Infographic: The Impact of Unmet Mental Health Services

July 3rd, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Sixty percent of Americans with mental illness have unmet needs for the mental healthcare services they need, according to a new infographic by Best Social Work Programs.

The infographic examines the lack of coordination in mental healthcare services, mental health spending per capita and the impact of the lack of mental health treatment options.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary CareBehavioral 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: Physician Telehealth Use

July 1st, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Some 57 percent of primary care physicians are willing to conduct a video visit with a patient, according to a new infographic by American Well.

The infographic examines why physicians want to conduct video visits, potential use of telehealth by physicians and the type of video consults physicians find most valuable.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine 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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3 Embedded Care Coordination Models Manage Diverse High-Risk, High-Cost Populations

June 30th, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

YNHHS embedded care coordination

YNHHS uses an embedded care coordination approach to manage its high-risk, high-cost medical home patients, geriatric homebound and health system employees.

When it comes to coordinating care for its highest-risk, highest-cost individuals—whether patients in a medical home, the geriatric homebound or its own employees—Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) believes an onsite, embedded face-to-face approach will best position it for success in a value-based healthcare industry.

The Connecticut-based health system shared its vision for managing patients across its continuum via three embedded care coordination models during a June 2015 webinar, Embedded Care Coordination for At-Risk Populations: A Case Study from Yale New Haven Health System, now available for replay.

In the first model, livingwellCARES, RN care coordinators at YNHHS's four health system campuses work with its high-risk, high-cost health system employees and their adult dependents with chronic disease.

"We help these employees access the care they need and identify their goals of care. We get under the surface a little bit to determine barriers to their being as healthy as they can be and manage them over time," explained Amanda Skinner, executive director, clinical integration and population health, adding that YNHHS offers employees incentives such as waived insurance co-pays for participation.

Launched three years ago, livingwellCARES was YNHHS's "on-the-job training for learning to manage care across the continuum," she continued. Starting with employees with diabetes, livingwellCARES expanded to care coordination of most chronic diseases. Having significantly impacted clinical metrics like A1Cs as well as hospital utilization and ED visits in the approximately 500 employees it manages, livingwellCARES is now transitioning to a more risk-based approach.

The second embedded care coordination model, a patient-centered medical home (PCMH), also launched three years ago. Focused on complex care management, the PCMH is heavily driven by data derived from its electronic health records and patient registries, Ms. Skinner continued.

Because five of eight PCMH care coordinators are embedded and cover multiple physician practices, YNHHS is exploring the use of televisits by care coordinators to manage patients in the practices served. Also important is schooling PCMH staff in the relatively new practice of "warm handovers" during critical transitions of care.

Nine challenges of the PCMH embedded model shared by Ms. Skinner include engaging patients and obtaining reimbursement for various pay for performance programs.

In the third model, outpatient geriatric care coordination, embedded high touch care coordinators manage frail elderly deemed homebound by Medicare standards—when it’s a severe and taxing effort to leave the home—and those in assisted living facilities, explained Dr. Vivian Argento, executive director of geriatric and palliative services at Bridgeport Hospital.

"There is a challenge not just with frailty but also with access—having these patients go into the physician offices—so that the care tends to get shifted into the hospital because it’s easier for those patients to get there," Dr. Argento explained.

Physicians and nurse practitioners provide care in the patient's home to break that utilization cycle, while embedded care coordinators constantly collaborate with the care team to risk-stratify and prioritize patients, resolve medication concerns, make referrals, manage care transitions, triage telephone calls—all tasks required to coordinate care for what Dr. Argento termed "a very sick Medicare population in in the last two to three years of life."

Well received by the geriatric patients, the program also has positively impacted healthcare utilization metrics: its annual hospital admission rate of 5.4-5.8 percent is significantly below Medicare's overall 28-30 percent hospitalization rate, and the program boasts a readmissions rate of 14 percent, versus Medicare's 20 percent national average, Dr. Argento added.

Infographic: Medication Adherence

June 29th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Seventy-five percent of physician visits involve drug therapy, according to a new infographic by Anthem.

The infographic also looks at the percent of Americans taking prescription medications, the public health cost of medication non-adherence and how to improve adherence.

42 Metrics for Improving Medication Adherence: Interventions, Impacts and Technologies What's the cost of medication non-adherence? As high as $290 billion annually, according to one frequently cited estimate. An equally bitter pill to swallow is the dismal C+ grade in medication adherence earned in 2013 by Americans with chronic medical conditions, according to the first National Report Card on Adherence from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

Fortunately, the healthcare industry is striving to improve performance in this area. 42 Metrics for Improving Medication Adherence: Interventions, Impacts and Technologies provides convincing evidence of the impact of nine key interventions on medication non-adherence—from the presence of pharmacists in patient-centered medical homes to medication reconciliation conducted during home visits.

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Infographic: Top Healthcare Revenue Cycle Performance Indicators

June 26th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Looking at key performance indicators (KPI) is the best way to keep track of a healthcare organization's revenue cycle.

A new infographic by Expeditive shows the most important KPIs for healthcare organizations to track and the targets to hit.

Positioning for Value-Based Reimbursement: Leveraging Care Management for Clinical and Financial OutcomesWhile others wait for the healthcare industry to complete its transition to value-based reimbursement, Bon Secours Medical Group has already aligned itself with payment reform, leveraging its care team and providers and automating workflows to enjoy immediate rewards from its patient-centered approach.

Positioning for Value-Based Reimbursement: Leveraging Care Management for Clinical and Financial Outcomes describes how this 600-provider medical group has primed its providers to employ a broad mix of team-based care, technology and retooled care delivery systems to maximize quality and clinical outcomes and reduce spend associated with its managed patients.

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Integrated Networks Trigger Rise in Post-Acute Care Accountability

June 25th, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

Healthcare is examining new post-acute care (PAC) delivery and reimbursement models.

As physician-hospital associations (PHOs) and clinically integrated networks increasingly monitor referrals and where patients go once they leave the office or hospital setting, the post-acute care market will be held more accountable for the quality and cost of care they provide and their ability to manage readmissions, predicts Travis Ansel, senior manager with the Healthcare Strategy Group. Here, Ansel suggests how PHOs might prepare for the eventual inclusion of post-acute care in their networks.

Healthcare Strategy Group did a lot of work in Arkansas in 2011 and 2012. As providers started being held accountable for what happened once their patients left the hospital, post-acute care became very relevant in the Arkansas market. This was due to the impact on the providers, and on the physicians of the hospitals in that market. Almost immediately upon the announcement of the models, the hospital started bringing in different post-acute care organizations, saying, These are our incentives. We’re trying to manage patients who have been assigned these diagnosis-related groups (DRGs). We’re trying to manage these factors for those patients. Either you’re going to be the one to help us to do it, or we’ve going to find someone else in the market to do it.

My general expectation would be that as hospitals and physicians get together and start talking more about how post-acute care affects them, we’ll see them bringing in post-acute care to have that discussion: either help us with what we’re being held accountable for, or we will find someone else who can.

The natural market reaction to that is post-acute care organizations will either compete to respond to those requirements, because there will be some opportunity to grow market share or grow reimbursement if they’re effective in responding to those things.

We’ve already seen a tremendous amount of consolidation in the post-acute care world over the last five to ten years. To me, that would signal a lot more consolidation, the same as we’ve seen with the provider market. They’re going to look for a capital infusion and build competencies that will help them respond to PHOs' requests.

Note: Have more thoughts on the rise of accountability for post-acute care? Answer 10 Questions on Post-Acute Care Trends.

Source: Physician-Hospital Organizations: Framework for Clinical Integration and Value-Based Reimbursement

Travis Ansel, MBA, is a Manager, Strategic Services with Healthcare Strategy Group, LLC, with a primary focus on hospital strategic planning, physician alignment planning and clinical integration.

Infographic: Technology Prescription for Smarter Healthcare

June 24th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare IT leaders are looking to mobile health solutions to find the right balance of efficiency, security and optimal patient outcomes, according to a new infographic by Samsung.

The infographic looks at the rapid adoption of mobile devices by healthcare workers and the challenge for CIOs to connect spending with improved patient outcomes.

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.

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Infographic: Primary Care Providers and the Newly Insured

June 22nd, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Nearly 60 percent of physicians and 64 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants have seen an increasing number of Medicaid patients and patients who were previously uninsured since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new infographic by the Commonwealth Fund.

The infographic also looks at how these providers believe the increase in patient volume has impacted the quality of care they provide.

Positioning for Value-Based Reimbursement: Leveraging Care Management for Clinical and Financial OutcomesWhile others wait for the healthcare industry to complete its transition to value-based reimbursement, Bon Secours Medical Group has already aligned itself with payment reform, leveraging its care team and providers and automating workflows to enjoy immediate rewards from its patient-centered approach.

Positioning for Value-Based Reimbursement: Leveraging Care Management for Clinical and Financial Outcomes describes how this 600-provider medical group has primed its providers to employ a broad mix of team-based care, technology and retooled care delivery systems to maximize quality and clinical outcomes and reduce spend associated with its managed patients.

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Infographic: How the Affordable Care Act Is Changing Medicare

June 19th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

One of the Affordable Care Act's lesser known goals is to improve Medicare's coverage, care and financial outlook, according to a new infographic by the Commonwealth Fund.

The infographic drills down on the impact that the ACA has had on reducing gaps in care, improving chronic care management, emphasizing high-value care and slowing healthcare spending.

11 Profitable Value-Based Reimbursement Models: Lessons from Early AdoptersCMS's ambitious agenda for moving Medicare into alternative payment models is driving the U.S. healthcare system toward greater value-based purchasing at a furious rate. Private payors also have pledged to continue to shift payments away from fee for service and into alternative payment models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs). Fortunately, many healthcare organizations are already exploring value-based payments—often a single innovation at a time—testing models that reward providers for meeting Triple Aim goals of improving patient experience and population health while reducing healthcare's per capita cost.

11 Profitable Value-Based Reimbursement Models: Lessons from Early Adopters encapsulates nearly a dozen such approaches, from Bon Secours' building of a business case for its multidisciplinary care team to the John C. Lincoln ACO's deep dive into data analytics to identify and manage the care of high-risk, high-cost 'VIP' patients to 'beat the benchmark' to WellPoint's engagement of specialists in care coordination.

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5 Drivers of San Francisco Care Transitions ‘Clearinghouse’

June 18th, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

The sole public safety net hospital in the city, San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) serves a diverse population, of which 30 percent are uninsured. Here, Michelle Schneidermann, MD, outlines five factors that make care transitions challenging for SFGH patients and that helped to drive creation of a Care Transitions Task Force.

On any given day, around 8 to 10 percent of our inpatients are considered to be homeless. This is a population that is generally at higher than average risk for readmission stemming from a variety of factors. These include social determinants of health, like poverty and housing instability, comorbidity such as mental illness and substance use, and limited access to services in the face of complex care needs.

For the past ten years or so, there have been varied but somewhat siloed efforts to reduce post-discharge adverse events and improve the quality and safety of care transitions. In early 2012, as we approached the onset of Medicare’s readmission penalties, we had a coming-late-to-the-party-’aha’ moment, where we recognized the need to tackle care transitions and readmissions in a more structured and coordinated way.

Specifically, we recognized the need to create a comprehensive care transitions program to provide patients with the proper care and tools to stay out of the hospital. We needed to bridge those varied siloed programs by connecting them. Also, we wanted to provide a centralized clearinghouse or access point of information for the network on care transitions, and standardize and improve processes of care.

We decided, in retrospect, somewhat arbitrarily, that our aim would be to reduce readmissions by 15 percent over two years. These unmet goals led us to charter the San Francisco Health Network Care Transitions Task Force in the fall of 2012.

Source: Data-Driven Care Transition Management: Action Plans for High-Risk Patients

care transitions

Dr. Michelle Schneidermann completed her primary care internal medicine training at UCSF and joined the UCSF faculty in 2003, where she is a member of the Division of Hospital Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). Through her inpatient clinical work and work with ambulatory programs, she has been able to directly witness the successes and challenges of patients’ transitions and generate feedback to the providers and systems that manage their care.

At SFGH, Dr. Schneidermann leads the Care Transitions Task Force, a cross-continuum, multidisciplinary team charged with improving the quality and safety of care transitions as well as reducing preventable readmissions.