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A Population Health Initiative: What Should It Look Like At Its Core? Print E-mail
Written by Mario Espino   
Sunday, 13 August 2017 09:59

A Population Health Initiative is a fluid, dynamic process that is not yet, in its entirety, in place in many institutions. Yes, there are risks but the potential rewards won by capturing the marketplace early are clear. Time is of the essence and the collection of the right technology, people and processes is crucial. Implementing the initiative requires simultaneous pursuit of three aims: improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations and reducing the per capita costs (aka The Triple Aim). Analytics captured through a 360° view utilizing interoperability are the key to enabling and achieving The Triple Aim as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Valued Based Care, at the core of population health, necessitates the collection of structured and unstructured data. Unstructured data is often overlooked as it presents challenges. That said, there are opportunities within the environment today that will allow for it to be collected and re-entered into a structured format. This would meet the goal that healthcare professionals seek: capturing the entire data throughout the continuum of care without limitations of interoperability. Care plans have to be comprehensive and rich in data and outcomes cannot be limited by lack of data.

Technology must be considered early and thoughtfully through process-rich algorithms as it is the only way to capture and stratify for desired results. It can make or break the initiative. In the first risk ventures, we saw that Medicare Advantage companies, without technology as it relates to population health management software, had the ability to control medical costs/ratios. They accomplished this by centralizing infrastructure. A couple of notable pioneers were Leon Medical Centers and Pasteur Medical. In today's era, possessing both infrastructure and population health software is essential. This gives the provider an opportunity to successfully promote the population health initiative to payers and risk-based participants. Attracting large payers requires replicating the infrastructure components agreed to, having the right strategic technology partner in place and expanding geographic footprint.

Coordination of care, medications, referrals and authorizations for the entire continuum of care, with one care plan, will serve as the best practice model. This strategy, if implemented properly, will survive rigorous comparative analysis. The Population Health Initiative should be wrapped into a Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) or Integrated Delivery Network (IDN). The ongoing costs associated with the initiative can be offset by the added revenue lines, particularly Transitional Care Management (TCM) and Chronic Care Management (CCM).

The initiative should look inward and outward for opportunities. Specifically, outward, there should be an upside for physicians by joining the CIN/IDN. For example, physicians could become Medical Home (PCMH) accredited, now no longer limited by lack of data to participate in risk opportunities. Their CIN/IDN participation provides them a mechanism for the reporting of metrics and other payments for performance strategies. Also, the CIN/IDN can protect them from any penalties e.g. not meeting reporting requirements demanded by the government (MACRA). CIN/IDN should include management assistance in modifying workflows or creating workflows that will enrich these practices, patient satisfaction and the overall goal of “Best Care Practice” models. This type of outreach will also encourage other practices to join the team as the CIN/IDN entity makes it easier for individual practitioners to manage MACRA and risk within their managed care contracts, meet outbound opportunities for patient satisfaction as well as reporting. From the institutional side (Healthcare Systems), the legacy process that has been in place should be modified and run in parallel, embracing the Primary Care Practitioner (PCP) as the Gate Keeper going forward.

Population health will dominate all future revenue lines. Do not underestimate the community of services and resources which will be needed to succeed.

About the author:
Mario Espino is the Chief Population Health Officer for Accountable Care Options of Florida, in Boynton Beach. Mr. Espino is the founder of MGM Medical Group as well as a Blogger/Writer for www.PopulationHealthAnalytics.org.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 18:19
 
A 'perfect storm' superbug: How an invasive fungus got health officials' attention Print E-mail
Written by Helen Branswell | STAT   
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 17:18

Try as they might, the infection control specialists at Royal Brompton Hospital could not eradicate the invasive fungus that was attacking already gravely ill patients in the intensive care unit.

Enhanced cleaning didn't stop the dangerous bug from spreading from one patient to the next in the 296-bed hospital. Neither did segregating infected patients, to keep them from spreading the fungus.

Eventually, officials who run the Royal Brompton, located a couple of miles from Buckingham Palace in London's tony Chelsea neighborhood, resorted to a last-ditch move no hospital ever wants to have to take. They temporarily shut their ICU. That appears to have put a stop to the more than year-long outbreak, which ended last year and involved at least 50 patients.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 August 2017 17:28
 
'Living Drug' That Fights Cancer By Harnessing Immune System Clears Key Hurdle Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 17 July 2017 00:00

Rob Stein reports for Health News Florida on 7/12/17:
 
A new kind of cancer treatment that uses genetically engineered cells from a patient's immune system to attack their cancer easily cleared a crucial hurdle Wednesday...The treatment takes cells from a patient's body, modifies the genes, and then re-infuses those modified cells back into the person who has cancer. If the agency approves, it would mark the first time the FDA has approved anything considered to be a gene therapy product...The treatment is part of one of the most important developments in cancer research in decades - finding ways to harness the body's own immune system to fight cancer.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 11:58
 
First Financial Expands Their Professional Team Print E-mail
Written by FHI News   
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 10:04

First Financial Leasing and Finance has expanded the firm's equipment leasing and healthcare sector focus. The firm was seeking someone with experience in both industries and found that combination in Hank Koche. Hank joined the company in May and is the National Sales Director of Healthcare Financing and Equipment Leasing. His extensive experience in healthcare equipment leasing and as a healthcare facility owner and operator will be critical assets for the business going forward. When it comes to hiring the right person for a specific position within the company, First Financial's goal is to always employ only the top producers with the experience to keep them on top of their competitors.

“There is a mistaken idea that with all the consolidation in healthcare, there is no place for small businesses or individual physician practices," states Mr. Koche. “This sort of transition does create opportunities for growth. Hospitals must keep current with technology as well as independent physicians who will need to expand their services to compete and therefore can benefit from the financing of tangible assets and low rate working capital loans." In Mr. Koche's view, now is a great time for medical practices to take advantage of First Financial's excellent rates and programs during this changing healthcare landscape. For example, the firm is currently offering an application only lending program of up to $150k for physician start-ups and up to $250k for physicians in practice over 3 years for essential use tangible equipment. "First Financial is here to deliver those financial services that these bold changes require," he states.

Based in Lauderdale By The Sea, First Financial launched their business over 20 years ago specializing in all areas of SBA financing, equipment leasing, merchant services, commercial mortgages and more. After extensive research, they realized that larger banks often turned away from small business loans which prompted First Financial to grow in this field. The firm has become one of the most successful small business specialists lending nationwide with influential contacts in their field throughout the country. This continued success is built on a sincere commitment to integrity and customer service and explains why their customers come back frequently for additional financing.

The company's devotion to old-fashioned values does not prevent the firm from embracing progress. First Financial is on top of today’s ever-changing developments in the tech world and continues to make the loan process as simple as possible when submitting documents and/or closing on a business loan.

Contact Hank Koche at (800) 956-7313 at hank@ffcash.net or visit the website (www.ffcash.net/medical). View Medical Brochure HERE>>

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 11:56
 
CDC: Despite recent declines, opioid prescribing is still high and inconsistent across the US Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 10 July 2017 00:00

The Centers for Disease Control, in a July 6, 2017 Vital Signs post, reports:
  • Providers in the highest prescribing counties prescribed 6 times more opioids per person than the lowest prescribing counties in 2015.
  • Half of US counties had a decrease in the amount of opioids (morphine milligram equivalents aka MME) prescribed per person from 2010 to 2015.
  • The MME prescribed per person in 2015 was about 3 times as high as in 1999.
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2v4RtQv

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 17:13
 
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