Weekly News Roundup: June 14, 2019

Population health is the phrase of the week. In this week's roundup: a lesson from precision medicine that helps inform healthcare leaders on improving population health; three ways healthcare professionals can use social media to improve population health; an introduction to a data- and analytics-first approach to population health management; and how academic medical centers can boost population health management.

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Introducing the Health Catalyst Population Health Foundations Solution: A Data- and Analytics-first Approach to PHM

Introducing the Health Catalyst Population Health Foundations solution, which draws on integrated claims and clinical data, and provides essential, extensible tools and machine-learning capabilities for optimizing results in value-based risk arrangements. Accompanying solution services ensure that the strategic value of data is maximized to improve performance in risk contracts—and provide side-by-side subject matter expert partnership for establishing short- and long-term goals for population health management.

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Introducing Population Builder™: Stratification Module

The Health Catalyst Population Builder: Stratification Module allows healthcare organizations to identify the right patient populations in order to deliver the right care at the right time. The solution provides a seamless process for stratifying populations from multiple sources (EMR, claims, and clinical), using pre-defined, easily customized populations as building blocks. With a comprehensive view of the patients they manage, organizations can map populations along their continuum of care and confidently transition appropriate populations to population health interventions.

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Weekly News Roundup: June 7, 2019

A health system's board of trustees plays a critical role in decision-making and governance but often lacks oversight. In this week's news roundup: six guidelines for engaging the board in quality and safety; AHA study shows that hospital boards see low turnover but lack diversity and succession planning; an assessment tool allows health system boards to track their performance; and, why all hospital boards deserve greater scrutiny

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Health Catalyst Named 2019 Healthcare IT Corporate Innovator

Utah HIMSS (UHIMSS) recognized Health Catalyst for its innovative leadership with the 2019 UHIMSS Healthcare IT Corporate Innovator award. Dale Sanders, Health Catalyst President of Technology, accepted the honor on behalf of his organization at the UHIMSS 2019 spring conference on May 17. He shared some key insights into what makes a great environment for ongoing innovation, including these valuable sources for invention and originality: Mischief Humor Depression Pen and paper Naivety Pattern recognition Walking

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Engaging Health System Boards of Trustees in Quality and Safety: Six Must-Know Guidelines

The quality and patient safety movement of the early 21st century called for greater board of trustee involvement in improvement. However, too many health systems still don’t have the resources in place to effectively engage their boards around quality and safety measures. Six guidelines describe how organizations can better leverage data to inform their boards: Emphasize quality and patient safety goals. Leverage National Quality Forum-endorsed measures. Use benchmarking and risk adjustment to select targets. Access data beyond the EHR. Provide data and information for multiple organizational levels. Develop a board-specific measurement and presentation strategy.

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Weekly News Roundup: May 31, 2019

Healthcare payer models are changing rapidly. This week's roundup features new and emerging healthcare payment models: the top five financial opportunities for payers; healthcare experts weigh in on the five new CMS Primary Care payment models; why some healthcare executives are calling for Stark Law reform; and what payment looks like in social determinants of health programs.

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Today’s Top Five Healthcare Payer Financial Opportunities

Healthcare payers today must develop new business models to address the industry’s mounting challenges around cost, access, and quality. The best emerging models are simple and aligned, accommodate all stakeholders’ needs, and center on the patients/members. Five key payer opportunities provide a framework for new models that will support the healthcare transformation goals of lower cost, better quality, and increased access: Understand the impact of the Affordable Care Act. Be ready for potential shifts due to regulatory impacts. Understand how social determinants of health impact members. Focus on provider relations. Prepare for future trends.

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Weekly News Roundup: May 24, 2019

With the right evidence, analytics, and methods, providers and improvement teams can transform healthcare, improving the quality of patient care and the bottom line. This week's news roundup focuses on healthcare quality improvement projects: top examples, battling prolonged lengths of stay with data, closing care gaps with technology, and streamlining data for health plan quality reporting.

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Physician Burnout and the EHR: Addressing Five Common Burdens

So far, the EHR hasn’t delivered on its original intent to improve patient care with more efficiency and personalization and lower cost. Instead, physician users blame the systems for worsening their experience and the quality of their care in significant ways: Less time for patient interaction and worsened quality of interaction. An extended workday. Poor design (difficult to use). Demands of quality measures. Cost and maintenance. Despite these challenges, the EHR is likely here to stay. Health systems have invested heavily in their electronic reporting systems and are now focused on making these technologies and processes work for the benefit of patients and providers. CIOs are working towards better aligning digital health goals with physician experience for an environment where…

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Weekly News Roundup: May 17, 2019

This week's news roundup is all about ACOs: the past, present, and future of ACOs and CINs; why some provider groups want to make the next generation of ACOs permanent; the reason some ACOs stay in the MSSP; and why half of ACOs are likely to exit MSSP due to new downside risk requirements.

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ACOs and CINs: Past, Present, and Future

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and clinically integrated networks (CINs) are two types of organizations working to address the problem of rising costs. As ACOs and CINs continue to evolve, organizations moving into value-based care (VBC) face an ever-changing landscape. This article looks at the evolution of the ACO and CIN models, what new tools ACOs employ today to promote success, and lessons learned from organizations that have succeeded in alternative payment models. It also explores what healthcare experts believe the future of alternative payment models will look like and competencies to develop to meet those changing demands.

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Weekly News Roundup: May 10, 2019

This week’s news roundup focuses on improvement opportunities and digital solutions for payers: how healthcare analytics is helping payers thrive with increased financial risk; trends in healthcare payments; how health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers are falling short when it comes to medication access for autoimmune diseases; why communication is key for out-of-pocket patient costs; and more.

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Healthcare Analytics for Payers: How to Thrive Through Shifting Financial Risk

To stay in sync with healthcare’s transition to value-based care, payers today must develop the analytics capability to support alternative payment models and drive more value to their members. Payers can follow an analytics roadmap to develop a strategy that extends their data, analytics, and risk management expertise to meet growing demands. The analytics roadmap helps the payer meet these common challenges of establishing a data-driven culture: Recruiting and retaining high-quality providers in a competitive market. Managing increasing numbers of high-risk/high-cost members with limited resources. Efficiently reacting to federal and state legislative and payment changes. Controlling the rising costs of healthcare services and pharmaceuticals.

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The Top Six Examples of Quality Improvement in Healthcare

In order to thrive in an increasingly challenging healthcare environment, undertaking quality improvement projects is more important than ever for healthcare systems’ continued survival. However, health systems need to tackle the right projects at the right time to maximize the impact to their organization. This article shares both clinical and financial and operational examples of quality improvement in healthcare that may help others as they tackle improvement projects. Some examples shared include: Pharmacist-led Medication Therapy Management (MTM) reduces total cost of care. Optimizing sepsis care improves early recognition and outcomes. Boosting readiness and change competencies successfully reduces clinical variation. New generation Activity-Based Costing (ABC) accelerates timeliness of decision support. Systematic, data-driven approach lowers length of stay (LOS) and improves care…

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Weekly News Roundup: May 3, 2019

Patient safety is always an important and timely topic. In this week's news roundup: a CMS proposed rule to strengthen oversight of accrediting organizations; using event reporting and predictive analytics to make patients safer; EHRs as the cause of treatment delays and safety and communication issues between patients and providers; and, using data to improve quality and patient safety.

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Bridging the Data and Trust Gaps: Why Health Catalyst Entered the Life Sciences Market

Why would a healthcare data warehousing and analytics company partner with the life sciences industry? Because trust and collaboration across the industry—between life sciences, healthcare delivery systems, and insurance—is the only path to real healthcare transformation. Health Catalyst recognizes an industrywide improvement opportunity in collaborating with life sciences to build mutual trust, integrate data, and leverage analytics insights for a common interest (i.e., patient outcomes). By aligning themselves around human health fulfillment, Health Catalyst, their provider partners, and life sciences will advance important healthcare goals: Improving clinical trial design and execution. Stimulating clinical innovation. Supporting population health. Reducing pharmaceutical costs. Improving drug safety and pharmacovigilance.

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How to Use Data to Improve Quality and Patient Safety

Healthcare organizations have worked hard to improve patient safety over the past several decades, however harm is still occurring at an unacceptable rate. Though the healthcare industry has made efforts (largely regulatory) to reduce patient harm, these measures are often not integrated with health system quality improvement efforts and may not result in fewer adverse events. This is largely because they fail to integrate regulatory data with improvement initiatives and, thus, to turn patient harm information into actionable insight. Fully integrated clinical, cost, and operational data coupled with predictive analytics and machine learning are crucial to patient safety improvement. Tools that leverage this methodology will identify risk and suggest interventions across the continuum of care.

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Weekly News Roundup: April 26, 2019

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released a proposed rule to implement provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act and proivdes for a public comment period that ends June 3. This week's news roundup focuses on the the ONC's proposed rule: information blocking practices defined and explained, industry concerns about the proposed interoperability rules, and the push for use of open APIs.

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Agnostic Analytics Solutions vs. EHRs: Six Reasons EHRs Can’t Deliver True Healthcare Interoperability

As enterprisewide analytics demands grow across healthcare, health systems that rely on EHRs from major vendors are hitting limitations in their analytics capabilities. EHR vendors have responded with custom and point-solution tools, but these tend to generate more complications (e.g., multiple data stores and disjointed solutions) than analytics interoperability. To get value out of existing EHRs while also evolving towards more mature analytics, health systems must partner with an analytics vendor that provides an enterprise data management and analytics platform as well as deep improvement implementation experience. Vendor tools and expertise will help organizations leverage their EHRs to meet population health management and value-based payment goals, as well as pursue some of today’s top healthcare strategic goals: Growth. Innovation. Digitization.

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Exceptions to Information Blocking Defined in Proposed Rule: Here’s What You Need to Know

Information blocking practices inhibit care coordination, interoperability, and healthcare’s forward progress.  The ONC’s proposed rule ushers in the next phase of the Cures Act by defining information blocking practices and allowed exceptions. To make the final rule as strong as possible, exceptions should be narrowly defined. In proposed form these include the following: Preventing Harm. Promoting the Privacy of EHI. Promoting the Security of EHI. Recovering Costs Reasonably Incurred. Responding to Request that are Infeasible. Licensing of Interoperability Elements on Reasonable and Non-discriminatory Terms. Maintaining and Improving Health IT Performance. This article covers each of these exceptions and discusses what to watch for in the final version of the rule.

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Weekly News Roundup: April 19, 2019

Physician burnout has been linked to an increase in medical errors, lower quality of care, and reduced work satisfaction. This week's news roundup focuses on physician burnout, the top burdens facing physicians today, interventions that are helping, and how the digitization of healthcare has exacerbated the problem.

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How to Increase Cash Flow Using Data and Analytics

In today’s challenging environment, healthcare leaders must seek opportunities to boost revenue through improved financial performance and reimbursement. Some common strategies include reducing the number of outstanding bill hold accounts, reducing A/R days, and managing discharged not final billed (DNFB) cases. This article tackles, the following topics: Common reasons accounts remain unbilled. Identifying opportunities for improvement. Using data analytics and process improvement to achieve financial goals. Creating lasting improvements.

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Weekly News Roundup: April 12, 2019

Employer-provided health insurance continues to be a hot topic-and a problem-for both providers and consumers. This week's news roundup examines the issue, including why employers provide health insurance in the first place, why Europeans don't get huge medical bills, how some employers are choosing their employees' doctors, and how data will help shape the future of employer insurance.

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The Future of Employer Health Insurance

Employers are always looking for ways to reduce one of their biggest expenditures–the cost of providing health insurance to employees. Many employers have explored solutions such as adding wellness plans, reducing usage, and providing different provider access mechanisms, all with modest success. Stemming the rising costs of health insurance requires management to understand and improve healthcare outcomes for their employee and dependent populations. Changing the future of employer health insurance will require a multi-faceted approach: Driving additional value by reducing utilization of healthcare services within these employer populations. Utilizing a wider lens through which to view performance of various providers, then making decisions based on those who are consistently providing low cost, high quality care. Employer will need to combine…

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