Archive for June, 2013

Infographic: HIPAA, HiTech and Cloud Security

June 28th, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

As more and more healthcare data is stored electronically, the opportunities for HIPAA violations and security breaches are increasing.

Increased use of EMRs, mobile access to healthcare data and the cloud have increased the risk of healthcare data security and raised concerns among patients about the security and privacy of their healthcare information, according to a new infographic by Green House Data. The infographic also details the types of security breaches that have occurred.

Healthcare IT --- HIPAA, HiTech and Cloud Security

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Electronic Health Records: Strategies for Long-Term Success.

Infographic: How Baby Boomers Consume Healthcare

June 27th, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

The average baby boomer suffers from multiple chronic conditions, including hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, accounting for one-third of all healthcare spending, one-third of prescription drug costs and 40 percent of doctors’ visits.

Concordia University-Saint Paul’s infographic, “Baby Boomers Healthcare Boom,” examines baby boomer healthcare spending, the incidence of chronic conditions and changes in healthcare spending since 2011 when the first baby boomers hit age 65.

How Baby Boomers Consume Healthcare

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Plunkett’s Health Care Industry Almanac 2013.

Infographic: Tablet Usage by Physicians

June 26th, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

Physicians who use tablets and an EHR system spend roughly 25 hours a week on their device conducting a variety of activities from banking to taking clinical photos to even directly communicating with patients, according to a new survey by AmericanEHR.

The study reviewed how physicians use tablet devices and draws comparisons between non-EHR users as well as Family Practice use and Specialty use. Study data was collected from 846 health practitioners (696 physicians and 150 allied health professionals) between October and December 2012.

Highlights from the survey data are examined in a new infographic by AmericanEHR, including the top apps used by physicians, frequent activities performed on a tablet and physician satisfaction with tablets.

Tablet Usage by Physicians

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Mobile Health.

Infographic: A Downsized Medicaid Expansion

June 25th, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

Thirty-two million uninsured Americans were expected to be covered through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. However, as of May, only 21 states have decided to expand Medicaid and six states have not decided if they will expand.

Pew Charitable Trusts has developed an infographic that examines how many people in the United States are uninsured, their demographic status, projected cost of expanding, along with a map of each states status on Medicaid expansion.

A Downsized Medicaid Expansion

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Dual Eligibles: The New Growth Opportunities Ahead for Health Plans.

Healthcare Business Week in Review: Medication Adherence; Population Health Management, Telehealth

June 25th, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

Medication non-adherence drives the largest avoidable healthcare costs in the United States at an estimated $105 billion a year.

Delaying evidence-based treatments to patients comes in second with a whopping $40 billion price tag.

These are just two of six areas of medication misuse that cost the country more than $200 billion a year, representing 8 percent of the country’s total annual healthcare expenditures, according to a new study released by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

While strides have been made to deflate these costs — an estimated 95 percent of patients now receive lower-cost generic alternatives to branded medications, when available, and medication adherence among large populations of patients with hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes has improved 3 to 4 percent since 2009 — much more needs to be done. Researchers point out significant opportunities to ensure that patients receive the right medicines at the right time, and take them in the right way, in our detailed story.

Incentives might be one way to improve medication adherence, and is one of the four “I’s” that spell success for a population health management program, says Patricia Curran, principal in Buck Consultants’ National Clinical Practice; the ‘I’s’ of information, in its various forms, is a second important element. The population you’re trying to manage needs to know ‘What’s in it for me? What do I have to do?’ she stresses, and need to have the proper information to answer those questions.

Not enough public information exists for patients seeking to compare prices for out-of-pocket healthcare services, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

While the federal government recently released hospitals’ charges for procedures and services, that kind of information doesn’t help consumers trying to compare their healthcare options.

An analysis of 62 publicly available state Web sites that aim to help patients estimate or compare prices for healthcare services found that most sites only reported billed charges, not what patients were actually expected to pay, or focused on reporting prices for in-hospital services that are often used to treat urgent, sometimes life-threatening conditions. Patients with the time to research price and quality of routine, outpatient treatments need more consumer friendly Web sites, similar to one featured in our story.

Here’s some consumer-friendly news: six out of 10 states will offer consumers more options in state-run insurance exchanges.

The number of carriers offering non-group, or individual, insurance plans to consumers this fall in state-run health insurance exchanges will increase substantially, according to an analysis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), pointing to an increased competition among health plans in the non-group marketplace, researchers say, a market that currently offers limited options and little information to guide consumer choice.

Despite the millions of newly insured Americans expected under the ACA in 2014, healthcare spending is expected to drop to 6.5 percent in 2014, according to PwC’s Health Research Institute.

The slowdown in the healthcare growth rate defies historical post-recession patterns, and signals progress in attempts to bend the cost curve. It also presents financial challenges for the industry as it attempts to adjust to a rapidly changing environment. According to HRI, while structural changes within the industry are helping to contain costs and deliver care more efficiently, consumers who are paying a greater share of the cost are making spending adjustments, including delaying care, using fewer services and choosing less expensive options such as retail clinics, urgent care centers and telehealth services like mobile health devices.

Are you capitalizing on the telehealth movement? More than 10 million Americans directly benefited from a telemedicine service during the past year, likely double the number from just three years ago, according to American Telemedicine Association estimates. Telehealth’s broad reach encompasses telemedicine — the use of telecommunications technology to deliver clinical diagnosis, services and patient consultations — as well as the exploding field of mobile health.

Our third e-survey on Telehealth ends soon; respond by June 30, 2013 and receive a free executive summary of the compiled results. Your responses will be kept strictly confidential.

HINfographic on Defining the Dually Eligible: 16 Things to Know for Population Health Management

June 24th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

There are about 9 million individuals in the United States eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Care coordination of these dual eligibles has been identified by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as one of the top 10 healthcare priorities for 2013.

Before developing a case management or population health management approach for this population, it is vital to first identify the group’s characteristics.

This HINfographic on dual eligibles illustrates 16 things to know for population health management, including criteria for dual eligibility, specific health and financial characteristics of the population, differences between the duals and Medicare population, and keys to successfully managing dual eligibles.

dual eligibles infographic

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Population Health Management for Dual Eligibles: Blueprint for Care Coordination.

5 Tips for Seniors to Avoid Hospital Readmissions

June 24th, 2013 by Jessica Fornarotto


Nearly one in five seniors who are hospitalized return to the hospital within 30 days, according to a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report. These readmissions are not only often physically and mentally debilitating to the seniors and their families, but contribute greatly to avoidable and unnecessary expenses on the nation’s healthcare system. To help curb these numbers, SCAN Health Plan recently offered seniors five strategies to lessen the chance of readmission.

  1. Ask questions before discharge. When patients are in the hospital, they’re completely dependent on others for care. But once they’re home, they’re in charge of their own recovery, which makes understanding what to do the key. Patients being discharged from the hospital who ask questions and who have a clear understanding of their after-hospital care instruction are 30 percent less likely to be readmitted or to visit the ED than patients who lack this information, according to a recent study from the AHRQ.
  2. Understand medications. This is particularly important if there have been changes to a medication regimen while in the hospital. Upon discharge, dosages are sometimes changed or a drug is discontinued or added. Patients need to be sure about this and to write it down. They also need to be sure to fill all new prescriptions once they’re home.
  3. Make a plan for follow-up care. Patients need to know when to schedule a follow-up visit to their doctor, and to make sure that they have the transportation to get there. Even if they’re feeling good, they should go anyway. The doctor needs to see a patient in order to track how they’re doing and to gauge whether the treatment plan is working. In addition to doctors, does the patient need to schedule home healthcare with a nurse or therapist, or do they have some new durable medical equipment or home-modification needs?
  4. Communicate with care coordinators. Whether a patient has a professional in-home caregiver, a family member nearby, or resides in an assisted-living community, they need to make sure that their caregiver is up to date on the recent hospitalization and how the patient is feeling. This also goes for the patient communicating with their health plan, as many have programs and professionals in place that can assist with care coordination.
  5. Be aware of “red flags” or complications that should be reported. What is considered “normal” for a patient’s post-hospital condition? What degree of pain or swelling is expected? Patients need to know what to look for, whom to call if they are not feeling well, and to have a clear plan of action in place so they know how to respond to a complication.

Romilla Batra, M.D., vice president and medical director of SCAN, says that readmission rates for seniors can also be reduced by enrolling in a health plan that has a strong emphasis on integrated care and care management. She points to a 2012 study released by Avalere Health that compared 30-day all-cause hospital readmission rates between California dual-eligible (Medicare and Medi-Cal) individuals in traditional Medicare versus those enrolled in SCAN Health Plan. The independent study found that SCAN’s dual-eligible members had a hospital readmission rate that was 25 percent lower than those in fee-for-service.

“Industry-wide efforts are underway to bring down readmission rates including new rules passed as part of the Affordable Care Act that charge additional fees to hospitals with excessive readmissions,” said Dr. Batra. “But ultimately it is still the consumer themselves who can play the biggest role through common sense and following these five easy steps.”

Infographic: ACOs’ and PCMHs’ Tools for Success

June 21st, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

The primary motivator for becoming an ACO or PCMH is to improve patient outcomes (66%). That consideration is seconded by two separate motivators: being able to better utilize resources across the health care system (41%) and maintaining market share (40%), according to a new study by eClinicalWorks.

eClinicalWorks has released an infographic on the study results, highlighting the biggest challenges for ACOs, along with the most valuable tools in an ACO.

ACOs and PCMHs Tools for Success

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Guide to ACOs.

Infographic: Will Connected Health Save the Healthcare Industry?

June 20th, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

The medical device ecosystem is changing from stand-alone “device+patient+physician” in the clinical setting to include mobility and access outside the four walls of the hospital.

The benefits of a connected healthcare system are illustrated in an infographic by Jabil, along with the top three diagnoses for connected health.

Will Connected Health Save the Healthcare Industry?

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Transforming Health Care: The Financial Impact of Technology, Electronic Tools and Data Mining.

Infographic: Employee Choice in Health Benefit Selection

June 19th, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

As employees share a greater portion of employer-sponsored healthcare costs, employers are offering a defined contribution option in which employees select a health plan, including those created by private exchanges.

Alegeus Technologies examines how this trend evolved and offers predictions on the number of individuals who will receive health coverage through exchanges.

The Path to Defined Contribution

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.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Health Insurance Exchanges: Preparing for the Brave New Marketplace Ahead.