Posts Tagged ‘Hospitals’

Healthcare Business Week in Review: Meaningful Use, Hospital Pricing, Telehealth, Health Insurance Marketplaces

December 20th, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

CMS has proposed delaying the start of Stage 3 of the meaningful use program for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, while the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has proposed adjustments to its certification process, according to a December 6th post on the HHS blog site Health IT Buzz.

Under CMS’ revised meaningful use timeline, the start of Stage 2 has not been changed, but it has been extended through 2016; and the start of Stage 3 has been postponed, and will begin in 2017 for healthcare providers who have completed at least two years in Stage 2 of the program.

Whether this delay sways hospital executives looking at implementing an accountable care organization (ACO) remains to be seen. EHR utilization is among the reasons nearly half of the hospital executives recently surveyed have no plans to implement the care model in the near future, according to a new survey from Purdue Healthcare Advisors. The respondents, who were categorized according to their progress with meaningful use implementation, voiced concern about the technology, particularly its interoperability with other providers, and staff readiness and training. .

Interoperability of sorts is at the core of a qualitative study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), which focused on the effects of California’s reference pricing initiative to guide consumers to hospitals that provide routine hip and knee replacements below a certain price threshold. Researchers found that the cost of these surgeries ranged from as little as $15,000 to as much as $110,000.

While the initiative was effective in setting a threshold for hospital facility payments for both procedures and designating certain hospitals that met certain quality standards, whether it contributed to overall healthcare savings was debated in the study.

But sometimes the high cost is well worth it, as in the area of telehealth and telemedicine services, according to our latest market research data.

Despite the significant financial costs of remote monitoring technologies, adopters report impressive gains in medication adherence and care of remote and rural patients, as well as a decrease in health complications. Active users of telehealth and telemedicine also experience fewer hospitalizations, hospital readmissions, ER visits and bed days.

And speaking of technology, nearly 365,000 Americans selected plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM) in October and November, and enrollment in November was more than four times greater than October’s reported federal enrollment number, according to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The numbers reflect the technical improvements to, which has been unreliable since its launch in October. The open enrollment period is six months long and continues to March 31, 2014.

And lastly, don’t forget to take our current e-survey, Reducing Hospital Readmissions in 2013. Describe how your organization is working to reduce hospital readmissions by taking HIN’s fourth comprehensive Reducing Hospital Readmissions Benchmark Survey. Respond by January 3, 2014 and receive an e-summary of the results once they are compiled.

Healthcare Business Week in Review: Managing Heart Disease; Insurance Reform; Hospital Charge Disparities

September 13th, 2013 by Cheryl Miller

Nearly one in three Americans die of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, each year, according to the latest Vital Signs report from the CDC. In 2010 alone, more than 200,000 deaths from CVD occurred, with more than half happening to people younger than 65 years of age.

Most CVD can be managed or prevented in the first place by addressing risk factors, such as reducing blood pressure and cholesterol and quitting smoking, CDC officials say, and they offer a list of recommendations for providers, communities and health departments for reducing the death rates.

Contrary to reports that individual health insurance policy costs will jump steeply under the ACA, there will be no widespread premium increase, according to a RAND analysis of 10 states and the United States.

There will be widespread differences in individual policy costs from state to state, however, as well as an increase in health insurance coverage and higher enrollment among people who purchase individual policies.

RAND researchers predicted how the ACA will likely change cost and coverage patterns in both the individual market and small group market in 10 states, including Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota and New Mexico. Costs will be influenced by a specific range of individual factors, including age, tobacco use, geographic location, family size and amount of coverage purchases.

Geographic diversity is at the root of another study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). According to the report, hospital prices for privately insured patients — especially for outpatient care — are much higher than Medicare and vary widely within and across communities.

Within individual communities prices vary widely, even after accounting for differences in the complexity of services provided. The highest-priced hospital typically is paid 60 percent more for the same inpatient services than the lowest-priced hospital. The price gap within markets is even greater for hospital outpatient services, with the highest-priced hospital typically paid nearly double the lowest-priced hospital, according to the study.

In contrast to hospital prices, prices for PCP services generally are close to Medicare rates and vary little within markets, the study found. Prices for specialist physician services, however, are higher relative to Medicare and vary more within and across markets.

And lastly, sophisticated analytics behind today’s health risk assessments or health risk appraisals (HRAs) provide employers, payors and providers an aggregate view of population health and the raw material to develop prevention and lifestyle change programs. Tell us how your organization uses HRAs to improve population health in our Health Risk Assessments e-survey by October 15, 2013 and get a FREE executive summary of the compiled results.

Infographic: Rising Use of Social and Mobile in Healthcare

January 3rd, 2013 by Patricia Donovan

People like to research their own health — they have been since the Internet, social media and mobile technology made this easy. And now they are starting to share opinions with others, ask for advice, and search for information on the go.

Smart hospitals are starting to catch on, implementing social media programs that help to brand, manage reputations, and provide helpful, reliable information to these consumers. This infographic from the Spark Report examines recent research on patients’ use of social and mobile sites to listen to and engage with others who are talking about health. Hospitals who are not currently participating in the conversation should be.

Mobile Healthcare

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Infographic: HCAHPS History and Hurdles

November 29th, 2012 by Patricia Donovan

HCAHPS is a hot topic in healthcare. Hospitals are being judged by the satisfaction of their patients, and most leaders in acute care want to know how to increase their organization’s HCAHPS scores. This infographic released by HealthcareSource illustrates the history and challenges of HCAHPS and offers some success strategies, including enhancing customer service to boost HCAHPS scores.

Click here to view this infographic by HealthcareSource.

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Infographic: The Digital Journey to Wellness

November 26th, 2012 by Patricia Donovan

A Google infographic illustrates what influences hospital selection and the role digital plays in the journey to wellness. Google partnered with Compete, Inc. and fielded over 500 hospital researchers to understand what influences hospital selection.

digital and wellness
Courtesy of: Google

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Infographic: Is mHealth Poised to Explode?

November 9th, 2012 by Patricia Donovan

There are currently more than 320 million mobile phones in the United States and 1.7 million hospital beds — 185 phones for every bed. The emerging field of mobile health (mHealth) has enabled consumers to use smartphone technology to answer their own health-related questions with the quick tap of a touchscreen. This infographic from Float Mobile Learning takes a look at mHealth and its impact on the national culture and well-being.

mHealth Explosion
Courtesy of: Float Mobile Learning

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Infographic: How the Top 100 Hospitals Use Social Media

November 5th, 2012 by Patricia Donovan

In a recent study done with the International Council for Quality Care, Keith Korneluk examined how the top hospitals in the nation are engaging in social media. This research determined that 83 percent of those hospitals actively engage in either Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (so far there has been little engagement in Google+).

Top 100 Hospitals and Social Media
Courtesy of: Keith Korneluk

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