Archive for October, 2013

Infographic: Bridging the Income Divide in Healthcare

October 31st, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Although healthcare reform promises to make healthcare more affordable for lower-income families, there is still a noticeable gap in care between economic groups.

If healthcare for low-income populations in all states met benchmarks set by higher-income groups in the best-performing states, 30,000 low-income adults and children would have health insurance, according to a new infographic from the Commonwealth Fund. This infographic also presents several other outcomes of bridging the healthcare income divide.

Bridging the Income Divide in Healthcare

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Guide to the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Metrics, Models and Engagement.

Home Visits Offer ‘Eyes on the Ground’ for High-Risk Populations

October 31st, 2013 by Patricia Donovan

Despite the explosion of mobile and telehealth technologies, there's no substitute for person-to-person contact — at least when it comes to populations at high risk of hospital admission or readmission.

That was the finding of our inaugural Home Visits study, which captured the use of health-related home visits by 155 healthcare organizations. Almost 80 percent of respondents to the August 2013 survey visit some percentage of their patients or health plan members in their homes, a practice that is dramatically increasing levels of medication adherence and patient satisfaction.

Charged with keeping costly readmissions penalties at bay, healthcare organizations are deploying healthcare workers to the homes of risk-stratified patients and health plan members in greater numbers. While the primary purpose of the visit may vary by sector (payors’ case managers performing a home assessment versus hospitals clarifying discharge instructions), the end result is keeping patients safer and healthier in their homes and curbing costlier utilizers.

The home visit may also be the time to initiate the serious conversations — the ones that address end-of-life care and support, so that individuals have more control over the healthcare services they utilize during this final stage of the care continuum. These sensitive discussions can take place in the more relaxed setting of the patient’s home rather than at the hospital bedside.

What seems likely is that home visits will continue to proliferate, and supporting the home health workers, case managers, physicians and even pharmacists who conduct these visits will be portable technologies like a common electronic health record that all care providers can access, and telehealth tools such as interactive voice response (IVR) or disease-specific devices to transmit key health metrics (A1Cs or weight, for example) to the patient’s medical home.

Of course, the data tracked by these technologies must be shared among all providers so that coordination of care is seamless and duplication of care is avoided.

Scheduled telephonic follow-up should supplement more sophisticated technologies, survey respondents emphasized.

Download an executive summary of results from the 2013 Home Visits survey.

Healthcare Benchmarks Video: Coordination of Care for Dual Eligibles

October 30th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Care coordination of the 9 million Americans eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid is a growing priority for the nation's payors who wish to address this population's unique medical, social and functional needs in a coordinated and cost-efficient manner.

This video from the Healthcare Intelligence Network features exclusive, actionable data from HIN's 2013 Coordination of Care of Dual Eligibles survey.

During the exclusive video, Timothy Schwab, former chief medical officer for SCAN Health Plan, discusses the SCAN Duals Care Team, which reflects the diverse needs and identities of dual eligibles. This video identifies the target population for programs and the key staff members needed to coordinate the care for these dual eligibles.

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

Infographic: The Prescription Drug Price Tsunami – Are We Powerless?

October 30th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Prescription drugs use are the source of a significant amount of healthcare costs. Over the last decade, the percentage of Americans using five or more prescription drugs increased by 70 percent, according to a new infographic from Healthcoverageally.com.

This infographic also details prescription drug use in America, the cost of prescription drugs in America in comparison with other countries, the result of expensive prescription prices, and potential reasons for such high prices.

The Prescription Drug Price Tsunami

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: Drug Benefit Trends and Strategies: 2013.

Infographic: The Skinny on Workplace Wellness

October 29th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

By rewarding lifestyle behavior change over program participation, using texting and social networking to promote programs and putting more weight on patient satisfaction as a program success metric, employers are creating a health-oriented work environment.

About 51 percent of U.S. employers offer wellness programs, with larger companies more likely to have more complex programs, according to a new infographic from the RAND Corporation. This infographic also outlines the services included in the wellness programs, disease management services, the incentives that fuel the programs and the types of screenings that take place.

The Skinny on Wellness in the Workplace

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: 2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health & Wellness Incentives.

Infographic: Family Nurse Practitioners and the Affordable Care Act

October 28th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains many provisions that will affect healthcare providers and workers across the continuum.

The ACA will provide $1.5 billion over five years to allow nurses, social workers and other professionals conduct home visits for pregnant women and young children to improve health outcomes, according to a new infographic from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences. This infographic also shows how nurse practitioners contribute to primary care and provides a look at what has happened in the years since the Affordable Care Act was conceptualized and enacted.

Insurance & the New Healthcare Law

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: Hospitals and Community Benefit: New Demands, New Approaches.

Infographic: Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Statistics

October 25th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Those with Alzheimer's Disease live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

In 2013, $293 billion was spent on Alzheimer's Disease, and it is the fifth leading cause of death among people 65 years and older, according to a new infographic from ACSIA®. This infographic also includes symptoms, costs, heightened risks, rates of death and more.

Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Statistics

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: Alzheimer's Disease Evaluation and Management.

Healthcare Business Week in Review: PHRs, Diabetes, Health Insurance, Hospital Rankings

October 25th, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

Parents of young children who managed their family's healthcare by using integrated personal health records (PHRs) were more likely to get their children the nationally recommended number of preventive care visits, according to a Kaiser Permanente study. PHRs allow patients to view parts of their medical record, including immunizations and after-visit instructions, and to manage appointments, refill prescriptions, check lab results, and securely communicate with their healthcare providers. The online tool is particularly valuable for busy parents who might forget when to bring their children in for well-child visits or immunizations, especially when they are healthy.

Diabetics can be better managed by healthcare providers who use EHRs to manage them, says Kathy Brieger, RD, CDE, chief operations officer pf Hudson River Healthcare. The reporting system provides data on patients, letting providers know who may have missed appointments for hemoglobin A1C or who could benefit from self management programs or care coordination. More in our featured book excerpt this week.

Online management plays heavily into a survey of small business owners looking at insurance options for their employees. According to researchers from the Commonwealth Fund, more than half of survey respondents who currently provide their employees with health benefits are willing to offer a choice of health plans while paying a fixed cost, as long as the employee pays extra for a more expensive plan. When asked what would make health insurance management easier, more than half said being able to compare plans, costs, benefits, physicians in the network, and other features online would be welcome.

Self management is the key to a new initiative aimed at helping hospitals across the state understand their practice patterns compared with their peers, better manage costs and improve outcomes for patients. The Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC), launched by BCBS of Michigan, Blue Care Network, and the University of Michigan Health System, will provide hospitals with timely feedback about utilization and payment, comparing hospitals on cost and variation based on claims data from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Participating hospitals will not only receive information about their comparative costs during hospital admissions and their comparison to the statewide average, but also for care delivered before and after hospitalization.

And lastly, our new online survey for you to manage: please tell us how you have weathered the storms of 2013 - from an early surge in Medicare accountable care collaborations to the recent rocky introduction of ACA-mandated health insurance exchanges during a government shutdown - and are preparing for 2014 by completing HIN's ninth annual survey on Healthcare Trends by November 18th. You'll receive a free executive summary of the compiled results, and your responses will be kept strictly confidential. One respondent will win a training DVD of the "2014 Healthcare Trends and Forecasts" webinar recorded on October 30, 2013.

Infographic: On the Road to Information-Driven Healthcare

October 24th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

Innovative technology is changing the field of healthcare from increased patient engagement to the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) to genomic and personalized medicine.

Ninety percent of healthcare CIOs view IT innovation as critical to success, according to a new infographic from Dell. The infographic also provides details on desktop visualization, EHR statistics, the use of social media, telehealth and mobile devices, as well as potential challenges such as data security, shortages of health IT workers and more.

On the Road to Information-Driven 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: 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine .

Infographic: Insurance and the New Healthcare Law

October 23rd, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires everyone to have health insurance by 2014 or they will be fined. Starting in 2014, people who could not previously afford healthcare will get financial help to buy a plan, according to a new infographic from This is Personal™.

This infographic also outlines how this new legislature will affect Americans, what it will cost and how to enroll.

Insurance & the New Healthcare Law

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: Product Design, Promotion and Positioning.