Archive for November, 2016

Infographic: Alternative Payment Model Trends

November 30th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Alternative Payment Model Trends

Public and private health plans voluntarily participated in a national effort to measure the use of alternative payment models (APMs) as well as progress toward the goal of tying 30% of U.S. healthcare payments to APMs by 2016 and 50% by 2018, the results of which are depicted in a new infographic by the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (LAN).

The infographic drills down on the number of covered lives and market share participating in APMs, as well as the amount of healthcare dollars spent in APMs.

Physician Chronic Care Management Reimbursement: Roadmap to MIPS Success Under MACRAA 2015 adopter of Medicare's Chronic Care Management (CCM) reimbursement program, The Center for Primary Care (CPC) quickly expanded its CCM initiative to qualifying Medicare beneficiaries at its nine locations. Today, with a detailed profile of its CCM population and the health improvements and revenue that resulted, the CPC is leveraging this Chronic Care Management experience for participation in MACRA.

Physician Chronic Care Management Reimbursement: Roadmap to MIPS Success Under MACRA describes how early adoption of Medicare's CCM Reimbursement program enhanced the Center's MACRA-readiness, laying the foundation for success under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) path.

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. Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

2017 Healthcare Success Formula: Care Management Sophistication and ‘Patient Stickiness’

November 29th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

HIN's 13th annual planning session provided a roadmap to key healthcare issues, challenges and opportunities in 2017.

Whether concerned with healthcare delivery or reimbursement for services rendered, providers and payors alike will need to be nimble in the coming year to survive and thrive in a sharply shifting, value-based marketplace, advises Steven Valentine, vice president, Advisory Consulting Services, Premier Inc.

"Be aware: the competitors you've had in the past are changing, and you're seeing more competition with various Internet providers, CVS, Apple, Watson. It's all going to change," said Valentine during Trends Shaping the Healthcare Industry in 2017: A Strategic Planning Session, a November 2016 webinar now available for replay.

But what healthcare shouldn't panic about, at least for the immediate future, is the demise of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"[The ACA] is not going to be canceled any time soon," Valentine emphasized during the thirteenth annual planning session sponsored by the Healthcare Intelligence Network. "We would expect it would take two years, at least, to begin to put in some kind of a replacement program."

Assuring participants that within all this industry flux are opportunities, Valentine suggested they follow the lead of retail pharmacy CVS. "CVS envisions itself as a full service healthcare organization with a goal of 'patient stickiness.' In other words, CVS is saying, 'I need patients to rely on me as their source of getting started for healthcare.'"

Later in the program, he offered participants a four-point plan for improving patient stickiness.

As for care management sophistication, Valentine pointed to the pairing of hospitals with a case manager, with incentives for care managers and hospitalists to manage down length of stay, or manage resource consumption.

"We're probably gravitating more toward care management models that are outside the four walls of the hospitals...which will give us better economies, better outcomes, people more specialized in the areas they're in that could really help provide better quality at a lower cost."

And while the healthcare thought leader believes Medicare will remain essentially untouched by the incoming presidential administration, he did identify nearly a dozen areas where President-Elect Donald Trump's 'Better Way' might eventually make its mark on healthcare, including more price transparency and the sale of insurance across state lines.

Moving on to sector-specific forecasts, Valentine outlined four expectations for health plans, including a push for more access points like telehealth and urgent care centers and added pressure to reduce chronic care costs.

Healthcare providers should focus on population health and immerse themselves in data analytics to better prepare for MACRA and the narrow, quality-based provider networks that will result.

Both sectors should expect more consumer demand for accountability, Valentine said, since patients and health plan members are fed up with rising costs and armed with more transparency information and health awareness.

Valentine concluded his presentation with eight guiding principles for 2017 success, including collaboration between health plans and physicians.

And in the Q&A that followed, Valentine offered guidance on a number of issues, including how providers can grow their population bases; identifying and addressing social health determinants; succeeding in value-based healthcare, and offering efficient, integrated behavioral healthcare services.

Click here to listen to advice from Steven Valentine on employing technology for patient engagement.

HINfographic: Health Coaching: A Win-Win Game Plan for Behavior Change

November 28th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

From supporting 'rising risk' populations telephonically to visiting recently discharged high-risk, high-cost individuals at home, health coaches aim to score all-important health behavior change. Seventy percent of respondents to the 2016 Health Coaching survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network have launched health coaching ventures.

A new infographic by HIN examines the primary duties of health coaches, the trend toward co-location of health coaches and incentives for health coach participation.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health Coaching2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health Coaching is the fifth comprehensive analysis of the health coaching arena by the Healthcare Intelligence Network, capturing key metrics such as populations, health conditions and health risk levels targeted by health coaching programs; risk stratification criteria; prevalence of embedded coaching within care sites; coaching tools and incentives as well as program outcomes and ROI from more than 100 healthcare organizations.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Health Coaching drills down to explore health coaching case loads, experience, certification, performance measurement (individual and program) and more key metrics and is supported with more than 50 graphs and tables. Click here for more information.

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.

Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Infographic: IoT in Healthcare Trends

November 25th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Some 6.4 Billion connected things will be in use by the end of 2016, with some 5.5 million new things getting connected every day, according to a new infographic by Gartner. The IoT revolution is spreading and healthcare institutions are embracing the change. The industry is taking advantage of connected devices to improve healthcare outcomes and patient engagements.

The infographic looks at the role IoT plays in the healthcare ecosystem and what the future may look like.

Empowered Digital Patients

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital HealthDigital health, also referred to as 'connected health,' leverages technology to help identify, track and manage health problems and challenges faced by patients. Person-centric health management is slowly acknowledging the device-driven lives of patients and health plan members and incorporating these tools into care delivery and management efforts.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital Health examines program goals, platforms, components, development strategies, target populations and health conditions, patient engagement metrics, results and challenges reported by more than 100 healthcare organizations responding to the February 2016 Digital Health survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

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. Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Infographic: Medicare and End-of-Life Care

November 23rd, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Although Medicare spent significantly more on care for people at the end of life who died in 2014 ($34,529 per person) than for other beneficiaries that year ($9,121 per person), the share of total Medicare spending for people at the end of life decreased from 18.6% to 13.5% between 2000 and 2014, according to a new Visualizing Health Policy infographic by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The infographic also examines Medicare spending for end of life care by age, Medicare spending on hospice and the impact of Medicare reimbursement to discuss end of life care, which began in January 2016.

Medicare and End-of-Life Care

Care Coordination in an ACO: Population Health Management from Wellness to End-of-LifeWhen acknowledging its position as a top-ranking Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), Memorial Hermann is quick to credit its own physicians—who in 2007 lobbied for a clinically integrated network that formed the foundation of the current Memorial Hermann accountable care organization (ACO). Now, eight years later, collaboration and integration continue to be the engines driving the ACO's cost savings, reduced utilization and healthy patient engagement rates associated with Memorial Hermann ACO's highest-risk population.

Care Coordination in an ACO: Population Health Management from Wellness to End-of-Life details Memorial Hermann's carefully executed journey to quality and the culmination of the ACO's community-based care management program.

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. Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Providers and ACO Data Analytics: Too Much Information Is Not Helpful

November 22nd, 2016 by Patricia Donovan
Add a different caption here.

Collaborative Health Systems believes the health data it distributes to its physicians should speak to the challenges providers see in the market.

As the largest sponsor of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) accountable care organizations (ACOs), Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) has learned a number of lessons about the integration of data analytics and technology. Here, Elena Tkachev, CHS director of ACO analytics, outlines three challenges her organization has faced in the rollout of health analytics to its provider base, and some CHS approaches to these hurdles.

What are some of the challenges we have identified, and some solutions? Number one is the availability and access to timely and accurate data. This has been a challenge for us. As an insurance company, we have a very strong expertise and access to the claims information Medicare provides to us, but we did face the challenge of incorporating electronic medical records (EMRs) into our data. We have been taking a phased approach, where we continue only adding and enhancing our data. If you are not at a point where you’re ready to consume everything, it doesn’t mean you should not do it until you have all the pieces together. It’s better to start with something and then you can grow from that point and improve it.

The second is related to the technology and capability—the ability to aggregate all this different data from different resources and have it be meaningful. For us, it’s really an investment in having strong technology data architect subject matter experts as well as the tools that can help us with that.

The third is display of meaningful results. This has been a challenge and we’ve reiterated it. Since I first started at CHS, the reports have drastically changed, because we learned from our providers that too much information is not helpful; just giving someone a spreadsheet with a lot of columns is not very useful.

Providers would rather see information summarized, and less is more. It’s really important to have information be very clear. The data needs to speak to the challenges the providers see in the market.

Source: Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results

http://hin.3dcartstores.com/Health-Analytics-in-Accountable-Care-Leveraging-Data-to-Transform-ACO-Performance-and-Results-_p_5185.html

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results documents the accomplishments of CHS's 24 ACOs under the MSSP program, the crucial role of data analytics in CHS operations, and the many lessons learned as an early trailblazer in value-based care delivery.

Infographic: Measuring Total Investments in Health

November 21st, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Current spending on medical care is increasing, but does not always translate to improved health. Research has, however, shown a positive relationship between spending on social services and improved health and there has been a growing number efforts to measure “total spend on health” or the investments being made to produce health, according to a new infographic by Leavitt Partners.

To better understand total spend on health, defined as health expenditures that extend beyond traditional clinical care costs or total cost of care measures to include costs related to social determinants of health, Leavitt conducted, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an assessment of related research and initiatives.

The infographic examines the key challenges of analyzing total spend on health and next steps for healthcare leaders, researchers and other stakeholders in this area.

Empowered Digital Patients

The move from fee-for-service to value-based healthcare is driving the need for increased capabilities in population health management, including addressing all of the areas that may impact a person's health. There is growing recognition that a broad range of social, economic and environmental factors shape an individual's health, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. In fact, 60 percent of premature deaths are due to either individual behaviors or social and environmental factors. Healthcare providers who adopt value-based reimbursement models have an economic interest in all of the factors that impact a person's health and providers must develop new skills and data gathering capabilities and forge community partnerships to understand and impact these factors.

During Social Determinants and Population Health: Moving Beyond Clinical Data in a Value-Based Healthcare System a December 8th webinar at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, Dr. Randall Williams, chief executive officer, Pharos Innovations, will share his insight on the opportunity available to providers to impact population health beyond traditional clinical factors.

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. Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Infographic: Empowered Digital Patients

November 18th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Today's empowered digital patients desire smarter, more connected care, according to a new infographic by CDW Healthcare.

The infographic examines the technology making the rounds across healthcare settings to deliver value to patients and providers.

Empowered Digital Patients

Real-time remote management of high-risk populations curbed hospitalizations, hospital readmissions and ER visits for more than 80 percent of respondents and boosted self-management levels for nearly all remotely monitored patients, according to 2014 market data from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN).

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care Management profiles a successful eight-year initiative by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation's (NYCHHC) House Calls Telehealth Program that significantly lowered patients' A1C blood glucose levels.

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. Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Infographic: MACRA Pathways

November 16th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Under MACRA, 2017 will be the first performance year physicians will be scored to determine payment adjustments in 2019. Physicians will choose between two payment tracks: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or the Alternative Payment Model (APM), according to a new infographic by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

The infographic highlights the path options physicians can choose.

Infographic: MACRA Pathways

No matter which level of participation physician practices choose for the first Quality Payment Program performance period beginning January 1, 2017, CMS's "Pick Your Pace" announcement means practices should proactively prepare for the impact of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) on physician quality reporting and reimbursement.

MACRA Physician Quality Reporting: Positioning Your Practice for the MIPS Merit-Based Incentive Payment System delivers a veritable MACRA toolkit for physician practices, with dozens of tips and strategies that lay the groundwork for reimbursement under Medicare's Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), expected to begin in 2017 and one of two payment paths Medicare will offer to practices.

Have an infographic you'd like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.

Guest Post: Care Transitions Are Susceptible To Breakdowns; Technology-Enabled Patient Outreach Offers Clarity and Improved Outcomes

November 15th, 2016 by Chuck Hayes, vice president of product management for TeleVox Solutions, West Corporation

Technology-Enabled Patient Touchpoints Post-Discharge

A surprisingly simple way to improve care transitions is to reach out to patients within a few days of hopsital discharge automatically with the help of technology.

Transitional care's inherently complex nature makes it susceptible to breakdowns. During care transitions there are many moving parts to coordinate, patients are vulnerable, and healthcare failures are more likely to occur. For these reasons, transitional care is a growing area of concern for hospital administrators and other healthcare leaders.

Errors that happen at pivotal points in care, like during a hospital discharge or transfer from one facility to another, can have serious consequences. Fortunately, strengthening communication and engaging patients can effectively solve many of the problems that transpire during care transitions.

When patients' needs go unmet after being discharged from the hospital, the risk of those individuals being readmitted is high. Around 20 percent of Medicare patients discharged from the hospital return within a month. CMS has taken several steps to try to improve transition care and minimize breakdowns that lead to hospital readmissions. Under the government's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Plan (HRRP), hospitals can be assigned penalties for unintentional and avoidable readmissions related to conditions like heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, and elective hip or knee replacement surgeries.

Between October 2016 and September 2017, Medicare will withhold more than $500 million in payments from hospitals that incurred penalties based on readmission rates. These penalties affect about half of the hospitals in the United States.

Not only are payment penalties problematic, but because readmissions rates are published on Medicare's Hospital Compare website, public opinion is also worrisome for hospitals with a high number of readmissions.

A surprisingly simple way to prevent patients from returning to the hospital is to reach out to them within a few days of discharge. Outreach can be done automatically with the help of technology. For example, with little effort, hospitals can send automated messages prompting patients to complete a touchtone survey. A survey that asks patients whether they are experiencing pain–and whether or not they have been taking prescribed medications–provides good insight about the likelihood of them returning to the hospital. It also allows hospitals to respond to issues sooner rather than later.

Medical teams know that patients are particularly vulnerable during the 30 days following a hospital discharge. Leveraging technology-enabled engagement communications multiple times, in multiple ways throughout that month-long window is a good strategy for improving post-discharge transitions. Whether that involves reminding a patient about a follow-up appointment, asking them to submit a reading from a home monitoring device, verifying that they are tolerating their medication, or communicating about something else, it is important to have plans in place to initiate an intervention if necessary.

For example, if a patient indicates that they are experiencing side effects or symptoms that warrant examination by a doctor, a hospital team member should escalate the situation and help coordinate an appointment for the patient. Recognizing problems is one component of improving care transitions, responding to them is another.

Imagine a patient has recently been released from the hospital after having a heart attack. The patient was given three new prescriptions for medications to take. He may have questions about when and how to take the medications or whether they can be taken in combination with a previous prescription. Hospital staff can use technology-enabled communications to coordinate with the patient's primary care doctor and pharmacy to ensure the patient has all the information they need to safely and correctly follow medication instructions. The hospital can also survey the patient to find out if he is having difficulty with medication or other discharge instructions, and learn what services or interventions might be beneficial. Following that, a care manager can provide phone support to answer questions.

Fewer than half of patients say they're confident that they understand the instructions of how to care for themselves after discharge. Without some sort of additional support, what will happen to those patients? In the past, hospitals may have felt that patient experiences outside the walls of their facility were not their concern. But that has changed.

Care transitions are exactly that–transitions. They are changes, but not end points. Hospitals should foster a culture that recognizes and supports the idea that care does not end at discharge. It continues, just in a different way. When patients physically leave a hospital, the manner in which care is delivered needs to progress. Rather than delivering care in person, healthcare organizations can support patients via outreach communications. The degree to which that happens impacts how well (or poorly) transitions go for patients.

Improving care transitions is not as daunting as it might seem, particularly for medical teams that use technology-enabled communications to support and engage patients. To ensure patients have the knowledge and resources they need, and that they are acting in ways that will keep them out of the hospital, medical teams must focus on optimizing communications beyond the clinical setting.

About the Author: Chuck Hayes is an advocate for utilizing technology-enabled communications to engage and activate patients beyond the clinical setting. He leads product and solution strategy for West Corporation’s TeleVox Solutions, focusing on working with healthcare organizations of all sizes to better understand how they can leverage technology to solve organizational challenges and goals, improve patient experience, increase engagement and reduce the cost of care. Hayes currently serves as Vice President of Product Management for TeleVox Solutions at West Corporation (www.west.com), where the healthcare mission is to help organizations harness communications to expand the boundaries of where, when, and how healthcare is delivered.

HIN Disclaimer: The opinions, representations and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of the Healthcare Intelligence Network as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.