October 19-24 in 2014, click here.

Infographic: The Effect of Medicaid Expansion Decisions by Southern States

July 9th, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

The decision by some Southern states to not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will keep Medicaid eligibility levels low, according to a new infographic by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The infographic shows that Southerners are more likely than people living in other parts of the United States to be uninsured; that most Southern states have poverty rates above the national average; and details on the Medicaid coverage gaps in Southern states.

To locate, stratify and engage dual eligibles, Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC) takes a creative approach, employing everything from home visits to 'street case management' to coordinate care for Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries. Dual Eligibles Care and Service Planning: Integrative Approaches for the Medicare-Medicaid Population describes HCSC's innovative tactics to engage this largely older adult and disabled population in population health management with support from a range of community partners and services.

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