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#WWBR Week of December 8, 2014

by John Moore lll | December 12, 2014

Wearable Technology And Digital Healthcare Strategies Should Shift Focus To Chronic Medical Illness
Robert Glatter, MD for Forbes
“Expansive article that meanders at times but bottom line thesis is a good one. New technologies that enable chronically ill patients to play a greater role in managing their health are in the wings and these technologies will have a profound impact on the healthcare delivery system.” – John

Patient Engagement: Digital self-scheduling set to explode in healthcare over the next five years (PDF)
Accenture Report
“An Accenture study forecasts that by 2019, 66% of health systems will offer digital self-scheduling. Such a trend is important for network retention in ACOs, but it’s also a big part of the broader consumer revolution going on. While early, half-baked versions of these features have shown up regularly in many of the EHR and untethered portals in the market, better, non-siloed appointment setting features are needed. Scheduling still remains dysfunctional due to the idiosyncrasies of the payer / network / specialist / referral sausage factory – while on the consumer side, our expectations are being set by Open Table and Fandango.” – Naveen

Use Behavioral Economics to Achieve Wellness Goals
David A. Asch, MD and Kevin G. Volpp, MD for Harvard Business Review
“Authors take a close look at how incentives to promote wellness, may and often times do not work. Their recipe for success: have incentives directly target basic human instincts.” – John

Improving Community Health through Hospital – Public Health Collaboration (PDF)
Lawrence Prybil, et al. for The Commonwealth Center for Governance Studies
“Important findings from the ‘Improving Community Health through Hospital – Public Health Collaboration’ study released by Commonwealth Center for Governance Studies, Inc. The study focused on finding partnerships involving hospitals and health departments focused on improving community health that met the baseline criteria of being in operation for at least two years and demonstrating successful performance. Study examined in 12 partnerships in 11 states and focused on how these partnerships were created, their governance structure, mission and plans, and how they demonstrate value and achieve buy-in. There is no common reason on why these partnerships form or their ‘secret sauce’ in terms of how they really improve performance but they did include a few common themes including: A partnership devoted to improving some specific aspect of community health not being addressed/being poorly addressed; An ‘anchor’ provider; Continued active engagement by all partners to meet success.” – Matt

Google Tells Developers to Design Apps for a Billion Users
Amy Thomson for Bloomberg
“Enterprise software is converging on the consumer software experience. This really short article has Google saying that enterprise applications should be written for 1 billion users. While I have gotten used to gmail, I still don’t like it; it was a step back in functionality. Besides, HIT does not have any place to assemble 1 billion users except maybe China or India. Making applications easier to use (read fewer features and options) can be a blessing or a curse depending on context and I fear that Google is calling a cadence that will soon reverberate across HIT.” – Brian

Walgreens Expands Telehealth Platform to Offer Virtual Doctor Visits Through MDLIVE via Walgreens Mobile App
Press Release
“The trends of virtual visits and retail care are colliding. At the mHealth Summit this week, Walgreens announced it will begin offering telemedicine consults through an in-app service in partnership with MDLive. While this deal is good for Walgreens, it’s great for MDLive, who will be competing with American Well for the telemedicine throne in 2015.” – Naveen

Refill reminders and the TCPA
Davis Wright Tremaine, Anna C. Watterson, and Ronald G. London for The Association of Corporate Counsel
“Refill reminders flow to patients from a thousand streams. Apparently, there is a big difference between a reminder to the patient’s cell phone or to their home phone. This article explains the difference and illustrates the mismatch between regulation and technology. This collision of telecommunications, privacy, and healthcare regulation also points to the systemic challenge of meds adherence.” – Brian

Devicemakers explore risk contracts with hospitals
Jaimy Lee for Modern Healthcare
“Some of the leading medical device manufacturers are exploring putting some skin in the game through their hospital contracts. Strategies here vary, from sharing readmission penalties to offering partial rebates based on functionality. To be sure, this is a very early stage development at this point, mostly limited to early conversation – but still, it represents an important sign of the ripple effect that broader shift to value-based reimbursement is having on the marketplace and vendors’ long-term thinking.” – Naveen

How Not to Cut Healthcare Costs (PDF)
Robert S. Kaplan and Derek A. Haas for Harvard Business Review
“Kaplan and Haas published an article in the Harvard Business Review (Nov 2014) entitled ‘How Not to Cut Costs.’ In the article they describe 5 factors that HCOs are doing incorrectly through their early research findings when looking to reduce cost including: cutting back on staff; underinvesting in space & equipment; focusing narrowly on procurement prices; maximizing throughput; failing to benchmark and standardize.” – Matt

Why so many of the health articles you read are junk
Julia Belluz for Vox
“‘Press releases from academic medical centers often promote research that has uncertain relevance to human health and do not provide key facts or acknowledge important limitations’ according to this article about the intersection of health information and hype. Anyone who issues press releases is by definition seeking attention. The problem of overstating your case can have actual public health consequences or is this story a little overhyped?” – Brian

Employer Perspectives on the Health Insurance Market: A Survey of Businesses in the United States
Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and RWJF Study
“Survey of 1,061 private sectors employers entitled ‘Employer Perspectives on the Health Insurance Market: A Survey of Businesses in the United States’ reported on a broad range of topics facing employers. The most surprising and depressing finding found that despite employers thinking health plan quality is important (60%) when purchasing a health plan only 4% of them use HEDIS or CAHPS data and more than 60% saying they were not familiar with either. Instead most just rely upon the data provided by their health plans (36%) or another source (24%). Even businesses with 50 or more employees in the survey were only modestly more likely to use HEDIS or CAHPS.” – Matt

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