Archive for the ‘Compliance’ Category

Infographic: 7 Reasons to Engage With Patients Before Their Appointments

February 26th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

The need to engage patients by preparing them before their appointments is rapidly growing. Positives include efficiency and increased patient satisfaction due to less manual data entry and shorter patient wait times among other benefits, according to a new infographic from Leading Reach.

This infographic provides the top seven reasons to engage with patients before their appointments and 10 examples of information that can be sent to patients before their appointment to ensure satisfaction.

You may also be interested in this related resource: Healthcare Innovation in Action: 19 Transformative Trends. Need more ways to increase patient satisfaction? This 40-page resource examines a set of pioneering efforts supporting the industry’s seismic shift from a volume-based culture to one rewarding value and patient-centeredness.


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Can Telemedicine Improve Patient Care and Reduce Hospital Readmissions?

February 6th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

Where technologies such as videoconferencing for remote diagnostics are deployed, adopters report impressive gains in the care of remote and rural patients, as well as a decrease in health complications, according to responses to the Healthcare Intelligence Network’s Telehealth in 2013 survey.

Take, for example, the numerous initiatives in the area of remote monitoring, the top clinical telehealth application reported by this year’s respondents. Fifty-seven percent monitor patients or members remotely; fully 100 percent of those employing this technology track vital signs and weight in monitored individuals, two critical red flags in treatment of individuals with chronic illness.

Active users of telehealth and telemedicine also experience fewer hospitalizations, hospital readmissions, emergency room visits and bed days, respondents reported.

Researchers at UC Davis Children’s Hospital recently found that telemedicine consultations with pediatric critical-care medicine physicians significantly improved the quality of care for seriously ill and injured children treated in remote rural ERs, where pediatricians and pediatric specialists are scarce.

The study also found that rural ER physicians are more likely to adjust their pediatric patients’ diagnoses and course of treatment after a live, interactive videoconference with a specialist. Parents’ satisfaction and perception of the quality of their child’s care also are significantly improved when consultations are provided using telemedicine, rather than telephone, and aid ER treatment, the study found.

Excerpted from 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine.

Women’s Health Must be Priority for States’ Health Exchanges

March 13th, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

Women are finally getting the respect they deserve.

According to a new report from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS), women’s health issues are key to the health of the nation and should be a major consideration when policymakers design and set up new insurance exchanges. And states need to maintain transparency so women can know up front what their coverage includes, including enrollment processes, scope of benefits, out of pocket charges and exemptions, so they can best provide for themselves and their families.

Transparency is also key to HHS’s aggessive list of health information technology (HIT) goals for 2013. Among them: at least 50 percent of physician offices will be using EHRs, and a majority will use electronic exchange among providers, ensuring that patients’ health information will be accessible wherever they access care. These goals are considered crucial to reducing healthcare costs and improving care quality, HHS officials say.

Increased access is behind a new primary care medical home (PCMH) certification from the Joint Commission. Designed for hospitals and critical access hospitals that have ambulatory care services that include primary care services offered by clinicians, the certification is considered beneficial to patients because it provides them increased access to the clinician and interdisciplinary team, and care from other clinicians and facilities is tracked and coordinated and regulated by evidence-based treatment protocols.

And increased virtual access is welcome to the majority of consumers, says a new Cisco Customer Experience Report recently released at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference.

Consumers and healthcare decision-makers across the globe were surveyed on sharing personal health data, participating in in-person medical consultation versus remote care and using technology to make recommendations on personal health. Results showed that the majority of Americans favored the increase of technology and remote care.

Three-quarters of consumers find access to care more important than face-to-face contact with their clinician, and are comfortable with the use of technology for medical interaction. The bottom line: consumers will overlook cost, convenience and travel, in order to be treated at a perceived leading healthcare provider to gain access to trusted care and expertise.

And don’t forget to take our new online survey on care transitions in 2013. Describe how your organization strategizes care transitions and you’ll receive a free executive summary of survey results once it is compiled.

These stories and more in this week’s issue of the Healthcare Business Weekly Update.

Infographic: The 5 C’s of Healthcare for 2013

March 11th, 2013 by Patricia Donovan

2013 will be the most important year in U.S. healthcare industry in modern history thus far, according to Deloitte. The nation’s fiscal challenges and the healthcare industry’s bulk are on a collision course, says the consulting firm, predicting that the story line about healthcare in 2013 will center on five themes: Clarity, Costs, Compliance, Consolidation, and Consumers.

The infographic below highlights each of these themes and what the nation might expect in 2013 from each.

2013's 5 C’s of Healthcare

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2013: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry.

Infographic: Smoking Statistics for U.S. Adults with Mental Illness

March 8th, 2013 by Patricia Donovan

People with mental illness smoke at much higher rates than the U.S. population as a whole, but are as interested in quitting as other smokers and can quit successfully with more intensive smoking cessation treatment.

Those are the conclusions of a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which found that adults who suffer from mental illness are 70 percent more likely to be cigarette smokers. About 36 percent of adults with mental illness smoke, compared to 21 percent of adults with no mental illness.

Smoking Statistics for US Adults with Mental Illness

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You may also be interested in this related resource: 2011 Benchmarks in Tobacco Cessation and Prevention.

RWJ Forum on Reducing Readmissions: “Hospital Discharge is Tipping Point”

February 15th, 2013 by Patricia Donovan

Interdisciplinary care teams, including a transition navigator, are one key to reducing hospital readmissions and improving transitional care.

In the increasingly hot-button realm of reducing avoidable Medicare rehospitalizations, the handoff from hospital to home has become the tipping point, agreed expert panelists at this week’s Care About Your Care forum presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“The hospital discharge is either a moment where we can deliver great care, or we could fail,” stated Nancy Snyderman, MD, NBC chief medical editor, who led the forum along with RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA. The live event was designed to energize the national conversation about reducing hospital readmissions, the cost of which is estimated at about $30 billion a year.

“All patients need to have seamless journeys back to their communities after a hospitalization,” said Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey in her opening remarks.

Of all the innovations in transitional care management presented during the 90-minute webcast, a novel idea emerged: ask the patient what they need.

That was one of the three opportunities for improving readmission rates identified by Eric Coleman, MD, who developed the popular Care Transitions Intervention® a template for transitional care. “We need to better engage patients and family members,” he suggested, a tactic that can uncover specific issues that contribute to readmissions, such as lack of transportation or a burned-out caregiver.

Dr. Coleman also implored hospitals to recognize that causes of readmissions are very broad and often outside the scope of what hospitals can accomplish. “A hospital might not be able to address a patient’s transportation issue, but an Office on Aging can.”

Thirdly, communication and the exchange of health information need to improve, he said.

Another key to successful transitional care management is the spread of innovations and technologies and the adapting of interventions to fit a provider’s need. “We need to make sure that the data tools, analytical tools, and decision support tools are used across the board,” said panelist Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Dr. Naylor helped to implement the Transitional Care Model (TCM), another popular model that provides comprehensive in-hospital planning and home follow-up for chronically ill high-risk older adults hospitalized for common medical and surgical conditions.

Of course, all of these interventions come with a cost. Jonathan Blum, MA, of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) addressed the issue of reimbursement for transitional care, as well as the federal payor’s new Readmissions Reduction Program. “While it’s true we are focusing on readmissions, we are also helping hospitals to improve transitions. We are helping them to see what happens to patients beyond the four walls.”

As far as payment, CMS is changing how Medicare pays for care, with new models like bundled payments, he said. “It’s our job to set the standards and drive performance to meet that standard. We can provide best practices and share learnings.”

Learnings were shared during the forum, in the form of winning submissions from RWJ’s Transitions to Better Care Video Contest. More than 100 care teams around the country submitted videos detailing the innovative ways in which they are improving care transitions, defined by Dr. Coleman as “the movement patients make between healthcare practitioners and settings as their condition and care needs change during the course of a chronic or acute illness.”

Among the innovations highlighted during the forum:

  • A Transition Navigator at the University of Utah Health Care in Salt Lake City who screens the list of patients admitted daily, interacting with the care team and following the patients all the way through post-discharge. The organization’s use of a transition navigator has reduced readmissions by 23 percent.
  • Care team members at Cullman Regional Medical Center in Alabama use an iPod Touch to record a physician’s discharge instructions in front of the patient, which the patients can later retrieve online. This tactic reduced rehospitalizations by 15 percent.
  • Mercy Health in Cincinnati, a self-proclaimed “hotbed of readmissions,” began with six nurses and the four pillars of the Coleman model — medication management, prompt follow-up, a dynamic health record, and red flags and alerts — and added one of their own, working through barriers to regime adherence that were ratcheting up readmission rates. The end result was a reduction in hospital readmissions from 16.9 percent in 2011 to 14.5 percent in October 2012, with an estimated savings of $850,000.

The forum was also an opportunity for the foundation to publicize its latest report, The Revolving Door: A Report on U.S. Hospital Readmissions. The report found that despite the spotlight cast on this issue in recent years, readmission rates among Medicare beneficiaries remain virtually unchanged since 2008. For example:

One in eight Medicare patients were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being released after surgery in 2010, while patients in the hospital for reasons other than surgery returned at an even higher rate of one in six.

Complicating the challenges of readmissions are individuals with mental health issues, as well as the elderly with advanced illness.

“Revolving door hospitalizations typically happen in the last years of life,” said one audience member during the Q&A. “We must begin to have upfront conversations about death with patients long before we refer them to hospice.”

Infographic: The ICD-10 Compliance Countdown

August 10th, 2012 by Melanie Matthews

With just over a year to the October 1, 2013 ICD-10 compliance deadline, only 1 percent of healthcare organizations have completed their ICD-10 compliance implementation, according to a new infographic from TEKsystems.

The infographic also illustrates the role of health IT vendors and health IT staff in achieving compliance.
The Race to the ICD-10 Finish Line

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Infographic: Putting a Price Tag on HIPAA Violations

August 3rd, 2012 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare organizations and their employees can face both civil and criminal penalties for knowingly, and even unknowingly, violating a patient’s right to privacy of their personal health information governed under the HIPAA regulations.

Fines start in the hundred dollar range and can reach within the millions, while jail sentences from one to 10 years can be imposed. “The High Cost of HIPAA Violations” infographic illustrates the range of penalties and the cost to several healthcare organizations that have violated the regulations.

The High Cost of HIPAA Violations

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