Archive for August, 2013

Infographic: The Future of E-Learning in Healthcare

August 30th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

E-Learning and electronic health records (EHRs) are playing significant roles in the healthcare industry driven by health reform legislation.

Although only 20 percent of U.S. hospitals had EHRs in 2010, healthcare practitioners that don’t adopt EHRs by 2015 will suffer significant cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. A new infographic from AMVONET describes meaningful use standards, e-learning challenges, healthcare professional expectations for e-learning solutions, and more.

Future of E-Learning in Healthcare

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You may also be interested in this related resource: E-Healthcare Systems and Wireless Communications: Current and Future Challenges.

Healthcare Business Week in Review: Health Insurance Exchanges, Navigators, Medication Adherence

August 30th, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

Contrary to popular opinion, young adults between the ages of 19 and 26 do not think they’re immortal and do think they need health insurance. In fact, according to a study from The Commonwealth Fund, if members of this population don’t have health insurance, it’s because they can’t afford it.

Nearly half of the 15 million young adults enrolled in a parent’s health plan last year most likely would not have been eligible for coverage without the health reform law’s dependent coverage provision.

The survey also found that only 27 percent of young adults were aware of the state health insurance marketplaces launching October 1. The demographic that would benefit most from these marketplaces are those without coverage and those from low- or middle-income households, or, those least likely to be aware of them.

But these young adults, and all other adults, can seek out help through a coterie of navigators funded by the HHS. The agency has granted $67 million to 105 applicants in federally run and state partnership marketplaces, for navigators trained to help Americans who need assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the health insurance marketplaces beginning this fall.

Health information navigators are trained to provide unbiased information in a culturally competent manner to consumers about health insurance, the new HIEs, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Funding was available to eligible private and public groups and the self-employed who met certain standards to promote effectiveness, diversity, and program integrity, HHS officials say.

If all the health reform changes have made Americans’ blood pressure soar, there is help: a large scale study from Kaiser Permanente found that single pill combinations and consistent follow-ups with hypertension patients helped improve the rate of blood pressure control by nearly twice as much. Through one of the largest community-based hypertension programs in the nation, Kaiser Permanente Northern California nearly doubled the rate of blood pressure control among adult members with diagnosed hypertension between 2001 and 2009, helping to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack for patients.

And speaking of soaring, accountable care organizations are flooding the healthcare landscape; with the number of public and private ACOs nearing 500, participants and pundits alike are looking more closely at the model’s structure, challenges and benefits.

How is your organization participating in ACOs? Take HIN’s third annual survey on ACOs by September 6, 2013 and receive a FREE executive summary of the compiled results.

Infographic: Sick! Epidemic of Chronic Diseases

August 29th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Chronic diseases account for 70 percent of deaths every year, which translates to higher healthcare costs and utilization rates.

Heart disease has been the leading cause of mortality for Americans every year since 1920, costing an annual $108.9 billion in healthcare and lost productivity, according to a new infographic from Best Master of Science in Nursing Degrees. This infographic identifies the top chronic illnesses, their costs and possible preventative measures.

Sick! Epidemic of Chronic Diseases

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: Chronic Care Professional Manual 5.0 .

Infographic: Will Google Glass Revolutionize Healthcare?

August 28th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

With so many emerging healthcare technologies, a shift toward telehealth and a focus on patient satisfaction, Google Glass could serve several roles in the healthcare industry. It could function as an aid or teaching tool during surgery and procedures, a way to personalize patient engagement and a way to track patients and notify physicians, according to a new infographic from

Additionally, Google Glass can provide immediate access to “content-based medical records” beyond what a physician can see on a computer screen. The infographic outlines the pros and cons of its role in healthcare, as well as the possible uses by physicians, patients and healthcare providers.

Will Google Glass Revolutionize the Medical 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: Cases on Healthcare Information Technology for Patient Care Management.

One-Minute Health Metrics Video: Telehealth Powers Population Health Management

August 28th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

A recent survey from the Healthcare Intelligence Network identified a significant shift away from the use of land lines and toward videoconferencing, virtual visits and smartphones to fortify care management and expand reach to remote and vulnerable populations.

This 60-second video zeros in on using telehealth for population health management, including applications, target populations, tools and post-ACA opportunities.

The One-Minute Health Metrics video series summarizes results of HIN’s Healthcare Benchmarks market research.

You may also be interested in this related resource: 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine.

Infographic: The Building Blocks of Healthcare Exchanges

August 27th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

As the healthcare industry shifts to consumer-directed healthcare models, health insurers and payors must identify consumer behavioral patterns, assess risk by consumer segments and ultimately design tools and benefits that will help segmented populations.

Of the 33 million people who will be newly insured by the Affordable Care Act, chronic older adults account for 44 percent of costs and 261 per 1,000 emergency room visits, according to a new infographic from SCIO Health Analytics. This infographic also illustrates the changing healthcare landscape and the importance of consumer segmentation for designing health plans and strategies via exchange landscape, employer markets, population segments and plan design optimization.

The Building Blocks of Healthcare Exchanges

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: Futurescan 2013: Healthcare Trends and Implications 2013-2018.

Infographic: Is Mobile Healthcare the Future?

August 26th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

With more than 97,000 health and fitness related mobile apps available and 4 million downloads per day, it is clear that the use of mobile devices is popular in the healthcare industry.

By 2017, the total mobile health (mHealth) market revenue will reach $26 billion, according to a new infographic from GreatCall. The infographic also includes healthcare professionals’ opinions of mHealth, mHealth trends, user statistics and more.

Is Mobile Healthcare the Future? [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: 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Mobile Health.

Infographic: Healthcare Online

August 23rd, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

The increased cost and complexity of healthcare options today is driving patients and physicians to turn to the web for information.

Thirty-one percent of people ages 18-24 who own a smartphone or tablet use the device daily to research a health issue, according to a new infographic from Acquity Group. This infographic also includes reasons patients search for health information online; a demographic profile of who looks at information online; smartphone owners who use apps to track or manage health; reasons physicians, caregivers and specialists use the internet for work; and much more.

Healthcare Online

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: Social Media for the Health Care Profession: The New Shingle for Today’s Medical Practice.

Case Management, Disease Management Top Skills Sought in Burgeoning Health Coach Field

August 23rd, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

University of Delaware's Health Coaching Certificate recipients' presentation. Mike Peterson, top left, Kathleen Matt, Dean of College of Health Sciences to his left; faculty members, Katherine McCleary, Emily Davis, students.

Motivated by a recurring lament among local physicians and health professionals that patients weren’t following through on certain behaviors, the University of Delaware (UD) launched its first Health Coaching certificate program in 2011, and honored its first two recipients at a ceremony this past May. The 18-credit hour post-baccalaureate program prepares health professionals to work in a clinical setting as part of a team that facilitates behavior change among at-risk patients, decreases demand for healthcare services, and reduces morbidity across the life span.

To create this program, curriculum leaders consulted the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance, which comprises the UD, as well as the Christiana Care Health Systems, Alfred I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, and Thomas Jefferson University, a Philadelphia-based medical school. The school received valuable insight from a team of local physicians and health professionals, including nurses, clinical psychologists, nutritionists, behavioralists, and pharmacologists on perceived needs and deficiencies in the healthcare system, and the kinds of skills and competencies they would like to see in a health coach.

According to the report “Market Demand for Certificate Programs in Health Coaching,” from the Education Advisory Program in Washington, D.C., which stated that employer demand for health coaches has grown 408 percent since 2007, with the number of health coach job openings peaking a year after the ACA was passed.

And the top five skills sets employers are seeking in health coaches? Case management, disease management, motivational interviewing, chronic disease, and clinical experience.

Following is our discussion with Mike Peterson, chair of UD’s Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition.

HIN: What prompted you to offer this program now?

Mike Peterson: We created it to address the primary determinate of health, which is behavior, which accounts for about 40 percent of morbidity, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Most doctors, because of the current health system, can only spend from seven to 15 minutes with a patient, which really isn’t a lot more than diagnosis and treatment.

The other thing is that most medical professionals, doctors and nurses don’t get any behavioral change expertise, knowledge or skills. They are trained in diagnostics and prescriptive treatment.

HIN: What insights did you receive from physicians and health professionals regarding skill sets and competencies needed for the certificate?

Mike Peterson: They have to have case management, disease management, and motivational interviewing experiences or knowledge. They have to have a basic understanding of chronic disease, which we provide; a course that covers about 20 of the major, common chronic diseases, their ideology, their treatments, diagnosis, pharmacology. They have to understand how to change people’s behavior, have good communication skills and a good working knowledge of basic health promotion and health education principles.

There’s clearly a skill set that’s currently not being taught in the other health disciplines. How do you extract information? How do you work with an individual? How do you motivate an individual? How do you communicate with them in a way that actually gets them to do the behaviors that are necessary to improve their health?

HIN: What recommendations were made on motivational interviewing techniques?

Mike Peterson: Motivational interviewing is important, but it doesn’t work in all cases. It’s somewhat oversold as a panacea for all problems. It’s a good tool to have but not every problem is a nail. Sometimes you need other tools in your toolbox to facilitate behavior change. So we teach other types of behavior change strategies as well: the use of contracting incentives, things to help facilitate and promote behavior change.

HIN: You would like to see health coaches affiliated with doctors’ offices and clinics. Should they be embedded or co-located in the practice or clinic?

Mike Peterson: Yes. We’re trying to get them placed right in the clinical office and become part of the healthcare team, for example, the medical home model where the doctor is in charge and the health coach is part of that team. We see health coaches not necessarily dealing with every patient a doctor has, but the primary, high-risk patients, or people of moderate risk who could have potential for high risk.

HIN: What about reimbursement for them?

Mike Peterson: That’s a good question and the one we’re all wrestling with right now. There’s been a shift in the demand for health coaches from payors to providers; we are seeing health coaches paid right from the insurance industry or hospital; they see that the coach is a good idea and so they decide to fund them privately within their own coffers. And under the new healthcare bill doctors are paid for outcomes. If they get better outcomes with patients they get a percentage of the potential savings reimbursed back to them. Some of those funds could be used to fund a health coach.

HIN: What insights did you receive on recommended caseloads for health coaches?

Mike Peterson: Ideally, if you have a 40-hour work week, about 25 hours could be engaged in client time, one-on-one face time. The other 15 hours would have to be a record keeping and perhaps telephonic communications with previous patients or communications with the medical staff about what’s going on with specific patients. So we figure in any week you could see 25 individuals.

HIN: How can health coaches help to improve care transitions, from hospital to home?

Mike Peterson: Again, going back to their primary role, which is helping people deal with behavior changes, their role in terms of transitions from hospital to home would be to follow up with some of the behaviors that they would need to do, such as out-clinic or out-patient activities. For example, if they just had physical therapy following a knee replacement, it could most likely be due to their being overweight. Health coaches could help them maintain a physical therapy program, and also help them with strategies to lose weight. They would work in tandem with the patient and healthcare professional.

HIN: Where do you see the profession of health coaches in the future?

Mike Peterson: Ultimately, we would like to see health coaches licensed, because too many people now are calling themselves health coaches and not anyone knows what it is. Someone says they’re a health coach and they deal with ADHD and another person says they’re a health coach and they deal with personal training, so they’re basically a glorified personal trainer.

Healthcare Business Week in Review: Telehealth and Telemedicine, Care Transitions, ACOs

August 23rd, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

Our recently completed study of telehealth and telemedicine identified an uptick in the last three years in videoconferencing for clinical uses like real-time remote diagnostics.

New data from UC Davis Children’s Hospital bears this out: researchers there found that telemedicine consultations with pediatric critical-care physicians significantly improve the quality of care for seriously ill and injured children treated in remote rural EDs. Overall, researchers found that cases involving a telemedicine consultation received significantly higher quality-of-care scores than did those involving a telephone consultation or no consultation.

More ideas to replicate come from a report by the Florida Hospital Association (FHA). At the end of a five-year initiative involving more than 160 Florida hospitals, readmissions dropped 15 percent, surgical complications were reduced by 14.5 percent and millions of dollars in costs were saved.

The hospitals’ hands-on work focused on improvements to hospital culture, care transitions and communication, the FHA said.

A communications gap of sorts has been identified by Athena Health. Its fourth annual Physician Sentiment Index™ (PSI) exposed a general sense of unfamiliarity with the accountable care model among three-quarters of physicians; even more unsettling is the finding that one-quarter of doctors said they “don’t know” if they participate in a pay-for-performance program.

With more than 400 public and private ACOs under construction, a great way to get up to speed on ACO trends is to take our third annual Accountable Care Organizations survey and receive an executive summary of the results.