Archive for the ‘Healthcare Costs’ Category

Infographic: Diabetes Drug Costs

August 17th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Primarily because of escalating drug costs, spending on insulin and other diabetes medications is expected to rise 8.3 percent over the next three years, according to a new infographic by the Alliance of Community Health Plans.

The infographic examines the percent increase of diabetes drug costs over the past five years and how this is impacting healthcare consumers, employers, healthcare providers and payors and the federal government.

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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Infographic: Medicaid Managed Care

August 5th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Medicaid health plans now serve more than 43.5 million low income individuals – nearly 66 percent of total Medicaid enrollment–and a growing body of research finds the tools and techniques they use show great promise in achieving better outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries and cost savings for states.

A new AHIP infographic examines how Medicaid managed care plans are improving quality and promoting value as well as the type of cost savings these plans are delivering to states.

Dual Eligibles Care and Service Planning: Integrative Approaches for the Medicare-Medicaid PopulationTo locate, stratify and engage dual eligibles, Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC) takes a creative approach, employing everything from home visits to 'street case management' to coordinate care for Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries.

Dual Eligibles Care and Service Planning: Integrative Approaches for the Medicare-Medicaid Population describes HCSC's innovative tactics to engage this largely older adult and disabled population in population health management with support from a range of community partners and services.

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Infographic: Standardization, Collaboration Across Care Teams Improves Care Quality

August 3rd, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Failures in care coordination can increase healthcare costs by between $25 and $25 billion annually, according to a new infographic by Elsevier.

The infographic examines the impact of poor care coordination on the patient experience and healthcare costs and how healthcare organizations can address this challenge.

Care Coordination of Highest-Risk Patients: Business Case for Managing Complex Populations Asked by its C-suite to quantify contributions of its multidisciplinary care team for its highest-risk patients, AltaMed Health Services Corporation readily identified seven key performance metrics associated with the team. Having demonstrated the team's bottom line impact on specialty costs, emergency room visits, and HEDIS® measures, among other areas, the largest independent federally qualified community health center (FQHC) was granted additional staff to expand care management for its safety net population.

Care Coordination of Highest-Risk Patients: Business Case for Managing Complex Populations chronicles AltaMed's four-phase rollout of care coordination for dual eligibles—a population with higher hospitalization and utilization and care costs twice those of any other population served by AltaMed.

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Infographic: Social Media’s Impact on Health Literacy

July 22nd, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare costs attributed to wasteful spending are estimated to be $800 million each year, according to a new infographic by iTriage.

Half of that total can be attributed, directly or indirectly, to low health literacy, including missed prevention opportunities; preventable errors; and unnecessary services or patients going to the ER when less expensive yet appropriate care could be obtained at another facility.

The infographic examines the opportunities for social media to improve health literacy.

Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and ActionAdvancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action addresses the crisis in health literacy in the United States and around the world. This book thoroughly examines the critical role of literacy in public health and outlines a practical, effective model that bridges the gap between health education, health promotion, and health communication.

Step by step, the authors outline the theory and practice of health literacy from a public health perspective. This comprehensive resource includes the history of health literacy, theoretical foundations of health and language literacy, the role of the media, a series of case studies on important topics including prenatal care, anthrax, HIV/AIDS, genomics, and diabetes.

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Infographic: Curbing Healthcare Costs

July 17th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

The U.S. healthcare system could save $213 billion annually if medicines were used properly, according to a 2013 study by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. An article in Health Affairs echoed this sentiment and found that just an extra $1 spent on medicines for adherent patients with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol can generate $3 to $10 in savings on emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations.

A new infographic by PhRMA looks at the impact of medicine on healthcare costs.

Pharmacists and Medication Adherence: Brief Interventions, Motivational Interviewing and TelepharmacyThese three misconceptions are at the heart of medication non-adherence, says Janice Pringle, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy — misconceptions that pharmacists can help to clear up.

Dr. Pringle, named as an Innovations Advisor by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is one of three contributors to Pharmacists and Medication Adherence: Brief Interventions, Motivational Interviewing and Telepharmacy. This 50-page resource describes a number of interventions in which pharmacists help to guide patients and health plan members to higher levels of medication adherence — programs that take place in the pharmacy, in the physician practice, or virtually.

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Infographic: Top Healthcare Revenue Cycle Performance Indicators

June 26th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Looking at key performance indicators (KPI) is the best way to keep track of a healthcare organization's revenue cycle.

A new infographic by Expeditive shows the most important KPIs for healthcare organizations to track and the targets to hit.

Positioning for Value-Based Reimbursement: Leveraging Care Management for Clinical and Financial OutcomesWhile others wait for the healthcare industry to complete its transition to value-based reimbursement, Bon Secours Medical Group has already aligned itself with payment reform, leveraging its care team and providers and automating workflows to enjoy immediate rewards from its patient-centered approach.

Positioning for Value-Based Reimbursement: Leveraging Care Management for Clinical and Financial Outcomes describes how this 600-provider medical group has primed its providers to employ a broad mix of team-based care, technology and retooled care delivery systems to maximize quality and clinical outcomes and reduce spend associated with its managed patients.

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AltaMed Constructs Business Case for Care Coordination Team

May 19th, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

The AltaMed multidisciplinary care team targets dual eligibles with multiple chronic conditions and functional and cognitive impairments.

When the largest FQHC in the country set out to quantify the contributions of its multidisciplinary care team, it found the concept didn't fit neatly into return on investment models.

So at budget time this year, leaders of AltaMed Health Services Corporation's care coordination model for its highest risk patients identified seven performance metrics to present to its CFO, explained Shameka Coles, AltaMed's associate vice president of medical management, during A Comprehensive Care Management Model: Care Coordination for Complex Patients, a May 2015 webinar now available for replay.

The evidence that ultimately secured funding for the care coordination project's next phase included the model's impact on specialty costs, emergency room visits, and HEDIS® measures, among other factors.

These were all areas examined early on, back in phase one, when the care coordination team set a number of strategic goals that aligned with the corporation's five pillars: service, quality, people, community and finance.

Rolled out in four phases beginning in July 2014, the model is aimed at AltaMed's dually eligible population— Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries with high utilization, multiple chronic conditions, and multiple functional and cognitive impairments, Ms. Coles explained.

Phase one of the project was devoted to understanding and engaging the duals population via telephonic and print outreach, then developing a care management model reflecting both Triple Aim and patient-centered medical home goals. (The 23-site multi-specialty physician organization in Southern California has earned Joint Commission primary care medical home designation.)

At the heart of the model is a multidisciplinary care team, which counts a care coordinator, clinic patient navigator and care transitions coach among its eleven roles. Patients are stratified as high, moderate or low risk and matched to risk-appropriate interventions.

"Each member is activated based on where the patient is at in the continuum of care," noted Ms. Coles, who also reviewed team member roles and responsibilities and a host of complementary programs supporting care coordination during the May 2015 program sponsored by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

In phase two, focused on development of end-to-end workflows, staff assessments and ratios, and team training, AltaMed hired an educator, fleshed out the patient navigator role, and examined integration of behavioral health and long-term services and supports (LTSS).

Phase three triggered a deeper dive into case manager caseloads and utilization patterns as well as several quality improvement activities.

Now in phase four, the goal of AltaMed's care coordination model is to ensure it can reflect a financial impact. "We'll look very closely at our per member per month cost and our inpatient metrics," Ms. Coles concluded.

13 Metrics on Care Transition Management

May 7th, 2015 by Cheryl Miller

Care transitions mandate: Sharpen communication between care sites.


Call it Care Transitions Management 2.0 — enterprising approaches that range from recording patient discharge instructions to enlisting fire departments and pharmacists to conduct home visits and reconcile medications.

To improve 30-day readmissions and avoid costly Medicare penalties, more than one-third of 116 respondents to the 2015 Care Transitions Management survey—34 percent—have designed programs in this area, drawing inspiration from the Coleman Care Transitions Program®, Project BOOST®, Project RED, Guided Care®, and other models.

Whether self-styled or off the shelf, well-managed care transitions enhance both quality of care and utilization metrics, according to this fourth annual Care Transitions survey conducted in February 2015 by the Healthcare Intelligence Network. Seventy-four percent of respondents reported a drop in readmissions; 44 percent saw decreases in lengths of stay; 38 percent saw readmissions penalties drop; and 65 percent said patient compliance improved.

Following are eight more care transition management metrics derived from the survey:

  • The hospital-to-home transition is the most critical transition to manage, say 50 percent of respondents.
  • Heart failure is the top targeted health condition of care transition efforts for 81 percent of respondents.
  • A history of recent hospitalizations is the most glaring indicator of a need for care transitions management, say 81 percent of respondents.
  • Beyond the self-developed approach, the most-modeled program is CMS’ Community-Based Care Transitions Program, say 13 percent of respondents.
  • Eighty percent of respondents engage patients post-discharge via telephonic follow-up.
  • Discharge summary templates are used by 45 percent of respondents.
  • Home visits for recently discharged patients are offered by 49 percent of respondents.
  • Beyond the EHR, information about discharged or transitioning patients is most often transmitted via phone or fax, say 38 percent of respondents.

Source: 2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Care Transitions Management

Care Transition Management

2015 Healthcare Benchmarks: Care Transitions Management HIN's fourth annual analysis of these cross-continuum initiatives, examines programs, models, protocols and results associated with movement of patients from one care site to another, including the impact of care transitions management on quality metrics and the delivery of value-based care.

Infographic: Health Literacy

May 6th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews


One in two adults can't use a BMI chart to find a healthy weight, understand a vaccination chart and/or read a prescription label, according to an infographic by GSW on health literacy.

The infographic details examples of low health literacy and the impact it has on patients and the healthcare system.

Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and ActionAdvancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action addresses the crisis in health literacy in the United States and around the world. This book thoroughly examines the critical role of literacy in public health and outlines a practical, effective model that bridges the gap between health education, health promotion, and health communication.

Step by step, Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action outlines the theory and practice of health literacy from a public health perspective. This comprehensive resource includes the history of health literacy, theoretical foundations of health and language literacy, the role of the media, a series of case studies on important topics including prenatal care, anthrax, HIV/AIDS, genomics, and diabetes.

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.

PHOs Let Quality, Cost Guide Them Toward Value-Based Reimbursement

April 16th, 2015 by Cheryl Miller

Instead of focusing on volume, physician-hospital organizations (PHOs) are concentrating on value-based care, says Travis Ansel, senior manager with the Healthcare Strategy Group. The once revenue-based organizations are now focused on quality and cost, realizing that if they can’t manage those two things, their reimbursement will go down.

Why is the PHO model going to work now? We always get this question. This comes more from doctors than it does from administrators: why are PHOs going to work now, when they didn’t work before? The simple answer is that before, PHOs were revenue-focused. They were about getting the biggest number of physicians into the model regardless of their quality. It was run by the hospital as a methodology for increasing rates. Then fee-for-service (FFS) didn’t really give anybody the incentive to work together.

They gave everybody the incentive to sign their name on the contract and hope for better rates. What we’re seeing PHOs focus on now is quality and cost, with the idea that if they can’t manage those two things, their reimbursement is going to go down. We have clinical integration guidance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which gives everybody the framework for developing joint contracting capabilities and defines legally how we can work together. What we’re seeing now, since there’s more of a clinical than a revenue focus for PHOs, is that they are more dominated by physician leadership. The hospital keeps control over the purse strings, but gives the governance of the group to physicians. They are letting them take the leadership on the cost and quality protocols that they need to develop to be successful.

There is also the way that payment reform is transitioning the incentives. They’re focused on getting quality and cost across populations or across episodes of care. They’re giving the right incentives for collaboration, which the PHO model provides the forum for.

Source: Physician-Hospital Organizations: Framework for Clinical Integration and Value-Based Reimbursement

Home Visits

Physician-Hospital Organizations: Framework for Clinical Integration and Value-Based Reimbursement describes the relevance of the PHO model to today's healthcare market, offering strategies to leverage the physician-hospital organization for maximum clinical outcomes, competencies and value-based reimbursement.