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A Conversation With...

Greg Mertz, managing director of Physician Strategies Group, LLC, discusses why, given the changing reimbursement incentives and collaborative models for physicians and hospitals, the Congressional proposal "Better Care, Lower Cost Act" of 2014 is financially more attractive to providers than ACO models and whether he thinks it will be passed. He also deconstructs CMS' recently reported financial results for such health reform delivery initiatives as Medicare ACOs, Pioneer ACOs, and the Physician Group Practice demonstration, and weighs in on which, if any, model he considers the most sustainable. Click here to listen to his remarks.

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Home Visit Handbook: Structure, Assessments and Protocols for Medically Complex Patients

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Guide to Dual Eligibles Care Coordination: Population Health Management for Medicare-Medicaid Beneficiaries

2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Home Visits

Essentials of Embedded Case Management: Hiring, Training, Caseloads and Technology for Practice-Based Care Coordinators

Healthcare Questions & Answers...

How Can Reminder E-mails Generate Long-term Behavior Change?

This week's experts are Dr. Randall Williams, chief executive officer at Pharos Innovations, and Dr. Thomas Kline, medical director at Iowa Medicaid Enterprise.

Question: Can reminder e-mails be used effectively as part of long-term behavior change activities, such as for medication adherence or smoking cessation?

Response: (Dr. Randall Williams) The medium by which reminders are shared with members is not as important as the fact that they be shared frequently. Our technology is agnostic as to which particular approach the member or patient wants to receive those messages, but by getting a daily tip or an educational message in the program, they are able to think about their condition for five or 10 minutes each day. That triggers them to remember to take their medicines, remember the symptoms that they're supposed to be aware of, remember to monitor their condition more diligently, etc. Whether that's delivered by e-mail, phone, text message or whichever medium they may prefer, it's more the frequency that's important than anything else.

(Dr. Thomas Kline) In our Medicaid population, the telephone is simple and effective enough. I'm not sure what percentage of the Medicaid population has access to the Internet, but I suspect it's low because on a statewide basis, it's not that high considering the general population. As far as mailings are concerned, with our initial home grown product, we started telephone calls. We had some problems, so we decided to send out letters to 1,000 people we identified with asthma who we thought we would help. We had 18 responses, so that didn't work, but the assistance we had in engaging people and the simplicity of the telephone seemed to work for us.

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Driving Value-Based Reimbursement with Integrated Care Models
Home Visits for High-Risk Patients: Tools, Timing and Outcomes
Population Health Framework: 27 Strategies to Drive Engagement, Access & Risk Stratification
Remote Patient Monitoring for Enhanced Care Coordination: Technology to Manage an Aging Population
2014 Healthcare Benchmarks: Reducing Hospital Readmissions

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