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The latest useful materials on how health reform is affecting Illinois, to help you navigate the changing landscape.


RESOURCES FOR YOU

 Q:   Provider Health Communication Best Practices Read this best-practice quick guide from the Department of Health and Human services to implement health provider communications that take into account patient demographics, culture, language, communication capacity, and understanding.

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 Q:   Counseling Patients on Physical Activity This CME module from the American Medical Association is designed to help physicians and other health care professionals learn to counsel patients on increasing physical activity levels, on dietary guidelines, and on obesity. Physicians who complete the module by January 2016 can receive .5 PRA Category 1 credits. (more…)

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 Q:   Patient Engagement Strategies This e-book from HL7 Standards gives medical providers detailed strategies for establishing and maintaining relationships with patients. The book by Leonard Kish, titled “Patient Engagement is a Strategy, Not a Tool, presents tactics that use recent technological advances, social media, and messaging to improve patient-provider interactions as well as patients' health decision making. The e-book was released in November 2014.

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 Q:   Culturally Competent Patient Care This course from the Department of Health and Human Services outlines steps to engage with patients of different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in a respectful manner. Physicians and physician assistants can receive up to nine continuing medical education credits and nurse practitioners can receive up to nine contact hours after completing the course.

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 Q:   Health Plan Discrimination Advocacy Strategies This blog post from Community Catalyst shows how stronger network adequacy standards can play a role in addressing discrimination, and spotlights how discrimination in health plans affects those with chronic illnesses, using people living with HIV/AIDS as an example. It is based on a workshop on advocacy strategies that Community Catalyst facilitated at the Consumer Voices for Coverage annual meeting in September 2014.

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 Q:   Health Insurance Marketplace: Continuing Education This June 2014 self-study guide from HHS is designed to help health professionals become more knowledgeable about enrollment options that meet their patients' needs and refer patients to appropriate resources. It is aimed at physicians, registered nurses, social workers, and others who accept health insurance. The course is designated for up to 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 credits.

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 Q:   What Providers Need to Know about Care Coordination Entities Care coordination entities work to form alternative models of delivering care to Medicaid clients through provider-organized networks, initially organized around the needs of Illinois’ most complex clients - seniors, and persons with disabilities, and children with complex medical needs. This 22-minute video of a webinar from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services was posted by Illinois Health Connect in December 2013.

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 Q:   Medicaid Consumer Engagement Toolkit Federal guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services calls upon states to ensure the voices of older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers, are heard in the design, implementation, and oversight of Medicaid demonstrations such as the Medicare Medicaid Alignment Initiative. This toolkit from Community Catalyst provides strategic guidance to providers and health plans on how to involve Medicaid consumers in developing a new delivery system.

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 Q:   Community Health Needs Assessment Hospital Toolkit Tax-exempt and non-profit hospital systems are required to demonstrate the benefits to communities served through a Community Health Needs assessment. This toolkit from Community Catalyst provides hospitals with resources hat help clarify key terms and requirements under the ACA, and explain how to engender grass-roots participation and how to utilize health data.

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 Q:   Contract Negotiations with Health Plans This article from a 2006 issue of the journal Family Practice Management shares still-pertinent recommendations for practicing health providers on how to successfully negotiate a contract with a health plan that protects provider interests. Included in this article are contract deal breakers and key parts of a contract that providers should seek before joining a network.

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Patient Portal Features: Benefits and Frustrations for Consumers

Reports show that providers have struggled with patient portal adoption. Educating patients about patient portals is clearly the first step, but according to this 2014 Software Advice report maintaining their involvement depends heavily on understanding both the features they find beneficial and the frustrations that can drive them away.

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 Q:   Medicaid FAQ: Eligibility and Accessing Medical Services These frequently asked questions from the Illinois Department of Human Services detail how to sign up for Medicaid and All Kids, how to access medical providers like a primary care physician or dentist under Medicaid, what to do if you have lost or did not receive a medical card, and what services are provided under Medicaid. The FAQ provides contact info to address issues and access needed care.

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 Q:   Provider Network Options for Medicaid Care Coordination This provider notice from HFS explains different care coordination models for family, children, and ACA adult Medicaid populations. It also provides contact information for providers to each of these health plans so they can contract to join provider networks.

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 Q:   Cutting Administrative Costs Through eHealth This fact sheet from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services breaks down how eHealth can cut unnecessary administrative costs by promoting policies, standards and business procedures that allow for electronic information exchange. This shift to electronic information would include patients, caregivers, communities, and providers.

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 Q:   Illinois Health System Change Overview 2014 This April 2014 overview by the Make Medicare Work Coalition details major changes experienced by the Illinois health system, including the SMART Act, ACA system improvement efforts, and the 1115 Path to Transformation Waiver and what providers need to know.

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