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Health takes top spot among New Year’s resolutions, survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON — People making New Year’s resolutions, mostly centered around health, this year say they behave more responsibly than they did five years ago compared with those not making them, according to a new survey.

The online survey, by Liberty Mutual Insurance, included more than 1,700 adults, gauging how Americans define personal responsibility and how their perception of it varies with age, marital status, gender and whether they have children.

The survey found that 46% of respondents defined personal responsibility as "doing what’s expected of you or what you’re supposed to do" compared with 31% who defined it as "admitting to or owning mistakes" and 23% who defined it as "doing something especially hard or challenging."

The survey also found that fitness, exercise and healthy eating were among the top resolutions, with 46% of respondents creating resolutions around fitness and exercise and 37% creating diet-related resolutions. Meanwhile, 26% had resolutions concerning family and 22% had resolutions concerning spirituality or managing personal finances.

Parents were more likely than non-parents to make resolutions, with 46% of parents making them, compared with 33% of non-parents, and 50% of mothers making resolutions, compared with 41% of fathers. In addition, 58% of those aged 18-34 were likely to make resolutions, compared with 22% of those aged 50-64, and 47% of singles were likely to make a resolution, compared with 30% of married people.

 

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Outreach by telephone reduces hospital readmission risk, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. — Reaching out to discharged hospital patients by telephone could help reduce the chances they’ll be readmitted in the future, according to a new study by a healthcare service company.

Cigna announced results of the study of 3,988 patients with gastrointestinal, heart and lower respiratory diseases described as "high-risk" — defined as having an initial discharge major diagnosis of one of those diseases and a stay of three days or more — finding that prioritized, telephonic outreach by health plan case managers following discharge reduced readmission rates by 22%.

"Readmissions of high-risk patients make up a significant portion of healthcare expenses, accounting for 30% of total inpatient costs for private employer health plans," Cigna senior medical director Charles Foreman said. "The lesson learned from the Cigna study is that the timing and prioritizing of readmission intervention to high-risk patients is critical. Prioritizing telephone outreach to high-risk patients based on their discharge date and risk severity significantly reduces the likelihood of 60-day readmissions."

The company conducted a prospective, randomized control study of the effect of hospital discharge planning from health plan case managers on readmissions for high-risk patients. An intervention group of 1,994 patients received outreach and engagement within 24 hours of discharge, and their calls were made in descending risk order to engage the highest risk first. A control group, also with 1,994 patients, received delayed outreach and engagement 48 hours after discharge without call order by risk being applied.

The intent-to-treat, 60-day readmission rate for the treatment group was 7.4% versus 9.6% for the control group, representing a 22% relative reduction in all-cause readmissions.

"Healthcare organizations providing post-discharge telephonic outreach to patients with diagnoses related to heart, gastrointestinal and lower respiratory can use these findings to inform the alignment of their case management resources," Foreman said. "Further study needs to be done to test the prioritization intervention against all major diagnoses to confirm this approach impacts a wider profile of patients."


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ABC elects former Campbell Soup chief to board

BY Michael Johnsen

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen on Wednesday announced the election of former Campbell Soup president and CEO Douglas Conant to its board, effective immediately. Conant’s election increases the number of AmerisourceBergen directors from nine to 10.

“Doug’s extensive business experience, exceptional leadership capabilities and proven track record for growing brands and businesses make him an excellent addition to our board,” stated Richard Gozon, AmerisourceBergen chairman.

Conant is CEO of ConantLeadership, a firm dedicated to helping improve the quality of leadership in the 21st century. 

From 2001 through 2011, Conant helped lead Campbell Soup Company through a business transformation that generated sales growth, 10 consecutive years of adjusted earnings per share growth, strong cash flow and a high return on invested capital. 

Prior to joining Campbell Soup, Conant served from 1992 to 2000 at Nabisco in a series of senior leadership positions, including president of Nabisco Foods from 1995 to 2000. Conant also worked at General Mills and Kraft earlier in his career.

Conant received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and his Masters of Business Administration from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

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