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    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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Engaging Specialty Practices in the Patient Centered Medical Neighborhood

Engaging Specialty Practices in the Patient Centered Medical Neighborhood

Building on last week’s post about embracing change for healthcare transofrmation, it was intriguing to learn about the NCQA’s new patient centered medical home program for specialty practices.  Kicking off  March 25, the Patient Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP) recognition highlights specialty practices committed to access, communication and care coordination as “neighbors” that surround and inform the medical home and colleagues in primary care, according to NCQA.  And I regret to say that I missed the informational webinar, including an NCQA advisor and guest speaker from one of the local healthcare systems.

Had I attended the webinar, I would have been better prepared to query the CEO of a hospital within the same healthcare system at a recent American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) function.  Interestingly, we had a lengthy conversation regarding the system’s desire to exchange data within the area; however, the CEO noted that current system architecture made it challenging enough to simply share information amongst health system participants.  With one of the key tenets for the PCSP recognition being timely exchange of data, this is a bit of a conundrum.  While the Direct project offers a simple solution, the ultimate goal will be to facilitate and encourage physicians to search for records in efforts to keep all parties abreast of the care plan.  And while this is a tremendous step, we also noted that retail & urgent care clinics, solo primary care practices and free-standing care centers need to get in on the game too.

I also see a need for ancillary providers to be included as well.  Not only would individuals benefit from the opportunity to view x-rays but, more to the point, visualizations, similar to the one here.  While Physical Therapists do an excellent job engaging patients in discussion, they would have far greater impact with the ability to illustrate their points on an interactive tablet app.  And thinking out loud, wouldn’t it be great for individuals to be able to reference the same app at home – to review the information and implement “their’ steps in the care plan?

 

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

Digital Health 2013: Innovating Partnerships for Better Care

Digital Health 2013:  Innovating Partnerships for Better Care

With the kick-off of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, digital health was found to play an increasingly prominent role.  From panel discussions to product launches, there was a veritable feast for the eyes and ears.  During his opening address for the 2013 CES Digital Health Summit, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, highlighted the work of the military’s pioneering use of digital health.  A panel discussion with heavy hitters Arianna Huffington and Dr. Deepak Chopra followed to showcase devices for monitoring everything from sleep patterns to genetic sequences.  And while it was encouraging to see 7-8 subsequent presentations with physician moderators and panelists, one still has to wonder if this venue is successfully aligning consumer, physician and a multitude of third parties through innovation?

In other words, during this – the second largest trade show in the U.S. – are these companies missing opportunities to conduct market research for physician and healthcare delivery ecosystem data needs and educate regarding future implementation of technology that would forge stronger relationships with their patients?  Given that this target market is not typically found at the CES Digital Health Summit, why not take the discussion to them?  As TEDMED discovered, streaming live presentations at participating academic facilities fosters engagement and collaboration.  And like many others, physicians seek value in exchange for their time – so what better way to establish this critical component than by partnering for pilots to determine efficacy and validity of these trailblazing technologies?

Last but not least – with patient engagement topping the list of stage 2 meaningful use requirements, savvy hospital, healthcare system, ACO and medical home participants should seek opportunities to align with physicians interested in exploring ways in which to utilize one of these many forward thinking gadgets for better patient experiences.

http://mobihealthnews.com/19784/slideshow-health-devices-that-launched-at-ces-2013/

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

Giving Thanks for Connections to a Healthy Future

Giving Thanks for Connections to a Healthy Future

Taking a moment to pause at this time of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a recent interview Kaiser Permanente CIO, Philip Fasano during the NASA mHealth workshop, about how advances in digital health are getting people the care and information they need when, how, and where they want it.  And as you will see in the accompanying video, there is much to be excited and thankful for regarding the advancements in this space.

Driving Down the Real Cost of Healthcare: Pediatric and Teen Medical Homes

Driving Down the Real Cost of Health Care:  Pediatric and Teen Medical Homes

At last, the presidential race has concluded and, as a nation, we can prepare to move forward.  With President Obama’s election to a second term, implementation of the Accountable Care Act (ACA) moves full steam ahead.  In light of the fiscal cliff – perpetuated by the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the 2009 Economic Stimulus provisions, the payroll tax holiday and 67 other tax provisions – the question still remains, how do we make a significant impact on cost reduction in healthcare?

While much has been written about the spiraling cost of chronic care, I found it surprising to learn that spending on healthcare for commercially insured children under age 18 grew faster than spending for adults from 2007 to 2010. After examining more than three billion insurance claims from three major carriers, the Healthcare Cost Institute reported that consumer spending on pediatric and teen healthcare increased 12% to nearly $88 billion dollars from 2007-2010, while spending on adults increased at a slower rate of 8%.  Even more intriguing, it seems that spending for children’s healthcare increased despite decreasing numbers of children covered and a utilization of expensive healthcare services, such as hospital stays and brand-name drugs.

If utilization is not driving this increase in healthcare cost, then what is?  According to the report, a number of activities are contributing to this trend, including increased use of consults, procedures and testing facilities. Digging deeper into the data, the study also revealed that two groups are incurring the highest cost:  infants, three years and younger and teenagers, aged 14-18.  While the increasing expense associated with pre/peri/post-natal births and associated outcomes is comprehensible for the infant cohort, what makes les sense is the skyrocketing expense for prescription drugs for central nervous disorders, such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety disorders and drugs used to treat ADD or ADHD in the teenage population.

By and large, families were spending the greatest amount on primary care visits, immunizations, and preventive medicines (40.3%), followed in short order by outpatient procedures (24%), inpatient procedures (22%) and prescription drugs (14%).  Sufficed to say, this study did not include children participating in the Medicaid or CHIP programs, so it is difficult to discern if similar trends occurred in this population.  As the author points out, regardless of payer, children with exponential healthcare costs grow into adults with unsustainable expense.  Recognizing the benefit of medical homes for low risk pregnant women and children, it would be a fascinating case study to enroll willing participants currently attending a MindUp program that were committed to learning how to cook healthy food options using locally grown fruits and vegetables and engage in healthy exercise regimens.  Last but not least, reaching this critical and vulnerable population will be key.  Incorporating text messaging, voice, email, video and animation in efforts to successfully communicate important healthcare messages, similar to the program below, will ensure that mothers, infants and teens seek wellness and prevention, in efforts to reverse this frightening trend.

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

Partnering Patients and Providers for Healthcare Technology Innovation

Partnering Patients and Providers for Health Care Technology Innovation

With the conclusion of the first vice presidential debate, the Los Angeles Times noted that discussions regarding healthcare turned prickly and personal.  Such heated rancor suggests that healthcare should become much more personal in the near future.  And speaking of making healthcare personal, the fall Health 2.0 conference commenced this week, debuting and highlighting new technology designed to improve cost transparency, patient engagement and provider workflow.  Having introduced more than 500 companies since its inception in 2007, Health 2.0 co-founders Indu Subaiya and Mathew Holt have helped to galvanize the revolution in healthcare delivery. Sufficiently impressed by several presentations, I will be watching a number of companies; however, my inner skeptic also wonders how many of these start-ups will successfully transcend the o-gap (operationalization), a term coined by Boston Children’s Hospital Chief Innovation Officer, Naomi Fried?

And by ‘operationalization’, I am referring to igniting both the attention and utilization of providers and patients alike.  Building on CryerHealth CEO, Donna Cryer’s definition, “patient engagement in action looks like shared responsibility between patients (and their families if applicable), health care practitioners (the entire team: surgeons, physicians, nurses) and healthcare administrators (providers of the infrastructure and payment models) to co-develop pathways to optimal individual, community and population health.  In order to succeed at this task, Paul Cerrato points out that tech tools alone, are not a magic bullet for patient engagement. Rather, an engaged, consumer driven provider, must also be part of the successful equation.  So, the better question becomes, what steps can be taken to foster this symbiotic relationship?

With a plethora of healthcare IT on the forefront, Rock Health, the first seed accelerator for digital health start-ups, has identified an immediate need for healthcare providers to partner with start-ups in order to verify clinical product efficacy and validity. Given President Obama’s recent legislation calling on HHS to report to Congress on an “appropriate, risk-based regulatory framework pertaining to health information technology, including mobile medical applications” and Rock Health’s interest in developing a formal collaboration process similar to the biotech industry’s clinical trial practice, it would be forward thinking to see academic, as well as, other healthcare providers with an Institutional Review Board (IRB) presence, engage in this activity.  Witnessing the extraordinary outcomes achieved by interdisciplinary teams of researchers, technology experts, clinicians and patients participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Project Health Design project for development of tools to be used by real people to improve their health, better engage in their care, and enhance communication with their providers, why can’t we accelerate this innovation two or three-fold?

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

Creating the Connected Patient

Creating the Connected Patient

After watching Mitt Romney speak at the Republican National Convention, I was reminded of the importance of connecting with one’s customer.  While the jury is still out regarding the Republican presidential candidate’s ability to do just that, there is still time for healthcare providers to rethink their strategy for patient engagement.  And with the addition of a meaningful use patient engagement core objective slated for 2014, there is no better time than now to dive in.

In order for healthcare providers to draft a successful engagement strategy, Bob Spoerl noted the following trends in consumer healthcare:

  • Legislation is providing health consumers with more options regarding quality and price transparency
  • As patients begin to embrace this new data, providers with a strong brand and customer service orientation will be able to differentiate themselves through digital media
  • With the explosion of mobile, telehealth and social media, healthcare companies become uniquely positioned to deliver prevention and wellness messaging

In addition to noting key trends, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality new report on Engaging Patients and Families in the Quality and Safety of Hospital Care, also points to gaps currently existing in many hospital patient engagement strategies:

  • Strategies aren’t attuned to patient and family member experiences of hospitalization; instead they focus on focus on hospital workflow
  • There is a lack of individual tools to support system-level strategies, such as patient and family advisory councils
  • There are too few interactive tools being utilized to incite behavior modification with ‘next steps’ and a concrete plan of action
  • While nursing staff play a pivotal role in patient education, they are not receiving adequate training or tools to leverage their position

Through unique utilization of their electronic medical record’s patient portal, one enterprising healthcare provider, OSU Medical Center, has pushed to the forefront of patient engagement.

While the work that has been accomplished to date is laudable, I can’t help but wonder what OSU Medical Center could achieve if they had the ability to sync glucose or heart monitoring data from mobile devices?  Because, as Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, MA, MHSA, a health economist and blogger admits, “You have to create in connected health systems incentives for patients to connect back,” and “you want to enable patient engagement, which requires interactive tools, carrots, and when appropriate, sticks.”

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