• Principle Healthcare Associates


    Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates stand head and shoulders above the competition.

    Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

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Transforming Medicaid via the Medical Home Model

Transforming Medicaid via the Medical Home Model

With the March 1st sequestration deadline looming, the budget battle continues. Facing potential cuts to public health and reduced federal relief, ignoring Medicaid expansion could be hazardous to a state’s health.  At least, some states have come to this conclusion.

Despite this, the state with the largest number of uninsured seeking medically necessary healthcare chooses to stand tall.  With emergency relief in mind, House Bill 10 was introduced in the Texas legislature this past week to address a shortfall in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Programs.

As one reporter for the Texas Tribune pointed out, “the federal government is offering to pay all of the costs of expanding the Medicaid program to some of the state’s uninsured population for three years, then to pay 90 percent of the costs for several years after that. Texas could, according to a report commissioned by Texas Impact, an interfaith public policy group, spend $15 billion over the next 10 years and pull down $100 billion in federal funds as a result. (So), here’s the business question: Why leave that kind of money on the table, especially if it’s going to be spent elsewhere if Texas opts out?”

While the article goes on to point out that federal monies would provide relief to local taxpayers currently subsidizing uncompensated care and potentially turbocharge the state’s medical economy, what I found most intriguing was the statement about running healthcare like a business.  Having just had a similar conversation with a colleague from the finance industry, I lamented that healthcare is a unique industry, dangerously siloed with imminent challenges to data access and ultimately, provider alignment – U.S. healthcare’s primary economic engine.

Now, some might argue that alignment becomes null and void in the absence of an adequate number of providers to address the incoming flux of under and uninsured persons.  Imagine instead, the opportunity to increase the number of providers by establishing advance practice nurse led clinics for participation in medical homes.  Equipped with patient registries, data analytics and health information exchange, physicians become liberated to focus on chronically ill patients and specialist provider coordination.  And perhaps the most galvanizing of all, instead of penalizing patients for visiting the emergency room, engage them in their care by developing a personal contract with specific achievable goals, provide a personal health record (PHR), mobile apps and texting to help monitor their health while keeping them incentivized via a loyalty program that offers redemption for health related items.

Not only is it the right thing to do, but by embracing this transformational change… perhaps savings similar to Chemung county’s Medicaid Medical Home could be achieved.

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse PractitionerPhysician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates that stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

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Seeing Red for Heart Health

Seeing Red for Heart Health

According to the caption, “heart disease still kills more women than all cancers combined”.  And in celebration of National Wear Red Day, the American Heart Association (AHA) wants to know how you will make a difference?   Poor heart health can lead to congestive heart failure, one of the leading chronic illnesses estimated to represent 75 percent of the $2 trillion in U.S. annual health care spending.

Current healthcare delivery systems developed around acute visits and crisis management have not been successful in meeting chronic disease care needs. Based on brief and infrequent patient-provider interactions, these models do not provide the sustained support necessary to maintain the healthy lifestyle changes critical to prevention and management of chronic diseases. To better meet the needs of these individuals, care systems must explore new ways to define collaborative care for living well with chronic disease.

Partnering with local and national non-profit organizations has, and will continue, to offer avenues for awareness, education and prevention.  The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign- described as a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health – reflects this opportunity.  Not only does it challenge women to know their risk for heart disease, but it also encourages women to utilize AHA tools to take action for personal risk reduction.

According to the AHA Go Red For Women website, the group turns science into materials and tools that healthcare providers and decision-makers can use to help women. Great idea, wouldn’t you agree?  Now, after seeing the article outlining Heritage Health’s interest in working with UCLA and Open mHealth, I am wondering if there isn’t an opportunity to collaborate on production of a chronic disease app?  At the very least, a Go Red For Women mobile app could deliver a personal heart health dashboard, as well as, messaging and alerts regarding symptoms, diet, exercise, lifestyle and AHA events.

With funds raised by Go Red For Women supporting educational programs, increasing women’s understanding about their risk for heart disease and supporting research to discover scientific knowledge about heart health, this seems perfectly APPropriate to me.

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse PractitionerPhysician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates that stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

Engaging Consumers for Improved Cost, Quality and Outcomes

Engaging Consumers for Improved Cost, Quality and Outcomes

Following closely on the heels of the mHealth Summit, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) recently released the research report, “Improving Quality and Reducing Risk in Health Care:  Engaging Consumers Using Electronic Tools”.  Arriving in the shadows of the fiscal cliff discussion, the report notes that healthcare spending currently places a considerable burden on our economy.  And with a focus on cost reduction, implementing the right measures to improve quality and individual health remain tantamount as well.

Originally identified in the 2001 report, “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century”, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) promoted patient-centeredness as one of six key aims for the nation’s health care system, thereby making it well-established and widely embraced today.  And building on the January 2012 report, Transforming Health Care: The Role of Health IT, the BPC identified six attributes that emphasize patient engagement’s role in supporting high performance organizations:

1. Organization-wide focus on the needs of the patient

2.  Strong organizational and clinical leadership

  • Bring the patient’s perspective to the design, delivery, and management of care.
  • Patients are involved in governance and advisory boards to provide input.
  • Create organizational culture that focuses on the needs of the patient and encourages continuous learning and improvement

3.  Access to information to support efficient, coordinated care

  • Successfully coordinate care across providers, settings, conditions, and time
  • Care teams and patients have access to an individual patient’s records across settings in which care and services are delivered.
  • Patient preferences and status are included in the record to inform clinical decision-making
  • Reminders and alerts for both clinicians and patients help eliminate medical errors as well as gaps and duplications in care
  • Privacy and security are carefully managed

4.  Timely access to care

  • High-performing organizations provide multiple avenues for patients to receive timely care.
  • Care teams are available when needed, whether by phone, by mail, online, or in person, including nights and weekends.

5.  Emphasis on prevention, wellness, and healthy behaviors

  • Recognize that providing educational resources and self-management tools to promote prevention and wellness, as well as management of chronic conditions can lead to better health outcomes

6.  Accountability, alignment of incentives and payment reform

  • High-performing organizations continuously measure and take actions to continually improve performance on the cost and quality of care, including patient experience of care and health outcomes.
  • Clinical, administrative, and patient-generated data inform goal-setting, the identification of areas needing improvement, and the effectiveness of interventions.
  • Financial incentives are aligned with better outcomes in cost, quality, and patient experience.

In efforts to support cost and quality goals, there have been a number of new models being tested by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMSI), including the Medicare Shared Savings, Advanced Payment and Pioneer ACO models, as well as the, Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative Demonstration.  Together with the Partnership for Patients:  Community Based Transition Care program, these arrangements are helping demonstrate that patient engagement, activation and communication are all associated with lower cost and better outcomes.

Despite the forward movement, significant challenges continue to exist for patient-centered care and patient engagement.  Such challenges include the need to expand patient engagement in medical education, post-graduate training and continuing medical education.  Making a fundamental shift in practice and reimbursement will not only improve physician-patient interaction, but also help to align participant goals with health, wellness and prevention.  And as Susannah Fox, Associate Director, Digital Strategy, Pew Internet & American Life Project, outlines below – organizational culture should embrace the “e” in e-Patient, since engagement is an instrumental step towards achieving the IOM goals.

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates that stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

Kick-starting Healthcare Innovation with TEDMED2012

Kick-starting Healthcare Innovation with TEDMED2012

Having just written about crowdsourcing for healthcare innovation, I was intrigued by a recent tweet for the TEDMED2012 Conference.  Landing on the TED home page, I found myself selecting a link for Lucien Engelen’s presentation, “Crowdsourcing for Your Health”. As the former Dutch Health 2.0 Ambassador, Engelen is also the founder of REshape, a program of Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre dedicated to creating the decade of the self-empowered patient.  Inspirational stuff, indeed.

Originated by Richard Saul Wurman, the first TED Conference was launched in 1984. Building on a fascination with people he met working in the fields of technology, entertainment and design, he seized the opportunity to explore these connections further in conference format.  Independently owned and operated, TEDMED remains true to the TED spirit by gathering a community of passionate leaders and doers from a variety of disciplines to “think out loud” about the challenges and opportunities facing health and medicine today.

In his thought provoking TEDMED2011 delivery, the tech publisher, Ted Reilly, discusses what healthcare can borrow from Silicon Valley titans, from better product development to crowdsourcing implementation, wearable tech and even advantageous hacking.

TEDMED2012 will be convening at the legendary Opera House, located in the John. F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC on April 10-13th.  Exciting to note, each of the 11 Main Hall sessions can be live-streamed FREE to qualified healthcare organization auditoriums in HD from professionally produced, multi-camera, high definition feeds. With the opportunity for your institution’s physicians, medical staff leaders, residents, nursing, allied health and administrative staff to send questions electronically to speakers in real-time, what better way to spark innovation in your own organization?  Extend the invitation to providers across the street, payers around the corner, specialty organizations over the hill etc. and we may very well have the impetus for collaboration at the local level.

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

Smart Connections: Engaging Patients and Driving Growth to Your Bottom Line


Smart Connections: Engaging Patients and Driving Growth to Your Bottom Line

As we move into the holiday season, individuals will give thanks for their good health and relationships. Noting this trend, it is important for healthcare organizations to recognize the importance of their relationship with the patient and ongoing dialogue that fosters listening and response as their patients grow, develop and change. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) enables organizations to build these very relationships that last throughout the lifecycle.

CRM for healthcare organizations takes the wealth of encounter, clinical and financial data available from multiple sources and transforms it into meaningful information that healthcare organizations can use to manage their customer relationships by:

  • Building and maintaining customer loyalty through relevant, personalized, timely communications
  • Helping patients achieve better health and wellness
  • Reducing costs and increasing effectiveness by identifying customer needs and providing the correct services
  • Tracking and measuring the results of lifetime communications with customers
  • Predicting patient behavior
  • Retaining and expanding patient base through efficient management of referral processes
  • Measuring and proving marketing campaign ROI

While there are a variety of flavors available, CRM products that are easily configurable, cloud based and incorporate business intelligence for automated care coordination lead the pack.  With Medicare penalizing hospitals with low patient satisfaction scores starting next year, more healthcare organizations are certainly taking note of their patients’ experience in areas other than clinical care. Effective October 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will withhold 1 percent of regular reimbursements based on performance.  Couple this with the fact that large and small, for and non-profit hospitals, are also facing steep cuts in Medicaid in the great state of Texas and beyond…implementing a CRM strategy to engage patients in a lifelong relationship could prove to bear a fruitful bounty.

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

eHealth and Patient Engagement: Be ‘Now’ or Be Gone

eHealth and Patient Engagement: Be ‘Now’ or Be Gone

Given the charge to engage patients and improve their healthcare experience, eHealth is moving to the forefront of adoption.  While patient care remains the most vital priority for healthcare providers, patients now have greater access to health information and are more determined than ever to take control of their care.   With more sophisticated, informed and assertive customers, healthcare providers are no longer competing solely with each other but with other, more progressive industries that have set the standard for delivering the service experienced consumers expect.

According to the HIMSS E-Health Special Interest Group, eHealth is defined as the application of Internet and other related technologies in the healthcare industry to improve the access, efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of clinical and business processes utilized by healthcare organizations, practitioners, patients, and consumers to improve the health status of patients.  Application of these vital technologies can help healthcare organizations develop and maintain ongoing patient engagement.  Not only will it improve the patient experience, but it will also produce these key results:

  • Increased patient adherence – monitoring and engaging with patients at key stages of therapy improves clinical outcomes
  • Improved patient/customer retention – consistent, personalized communication keeps your organization top of mind and customers/patients become more loyal
  • Optimized prescription management – contacting patients about prescription refills, order status and medication education positively impacts pharmaceutical care
  • Improved revenue cycle management – appointment reminders, self-service payments and educating patients about the expectations and timelines for co-pays, self-insurance and fees not covered by insurance

And by simultaneously improving quality, safety, outcomes and financial status, your organization immediately reaps a halo effect through retention of committed physicians, patients and employees.   As noted by MedSeek, “eHealth has now become the center― the linchpin―that binds the government’s healthcare reform policy together.  Not only can eHealth provide long-term economic benefits by automating manual processes and reducing errors, but it can also make our nation’s health system more patient-oriented and potentially improve our citizens’ overall quality of life.”

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

Can your organization pioneer a fundraising and wellness campaign, reaching more than 1.7M viewers?

Can your organization pioneer a fundraising and wellness campaign, reaching more than 1.7M viewers?

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was founded on a promise made between two sisters – Susan Goodman Komen and Nancy Goodman Brinker. Suzy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1978, a time when little was known about the disease and it was rarely discussed in public. Before she died at the age of 36, Suzy asked her sister to do everything possible to bring an end to breast cancer. Nancy kept her promise by establishing the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in 1982 in Suzy’s memory.

Almost 30 years later, Nancy’s promise has evolved into Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest network of breast cancer survivors and activists. Through various fundraising and awareness efforts, Komen has built one of the most iconic international symbols of breast cancer awareness: the pink ribbon.

While there is much ballyhoo surrounding the organization’s use of cause marketing – engaging corporate sponsors to ‘resell’ the pink ribbon in a variety of formats for their own personal gain, there is no denying the result:  Komen has achieved a reach of more than 1.7 million and counting.

Social media has also played a significant role in fostering the Komen community.  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and communities, such as Care2, offer places to connect, share stories and take action.   With 9 in 10 adults agreeing that digital media can fuel interest in a cause into a movement, isn’t it time to get online?

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates that stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website