Health & Wellness

Tropic Care 2013 in Kau

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Kaʻa Hoʻola Medical Van for Kaʻu District

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NRHA points to doc shortage aid; 4 free webinars; HIT benefits

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In this issue:

NRHA in The Washington Post: Osteopathic doctors may help alleviate rural doc shortage
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The national shortfall of family doctors, pediatricians and other generalists is expected to reach 52,000 by 2025. And only 9 percent of physicians practice in rural areas, where 20 percent of the U.S. population lives. “That’s where osteopaths have been largely helpful — in primary care and especially for those in need,” said NRHA’s Brock Slabach. And their footprint appears to be growing. More

Explore Louisville with colleagues from across the country
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NRHA’s 36th Annual Rural Health Conference, the nation’s largest gathering of rural health professionals, comes May 7-10 on the heels of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. There are plenty of opportunities to turn your trip into a vacation and explore renowned caves and caverns, the history behind the iconic Louisville Slugger and the life of hometown hero Muhammad Ali. Register now to save $100. More

NRHA sets its sights on the world
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NRHA has established the association’s International Rural Health Task Force to help lay groundwork for enhancing members’ expertise and experience. As issues in access to care parallel similar issues in other rural parts of the world, NRHA is looking to provide further leadership on rural health issues by fostering international connections in rural health and opportunities for members with international expertise and interests. More

NRHA’s Daily Yonder column: Sequestration, Medicaid and mortality
The Daily Yonder    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Medicare cuts from sequestration will cost rural communities 12,000 health care jobs. But even bigger problems await rural residents in states that don’t expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Since rural areas have a disproportionate share of elderly and poor people, Medicaid expansion would have a more significant impact in saving lives and improving economic conditions for rural, writes NRHA’s Brock Slabach. More

HRSA webinar: HIT and quality for safety net providers
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This webinar titled “Using Clinical Decision Support in Safety Net Provider Settings” explores how safety net providers can implement and use a clinical decision support (CDS) system at 2 p.m. EST March 22. A CDS complements an electronic health record, helping to ensure all patients in a practice receive appropriate and timely preventive services and the right test, the right medication and the right treatment. Meaningful use requires that each clinician implement one CDS rule relevant to their specialty or clinical priority along with the capability to track compliance with the rule.More

Free webinar: Health literacy needs and barriers of rural patients
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Julie Halverson, University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center assistant researcher, will present a webinar titled “Health Literacy and Rural Residence: Identifying and Addressing Needs” at noon CST March 28. The webinar will identify health literacy needs and barriers among a sample of rural cancer patients, examine how cultural values influence help-seeking and identify resources that address health literacy needs and barriers. More

ONC releases materials on CAHs, EHR and health IT benefits
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In an effort to support better care coordination and access to patient information in rural America, HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator recently released content specific to critical access hospitals and other small hospitals, the benefits and implementation of electronic health records, as well as meaningful use incentives. More

National Health Service Corps invites providers to virtual job fair
New Mexico Department of Health    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Primary care medical, dental and mental and behavioral health providers in your state are being invited to register and participate in the NHSC Virtual Job Fair from 7-10 p.m. EST March 19. It makes finding job opportunities easy and convenient for clinicians and students with busy schedules who are interested in serving at Indian Health Service centers and Tribal clinics. Primary care providers from all over the country are welcome to participate. More

NRHA Partners offer free webinars on ICD-10 implementation and patient safety
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Contexo Media will present “Understanding and Preparing for ICD-10-CM/PCS” at noon CST March 20 to guide you through the basics of ICD-10-CM and PCS by clarifying the different code sets and defining project management requirements. “Safety — A Call to Action” will be presented by Verge Solutions to discuss the National Association for Health Care Quality’s patient safety strategies and goals at noon CST March 21. More

ONC offers free vouchers for health IT professional examinations
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HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator is offering free vouchers for health IT professionals to take one or more of the health IT professional exams. Exams will cover six key areas and must be taken by April 1. As of February, more 17,000 individuals in rural communities have taken part in the training offered through the program. More

Top 100 CAHs named
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iVantage Health Analytics’ 2013 “Benchmark Performance for Critical Access Hospitals” study is an extension of the industry’s first rural hospital ratings program developed by this NRHA Corporate Partner. See which hospitals made the company’s list. More

NRHA advocacy blog: Senate appropriations committee releases continuing resolution
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The Senate Appropriations Committee recently released its draft continuing resolution which would fund the government for the remaining six months of fiscal year 2013, operating under the caps and sequestration established in the budget control act. NRHA continues to advocate on behalf of all rural health programs. More

Fiscal cliff health care policy fix: Good for rural patients, taxpayers
Hawaii Reporter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rarely do federal lawmakers come upon a policy that can expand access to critical health care services and simultaneously save taxpayers money. More

HHS takes ‘time out’ on meaningful use stage 3 rule-making
AAFP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
HHS is effectively taking a “time out” in its rule-making process to ponder the best way to move forward with stage three of electronic health record meaningful use objectives intended to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care. More

Study: Patients balk at considering cost in medical decision-making
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In recent years, consumers increasingly have been encouraged to factor cost into their medical decisions — by, for example, avoiding unnecessary tests, buying generic drugs and reducing visits to the emergency room. The hope is that a patient better educated and more engaged in his or her health decisions will choose options that will both promote better health and decrease costs. More

Casting call for new TV show focusing on rural health care providers
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A New York City-based television production company is developing a new television series about rural physicians, nurses or midwives for a major cable network. The show will focus primarily on health care professionals who work with women and babies. Dynamic medical workers who spend a large portion of their time visiting their patients outside a typical office setting are sought in a casting call for this new show. More

How to track, attack a superbug
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently held a press conference to announce the need to “sound an alarm” on the advance of CRE, a highly drug-resistant bacteria. CRE and other superbugs are found mostly in hospitals and long-term care facilities. More

Solar power brings health care to rural areas
Gadget    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At the 2013 Samsung Africa Forum, Samsung Electronics Africa launched its Solar Powered Health Centre model in Cape Town, South Africa, marking the start of a large-scale medical initiative on the continent. The mobile centers are built for use in remote rural areas, and intended to eliminate the economic and geographic barriers that prevent people across Africa from obtaining quality medical treatment. More

Apply now for scholarships through NURSE Corps
Health Resource and Services Administration    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 2013 NURSE Corps Scholarship Program — formerly known as the Nursing Scholarship Program — application cycle is now open. Through their scholarship and loan repayment programs, NURSE Corps is empowering and enabling nurses to follow their passion for helping and healing others. The deadline to apply is 7:30 p.m. EST May 2. More

National Nutrition Month sheds light on childhood obesity
New Mexico Department of Health    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The New Mexico Department of Health has released “The Weight of Our Children: New Mexico Childhood Obesity 2012 Update” to coincide with National Nutrition Month. The fact sheet reflects data collected in an effort to understand and address the problem of childhood obesity. Data was analyzed by grade, gender and ethnicity, and results were weighted to represent the kindergarten and third grade public school populations in New Mexico. More

Health care cuts from vaccinations to research
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sequestration spares Medicaid and almost all of Medicare, but automatic cuts to other federal health care programs will make it more difficult for low-income Americans to get maternal and infant care, vaccinate their children and receive treatment for mental illness. More

ONC: Hospitals make strides to show meaningful use
InformationWeek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospitals are making good progress acquiring and implementing basic electronic health record systems that are capable of showing meaningful use, but only a small minority has comprehensive EHRs, according to a pair of new reports from the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT. More

A bump in the road to accountable care?
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The pioneer accountable care organizations have long been the shining stars of the Affordable Care Act’s strategy to rein in the country’s out-of-control spending on health care. The 32 organizations are part of a Medicare pilot project called for in the health law that could revolutionize the health system by paying doctors and hospitals for quality of service rather than the volume of services. Pioneers would be offered a bonus for giving patients high-quality care at a reduced cost. If they failed to hit certain quality targets or did not manage to reduce the cost of care, they would be dinged accordingly. More

TRENDING ARTICLES Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

What do sequestration, Medicaid and mortality have in common? (NRHA)
NRHA blog: Does DC recognize repercussions of rural cuts? (NRHA)
Rural health care workforce shortages defy easy solutions (HealthLeaders Media)
Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences (NRHA)
The country doctor is in (Parade)

Don’t be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

The Million Hearts™ Initiative

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Million Hearts logo.

The Initiative


Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States. Heart disease is responsible for 1 of every 3 deaths in the country. Million Hearts™ is a national initiative that has set an ambitious goal to prevention 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The impact will be even greater over time.

Million Hearts™ aims to prevent heart disease and stroke by:

  • Improving access to effective care.
  • Improving the quality of care for the ABCS.
  • Focusing clinical attention on the prevention of heart attack and stroke.
  • Activating the public to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.
  • Improving the prescription and adherence to appropriate medications for the ABCS.

The Million Hearts™ initiative will focus, coordinate, and enhance cardiovascular disease prevention activities across the public and private sectors in an unprecedented effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years and demonstrate to the American people that improving the health system can save lives. Million Hearts™ will scale-up proven clinical and community strategies to prevent heart disease and stroke across the nation.

Million Hearts™ brings together existing efforts and new programs to improve health across communities and help Americans live longer, healthier, more productive lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are the co-leaders of Million Hearts™ within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working alongside other federal agencies including the Administration for Community Living, National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Office of the National Coordinator, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Key private-sector partners include the American Heart Association, and YMCA, among many others.

Learn More

Health IT Week: Health IT for You and Me

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Celebrate Health IT Week!

Health IT for You and Me

Health Information Technology (Health IT) is upgrading our health care system for the 21st century. Today’s technology is converting the information in our paper records into an electronic format that allows you and your doctors to have access to your health information when and where it’s needed.

Watch this video (3 minutes) from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to learn more about how Health IT is improving health care for you.

Local Perspectives

Health IT is one of several essential tools to improve health care and, ultimately, health. When Health IT is effectively combined with the other essential tools — access to primary care, patient-centered values, a culture of continuous improvement, and inclusive leadership — it helps drive improvements in patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, provider satisfaction, and cost reduction.

Sharon H. Vitousek, MD
Board President, Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community
Director, North Hawai‘i Outcomes Project

A‘ohe hana nui ke alu ia
No task is too big when done together by all.

The whole idea behind Beacon — whether through Health IT, care coordination, or clinical transformation — is to handle the huge task of health care for Hawai‘i Island, which can only be done by all of us working together!

Michelle Malia Hiraishi
Executive Director
Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi

Health IT helps us merge our clinical efforts with appropriate documentation so that we are able to accurately capture data for internal and external quality improvement efforts. By having access to all of our information electronically, we are able to be more efficient and effective in managing patient care through improved communication and the ability to track patient outcomes.Melissa Corrao
Medical Home Program Coordinator
Bay Clinc, Inc.

Health IT is important to our organization and to me because it will allow sharing of my and other patients’ health information electronically with other health care providers. This will improve our health and the quality of care we receive when we go between providers and facilities. For example, when I am referred to a specialist or go to the Emergency Room, all can access the same data as my Primary Care Physician. There will be less chance for medical errors and easier reporting of accurate statistics.

Kimberlin Barnes
Informatics Specialist II
Bay Clinic, Inc.
Copyright © 2012 Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community, All rights reserved.
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Hawai‘i Health Connector September eNews

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Hawaii Health Connector

Hawai‘i Health Connector September eNews

The Connector Issues RFP for Communication Services
Today, we have issued a request for proposals (RFP) from qualified bidders to provide professional communication services to promote the online health insurance marketplace we are currently developing.
The RFP contains three components—market research, communication strategy, and public relations. We are looking to grow brand awareness and position the online marketplace as the premier source of health insurance information for consumers and business in Hawai‘i.
Interested companies can download the RFP and find information about the Connector’s activities online at  The RFP and detailed instructions can be found under the “Public Notices” section of the website.  The direct link to the RFP is
Questions about the RFP should be directed to Kathy Mitchell via email:
Community Outreach Meeting
The next community outreach meeting will be Friday, September 21, 2012.  The public is invited to participate in an open discussion regarding the Connector’s branding and logo development.  We are very excited to work with consumers on this important milestone and we want as much input as possible so our logo is truly one that everyone can be proud of.
Visit our website for time and location details of the upcoming meeting.
Consumer Advisory Committee
The Community Outreach Team has extended the deadline for submitting applications to be part of the Consumer Advisory Committee to Friday, September 7, 2012.
The Consumer Advisory Committee will represent a wide variety of consumer and employer interests, including:
(a) Individuals and Small Businesses who will purchase health plans through the Connector;
(b) Diverse populations throughout the state; and
(c) Organizations that help individuals to enroll in health plans through the Connector, including insurance providers and advocates for hard-to-reach populations.
Members who serve on this committee will represent small businesses and consumers statewide and will participate in strategic outreach initiatives.
If you are interested in serving on the Committee or know of someone, complete the attached application and submit it to (For application, click here)
Note: Hawaiian diacritical marks used in this newsletter may not be compatible with all computer platforms, browsers, etc. Click here for a PDF version of this eNews.
Hawai‘i Health Connector  P.O. Box 3767 Honolulu HI 96812

Celebrating Health IT Week: September 10-14

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Celebrate Health IT Week!

The principle of Health Information Technologyis simpleApplying innovative technologies to manage health information more effectively. The multi-faceted benefits of Health IT include streamlined access to patient information and better communication among health care providers and patients for an ultimate improvement in all aspects of care.

Look for your Health IT Week emails and stay connected by visiting HIBC on Facebook or #NHITWeek on Twitter.

Celebrate Health Information Technology Week with HIBC

The future of health care is now, and Hawai’i Island Beacon Community is excited to highlight key aspects of Health Information Technology during National Health IT Week, Sept. 10th – 14th. We invite you to join us as we celebrate this week-long observance to raise awareness of the incredible progress being made in the field of health-related information technology.

Progressive Growth for the Benefit of All
In the week ahead, you’ll receive daily emails with updates on innovations designed to streamline efficiency and reduce costs. We’ll touch on a variety of topics like Health IT milestones on the Big Island, use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and advances in care coordination. These and other promising Health IT projects are in motion across the nation as part of the Beacon Community program including expansion of online communities, the adoption of e-prescriptions to reduce errors and wait times, and personal health tools like smartphone “apps” that can keep patients on the right track to optimal health.

Improved access to health information means a higher standard of care. As transformative technology is researched and adopted across all forms of health care in our islands, we envision the end result of our collaborative commitment to Health IT — a more effective health care system that is highly adaptable to the changing needs of the community.

Your Role in Health IT
As HIBC dedicates time and effort to exploring innovative technology and how it integrates with our other focus areas of clinical transformation and wellness & prevention, we encourage you to follow along as we share examples of momentum and growth. As these technologies produce tangible improvements in cost, quality, and community health, we hope you’ll stay connected with us as we explore how Health IT impacts you, your family, your organization and your community.

Thank you for your partnership with HIBC. Your support is crucial as we work together to improve health outcomes for Hawai’i Island, empower residents to take control of their health, and transform our infrastructure into a health care system that is as dynamic as it is dependable.

Copyright © 2012 Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community, All rights reserved.
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