Archive for the ‘Disease Management’ Category

Infographic: Chronic Migraine Patients

March 1st, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Chronic migraine patients have impaired socioeconomic status, reduced quality of life and reduced workplace productivity, according to a new study released by the Headache & Migraine Policy Forum. Moreover, chronic migraine patients commonly have other comorbid conditions that complicate their medical treatment.

The Headache & Migraine Policy Forum has released a new infographic based on the study's findings. The infographic examines the prevalence of chronic migraine patients, healthcare spending on migraine patients and the leading comorbidities associated with migraine patients.

EHR and Clinical Documentation Effectiveness

Centralized Care Management to Reduce Readmissions and Avoidable ED Visits in High-Risk PopulationsWhen AMITA Health set out to devise a more efficient method of moving its highest-risk Medicare beneficiaries across its care continuum, the newly minted Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) accountable care organization (ACO) abandoned its siloed approach in favor of an enterprise-wide human-centric model of care.

Centralized Care Management to Reduce Readmissions and Avoidable ED Visits in High-Risk Populations describes how the nine-hospital system inventoried, reexamined and revamped its care management resources, ultimately implementing a centralized care management model that would support the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim goals.

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Infographic: The Data Behind Diabetes

July 22nd, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

The number of people living with diabetes has quadrupled since 1980, growing to more than 400 million. And with this rise in disease, sales of diabetes-related products have also climbed. In fact, in 2015, American consumers spent $592 million on such products, according to the World Health Organization.

Managing diabetes requires a proper balance of professional medical management, blood sugar control, and maintaining a healthy diet. So there is great value in understanding the diabetic patient and consumer journey through each step of the management process, all the way from the doctor's office to the grocery aisles. And today, thanks to the power of data insights, healthcare providers and physicians, product manufacturers, and retailers can better tailor their offerings and experiences to aid diabetic patients and consumers in their path to healthy living.

A new infographic by Nielsen reflects key insights around the diabetic consumer.

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care ManagementReal-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.

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Health Coaching Success Metrics and 8 More Behavior Change Benchmarks

July 7th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

Satisfied clients and participants on track for goal attainment are two hallmarks of a can't-lose coaching initiative.

Satisfied clients and participants on track for goal attainment are two hallmarks of a can't-lose coaching initiative.

What are the hallmarks of a winning health coaching strategy? The answer depends on what's being measured: the effectiveness of the individual coach, the participant's progress, or overall program success.

That's the feedback from 111 healthcare organizations responding to the 2016 Health Coaching Survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

If you're looking to measure the health coach's success, then client satisfaction is the best indicator, say 27 percent of these respondents.

On the other hand, for a gauge of an individual's progress, look to the participant's goal attainment, report 78 percent.

This same metric—goal achievement—is also the best indicator of program success as a whole, agree 64 percent.

The May 2016 survey documented a number of other health coaching benchmarks, including the following:

  • Motivational interviewing is a coach's top tactic to effect behavior change, say 83 percent.
  • All-important ‘face time’ with coaches is plentiful: 47 percent embed or co-locate health coaches at points of care, with most onsite coaching occurring in primary care offices (50 percent) or at employer work sites (50 percent).
  • Nine percent even embed health coaches in hospital emergency rooms.
  • While a majority focuses on coaching high-risk individuals with multiple chronic illnesses, 51 percent now extend eligibility for health coaching to individuals stratified as ‘rising risk.’
  • Nearly half of respondents—48 percent—offer health coaching to patients and health plan members with behavioral health diagnoses.
  • Reflecting the surge in telehealth, 12 percent of respondents offer video health coaching sessions to clients.

Download an executive summary of the 2016 Health Coaching survey.

Infographic: The Case for Preventive Care

May 4th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Counseling, screenings, wellness visits. These are a just a few avenues that employers take to help employees improve health, increase productivity and reduce costs, according to a new infographic by osWell Health Management.

The infographic provides background data on the impact of chronic conditions on healthcare costs and employee productivity and the potential impact of preventive interventions.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Chronic Care ManagementThe desire to improve health outcomes for individuals with serious illness coupled with opportunities to generate additional revenue have prompted healthcare providers to step up chronic care management initiatives. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now reimburses physician practices for select chronic care management (CCM) services for Medicare beneficiaries, with more private payors likely to follow suit.

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Chronic Care Management captures tools, practices and lessons learned by the healthcare industry related to the management of chronic disease. Click here for more information.

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Horizon Episodes of Care Program Prototype for Value-Based Specialty Care and Reimbursement

April 21st, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

Horizon BCBS-NJ's Episodes of Care program engages specialists across a suite of nine episodes.

Imagine a value-based healthcare payment model in which the sole financial hazard to specialist providers is the risk of amassing additional revenue.

Further, envision a scenario in which these specialists are invited to design their payment program, from the model's intent to key quality metrics.

Those are some highlights of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey's Episodes of Care (EOC) program, a value-based model designed to focus specialists on the provision of quality- and value-based care across nine separate episodes, from joint replacement to hysterectomy to oncology.

Hailed as a national leader in advancing the episodes model as a prototype for value-based specialty care, Horizon is careful to distinguish its EOC program from a bundled payment initiative, for two key reasons.

"First, our EOC program is a quality-based program; it's not only about the payment or payment structure," explained Lili Brillstein, director of the Horizon Episodes of Care program during a recent webinar, Episodes of Care: Improving Clinical Outcomes and Reducing Total Cost of Care Through a Collaborative Payor-Provider Relationship.

Secondly, bundled payments typically refer to a prospective model in which a bundled amount of money is paid to a provider or group of providers in advance of services being delivered, while Horizon's retrospective model pays providers after services have been provided.

The upside-only nature of Horizon's retrospective model contributes to the program's collaborative nature, Ms. Brillstein added. "If the metrics are met, savings are shared. If the metrics are not met, we’re not punishing our partners."

There is other evidence of collaboration and of Horizon's desire to see the providers succeed in the EOC program. One example is the payor's use of case mix-adjusted budgets at the practice level rather than the prevalent member-specific risk-adjusted budgets. "This budgeting allows Horizon to create an opportunity for providers to move the needle [on a metric], and benefit from that. The opportunity for cost savings and shared savings also is dramatically improved."

Another case in point is Horizon's invitation to prospective providers to talk through the episode's construct, intent and design prior to its launch.

Horizon's engagement of providers in the EOC program has "changed the spirit of the relationships between the payor and the provider," Ms. Brillstein noted. "It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Our provider partners have become our ambassadors for the program."

Select EOC results presented during the webinar indicated that outcomes are better for EOC partners—in the area of reduced readmissions, for example—than they are for physicians not in the EOC program.

Horizon expects to launch at least three more episodes in 2016, including a Crohn’s Disease episode that will take into account behavioral health services for those members. While the payor fully expects to move to a prospective model, it believes its current EOC model is preparing them for that eventuality, softening the transition from fee for service to prospective payments.

"[That transition] doesn’t just happen. You don’t sign the paper, and suddenly know what to do. It is an evolutionary transformative process," concluded Ms. Brillstein.

Click here to listen to an interview with Lili Brillstein: Horizon BCBSNJ Episodes of Care: No-Risk Retrospective Model Paves Way for Value-Based Migration

The Care Plan Process: 15 Trends to Know

January 21st, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

Care planning begins with a needs assessment, say the majority of respondents to HIN's 2015 survey on Care Plans.

The use of care plans increases medication adherence, patient self-management and clinical quality ratings, say 70 percent of healthcare organizations engaged in care planning, according to newly published market metrics from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN).

A majority of respondents—83 percent—incorporate care plans into value-based healthcare delivery systems, according to HIN's December 2015 survey, with more than half of remaining organizations planning to do so in the coming year.

High-risk health indicators derived from health risk assessments or the imminent transition of a patient from one care site to another are the chief triggers of the care planning process, said survey respondents.

Survey Highlights:

Other findings from HIN's Care Plans survey include the following:

  • First and foremost in a care plan strategy is an assessment of needs, say 87 percent of respondents.
  • The electronic health record is the care plan maintenance and distribution tool of choice for almost two-thirds of respondents, although the retention of paper records is reported by nearly half of responding companies.
  • The principal criterion for classifying patients in need of care plans is the data derived from health risk assessments (HRAs), say nearly two-thirds of respondents, but patients transitioning between care sites also are prioritized for care planning, note 61 percent.
  • The presence of a behavioral health condition poses the greatest challenge to care planning by a large margin, said 39 percent of respondents, as compared to diagnosis of physical health problems.
  • The typical tracking time for care plans ranged from one to two months, said 24 percent, while adherence to care plans is checked monthly by 37 percent of respondents.
  • Patient engagement is the most significant barrier to care plan success, say 44 percent of respondents.
  • Patients’ healthcare utilization patterns are the most reliable indicators of care plan adherence, say 29 percent.
  • About 13 percent report ROI from care planning efforts as between 2:1 and 3:1.

Download a complimentary executive summary of 2016 Care Plan metrics to learn the value of evidence-based care plans in following high-risk patients through health episodes and transitions of care.

4 Patient Engagement Strategies from a Top-Performing Medicare ACO

November 17th, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

The Memorial Hermann accountable care organization, a top Medicare Shared Savings Programs (MSSP) in terms of quality metrics and cost savings, is proud of the 74 percent patient engagement rate associated with its Complex Care program for individuals with complex health conditions. Here, Mary Folladori, RN, MSN, FACM, CMAC, system director of care management at the Memorial Hermann Physician Network and ACO, outlines four tactics that help to engage high-risk patients in self-management.

First, when we outreach to members during our telephone calls, we identify our team member as calling from Memorial Hermann. We have designed scripts; our team members introduce themselves as members of that particular person’s physician office. We have access to the physician clinic’s electronic medical record (EMR) as well as to the hospital EMR if that member has been hospitalized, so we’re able to represent and present knowledge of that member as part of that physician’s team. All of those combined elements help to build trust and to enhance those engagement rates.

Second, we also have learned over time that we need to offer multiple ways to work with members. Depending on the individual member and family situation, and depending on the risk and complexity of the member, we may have a team member go into one of our facilities to introduce themselves and set up a time for that initial outreach when a transition is being planned. We may meet members in their physician clinics if we have had difficulty outreaching to them. This allows us again to build that trust and rapport with a member, or build a face-to-face relationship base with the family. That has led to that higher telephonic outreach engagement rate of 74 percent.

Third, we also have been able to enhance our engagement rates because we have built very close relationships with care managers on the payor side in the past. Sometimes there might be a different type of relationship between the care or case managers on the insurance side, but in the world of our ACO, we have specifically and deliberately built very close relationships where we have worked out workflows. We get concurrent data reports for most payors so that we’re able to reach out to members in real time—within 24 hours after a discharge, for example. We also get real-time reports on gaps in care, and on frequent or high-cost utilizers.

In the past, we started out using claims that we received. That presented a challenge, because there still is a claims lag in the world we all work within. Now for the most part, we get information directly from our payor partners, which has enabled us to outreach and engage members in a real-time manner rather than three or six months after an acute episode has ended.

And finally, because we are embedded within our physician practices and so much a part of their culture, our physicians talk to their members at that point of care and let them know that a care manager by this name will reach out to them. They explain the reason for the program and encourage that member or family to participate.

Source: Care Coordination in an ACO: Population Health Management from Wellness to End-of-Life

http://hin.3dcartstores.com/Care-Coordination-in-an-ACO-Population-Health-Management-from-Wellness-to-End-of-Life_p_5092.html

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.

Intermountain Healthcare Determined to Diminish Patient Disengagement Divide

November 5th, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

One in three healthcare consumers are disengaged from self-care, prevention and health IT, explained Intermountain Healthcare's Tammy Richards, corporate director of patient and clinical engagement.

Dismayed by national dips in patient engagement, satisfaction and health literacy, among other industry currents, Intermountain Healthcare convened a patient engagement steering committee composed of its highest level leaders.

What emerged was a strategic six-point patient engagement framework that not only has transformed patient care by the Salt Lake City-based organization but also has fostered a climate of shared accountability throughout the not-for-profit health system.

In a dramatic example of the framework's potential, Tammy Richards, corporate director of patient and clinical engagement at Intermountain Healthcare, described how one Intermountain ER nurse, using newly acquired engagement skills, emotionally and personally connected with Harold, an alcoholic, disenfranchised frequent ER utilizer who previously had only reacted in an angry, abusive fashion.

"We changed, and Harold changed, and this is really what patient engagement is about: genuinely connecting with individuals, understanding their story and then providing them with the tools, electronic or personal, to heal or hopefully stay healthy," Ms. Richards said during A Patient Engagement Framework: Intermountain Healthcare's Approach for a Value-Based System, an October 2015 webinar now available for replay.

In presenting the six key program tenets, Ms. Richards underscored how her organization's multilayered approach supports the mission of Intermountain Healthcare: Helping people live the healthiest lives possible.

Intermountain was particularly disturbed by Deloitte's finding that one in three healthcare consumers are disengaged, Ms. Richard explained. "[The disengaged] are reporting less desire for care, less commitment to preventive action, less interest in technology and other solutions, and they are less financially prepared," she said.

That critical data point ignited Intermountain's efforts to reengage and engage its consumers, she added.

She shared highlights from the six-point engagement framework, including the following:

  • Incorporation of patient and family perspectives into the planning, delivery and evaluation of healthcare;
  • Designation of a staff member as the system's health literacy coordinator;
  • Application of meaningful technology that spans the engagement framework;
  • Formation of workgroups and work streams dedicated to health literacy, engagement technology and patient experience that report to the steering committee; and
  • Better-timed offering of care decision aids to patients.

Although technology is often touted as the answer to patient engagement, Ms. Richards cautioned against the employment of too many tools to engage patients. "Historically, we’ve created chaos with systems and programs that have no interoperability. This is certainly an issue from an industry perspective; it’s also an issue within a hospital or within a system."

With its engagement framework in place, Intermountain will continue to explore new methods of creating a seamless, integrated care experience for its patients, so that it may better serve its Harolds, its chronically ill, and even its pediatric populations, Ms. Richards concluded.

"We know that we’re going to fulfill our mission and it will be a constant journey. We know that our mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible is within our grasp."

Click here for an interview with Tammy Richards.

Health Risk Stratification Model: How Well Do You Manage ‘Falling Risk’ Populations?

November 3rd, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

Health risk stratification is scalable, according to the experience of Ochsner Health System, whose scaling and centralization of risk stratification and care coordination protocols across its nine-hospital system drive ROI and improve clinical outcomes and efficiency.

Here, Mark Green, system AVP of transition management at Ochsner Health System, explains why health plans and providers need better control over 'falling risk' patients.

Regardless of your patient population, no matter how small or large, you’ve got a segment of your population that are healthy patients. You’ve got a certain percentage, about 40 percent, who are at very low risk.

About 20 percent of your population falls into a ‘rising risk’ segment. Those are patients with chronic diseases who are somewhat adherent and compliant. You’ve got some that are newly diagnosed with depression, and a comorbidity. Then you’ve got this very top 3 to 5 percent, which are your poorly controlled multiple comorbidities that need your absolute highest touch, whether it’s through complex case managers or other programs that are the highest touch of those patients.

That is the typical model in the United States where you see this segmentation. In this country, we do a relatively good job of understanding ‘rising risk’ patients. Those are your patients that are diabetic, and suddenly you see their A1C go out of control. You know they’re going off-track for some reason, whether it’s compliance, adherence, needing medication adjustments, or some other social interactions happening outside your care model. These are your ‘rising risk’ patients.

As the country begins to understand this risk stratification, it understands the ‘falling risk’ patients, too. For example, we had a congestive heart failure (CHF) clinic that was pretty successful in managing patients; they had approximately 100 patients in their CHF clinic. They were taking these complex CHF patients and sending them through education and hooking them up with complex case managers. Pretty soon they filled their entire clinic up and didn’t have any more access for new patients. It failed pretty quickly because they weren’t able to churn these patients.

As we began to do a root cause analysis of why this happened, to understand why we didn’t see the sustainability in this program, we realized it was because we never moved patients down that risk stratification model. We kept them in there forever. We received them, we managed them and we got them better. But we never moved them down, so we never had room for another newly diagnosed, out-of-control CHF patient.

That’s a really critical step to understand: managing not only your rising risk but also your falling risk patient population within the sub-categories of your overall risk segmentation. It’s a living organism moving in and out of these different components.

Source: Scalable Models in Health Risk Stratification: Results from Cross-Continuum Care Coordination

http://hin.3dcartstores.com/Rethinking-Readmissions-Patient-Centered-Collaborations-in-Care-Transition-Management_p_4646.html

Scalable Models in Health Risk Stratification: Results from Cross-Continuum Care Coordination explores Ochsner's approach, in which standardized scripts, tools and workflows are applied along the care continuum, from post-hospital and ER discharge telephonic follow-up to capture of complex cases for outpatient management.

The Value of Unlocking Unstructured Patient Data

October 27th, 2015 by John Smithwick, CEO, RoundingWell

In this guest post, RoundingWell CEO John Smithwick explains why all healthcare data should be structured and ready for interpretation and analysis, no matter how it is initially collected.


Getting patients diagnosed correctly and treated appropriately depends on providers gathering both quantitative data, which is typically structured, and qualitative data, which is typically unstructured. When comparing both types of data, it’s more challenging to manage and derive value from unstructured data.

Structured data is that which is quantifiable and measureable, such as signs like lab results, blood sugar levels and cholesterol. This type of data is objective and can be entered discretely into EMRs via predefined fields. Since the data is structured, software systems are able to understand the meaning of the data, interpret the data and report on it. Structured data can be put to use by clinicians at the point of care to aid their decision-making.

On the other hand qualitative data, such as symptoms like pain, discomfort and fatigue, is considered unstructured data. This type of data is subjective to the patient and is often gathered through conversations based on what the clinician asks and what the patient discloses. While it might seem like a simple exchange of niceties between clinician and patient, these communications provide a lot of information to the clinician, such as whether a patient is experiencing depression, or notices shortness of breath upon standing.

Correct diagnoses and appropriate treatments are dependent on managing both structured and unstructured data. Managing each type of data appropriately also greatly influences the outcomes a healthcare organization is able to deliver. As the amount of reimbursements tied to outcomes increases, delivering quality outcomes becomes all the more important.

Problems with Unstructured Data

Managing structured data is usually handled well. It’s in the management of unstructured data where problems arise. There are two primary problems with unstructured data:

  • The first problem is technical. Unstructured data is most often recorded in EMRs in free text fields or note fields. Data stored this way makes it very difficult for software systems to interpret, understand and analyze.
  • The second problem is process-related. Unstructured data is not gathered consistently or systematically. A clinician only knows about symptoms if he or she asks the patient, which doesn't always happen, or if the patient discloses the information, which, again, doesn't always happen. When symptoms are overlooked or patients withhold information, clinicians can’t make the right diagnosis or give the best treatment.

The ballooning amount of data available is its own issue. In 2012, worldwide digital healthcare data was estimated to be equal to 500 petabytes, and that number is only growing: the data is expected to reach 25,000 petabytes in 2020. It can be a daunting challenge for healthcare organizations to gain value from this mountain of data. To add to this, industry consensus is that approximately 80 percent of all healthcare data is unstructured data.

What the Future Holds for Unstructured Data

So, what if technology could not only ensure patients were being diagnosed correctly, but also automate the process? Cloud-based care management and patient engagement software are providing new ways for healthcare organizations to unlock the value of unstructured data. In essence, by creating “structured symptoms”—gathering patient-reported symptoms and discretely capturing them in a way the data could be analyzed.

These platforms systematically assess patients for symptoms (and signs) that they might not get asked about directly by a provider, and that they might not self-disclose because they don't think it's important (or because they simply forget). Care management software then stores patient symptom information in a structured way, allowing this previously unstructured data to be analyzed and made actionable.

The bottom line? Whether gathered via care management software, EHR or patient-specific physician insights, all data should be structured and be ready for interpretation and analysis. This is especially critical in value-based models: for any risk-bearing entity, getting this complete picture is absolutely critical in order to give patients the right treatment at the right time, to improve outcomes and prevent adverse health events.

John Smithwick

About the Author: John Smithwick is the CEO of RoundingWell. He co-founded RoundingWell in 2011 following four years at Nashville's Healthways, where he led the design effort for its Web-based disease and lifestyle management product offerings. Prior to his work at Healthways, he worked in product management at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash. and in technology strategy consulting with Accenture in Boston, Mass. A graduate of the University of Richmond, he holds a master's of business administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

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.