Posts in Category: hospitals

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 2/15/16 

Don't miss out on this week's top stories


CMS and health insurers announce alignment and simplification of quality measures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and America's Health Insurance Plans (the health plans' trade group)  announced that they have agreed on seven sets of clinical quality measuresThe standardized measures are designed to help payers and consumers shopping for high-quality care. "These measures support multi-payer alignment, for the first time, on core measures primarily for physician quality programs," according to the CMS. This work is informing the CMS’s implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

Supreme Court: What will happen to healthcare cases after Justice Scalia's death?

A number of healthcare-related cases are in limbo following the death of conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 12. "The court is weighing a case about data sharing with potential implications for insurers and state healthcare reform efforts," Modern Healthcare reports. "Another case has the potential to reduce—or increase—the number of False Claims Act suits brought against healthcare providers and other companies." Also before the court is a case involving the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. 

CMS anticipates giving out $7.7 billion in ACA reinsurance payouts

Healthcare insurance companies could receive as much as $7.7 billion as part of the Affordable Care Act's reinsurance program. Reflecting data from the 2015 benefit year, the payouts are to be issued this year. "The Affordable Care Act created the temporary, three-year reinsurance program to protect insurers during the early years of the new individual marketplaces," according to Modern Healthcare"Insurers pay into the reinsurance pool, and those funds are then paid out to health plans that had members with extremely high medical claims." 

Still stalled: Federal healthcare rule that ties Medicare, Medicaid payments to disaster-preparedness plans

A proposed federal rule that would require healthcare facilities and hospitals to create emergency-preparedness plans in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding is stalled in the Office of Management and Budget, undergoing a legally required review. It would affect more than 68,000 providers, according to a New York Times news analysis."Industry groups have been critical of the time and expense they said would be involved in steps such as test backup power generators more frequently and for longer periods, or to pay staff overtime during drills," according to FierceHealthcare.com.

Harvard researchers say PCI readmission metric could be model

A model for improving the quality and value of cardiology care may be found in a pilot program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR), according to Harvard researchers. The program evaluated and reported risk-adjusted 30-day readmission rates after PCI. "The researchers noted that preventing readmissions could improve the quality of care and reduce costs for cardiology patients," according to CardiovascularBusiness.com.

 

The Best of HealthIT News: Week of 2/8/16  

Population health, Obamacare, and cost containment

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the healthIT community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

Companies Form New Alliance to Target Healthcare Costs

Hoping to hold down the cost of healthcare benefits, 20 large companies—including American Express, Macy’s  and Verizon—have come together to use their collective data and market power. Members of the new alliance will share data about employee healthcare spending and outcomes, possibly using the data to change how they contract for care. "Some members say they could even form a purchasing cooperative to negotiate for lower prices, or try to change their relationships with insurance administrators and drug-benefit managers," Yahoo news reports.

Federal Insurance Marketplace Signs Up Millions of New Obamacare Users

The Obama administration reports that approximately 12.7 million new patients signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or automatically renewed their policies during Obamacare's third annual open enrollment season. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told the New York Times that the signups show that “marketplace coverage is a product people want and need.” Most of the plan selections were for people in the 38 states—more than 9.6 million—who used the federal website, HealthCare.gov, the Times reported. The other 3.1 million people were enrolled in states that run their own marketplaces.

Healthcare Economics: Court Allows Some Hospitals to Save Money by Classifying Themselves as Both Rural and Urban

While an earlier Health and Human Services (HHS) rule had barred both urban and rural classifications at once, a new federal appeals court ruling removed the barrier for dual hospital classification. The recent court decision applies only to hospitals within the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but some hope that—combined with an earlier similar decision in a different circuit—the 2nd Circuit Court's ruling will inspire HHS to change the regulation across the country. "The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows hospitals to classify themselves as rural (which providers typically leverage for discounts on drug purchases) while also classifying themselves as urban, (an important factor to attract qualified clinicians)," according to Reuters. 

Population Health: Hospital-based Wellness Centers Are Changing the Healthcare Model

Wellness centers housed in hospitals are helping communities prioritize preventive care and management of chronic conditions. The centers are part of the population health management model that focuses on preventing illnesses rather than simply treating them when and if they occur. The idea is to get patients to seek treatment before their conditions worsen, thus easing the burden on emergency rooms and acute care centers—and saving money.

Cost Control: Surgical Safety Checklists Can Save Lives and Reduce Hospital Stays

Surgical safety checklists—if implemented correctly—can save time, lives, and money. After the checklists were implemented, one study found, the average length of a hospital stay dropped from 10.4 days to 9.6 days. In addition, the checklists led to a 27 percent drop in the risk of death following surgery. Proper and consistent implementation is critical, however, for the checklists to work.

The Best of HealthIT News: Week of 1/25/16 

ERHs, ACOs, healthcare hackers, and more

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the healthIT community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

 

Healthcare execs advised to focus on consolidations, emergency preparedness, value-based care for 2016

Healthcare trends to watch this year include hospital consolidations and the continued shift away from fee-for-service payment models to value-based care, say hospital executives surveyed by FierceHealthcare. “'Providers will come together in a range of affiliations/partnerships as part of growth and cost reduction strategies, short of full-on mergers and acquisitions,’ according to Chris Van Gorder, CEO and president of Scripps Health in San Diego.”

Ambulatory EHRs should gain steam through 2020

There are many reasons to shift toward ambulatory inpatient electronic health records, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan. The report predicts that low returns and on-premise EHR limitations will motivate healthcare providers to explore cloud-based, affordable products in their quest to achieve population health goals. The new records systems would benefit both patient-centered medical homes and Accountable Care Organizations as they negotiate the continuum of care for their patients. 

5 healthcare IT enemies to watch out for

A new report calls out five types of healthcare hackers and categorizes them based on their targets and other characteristics. Some are unsophisticated “script kiddies,” while others have the finesse of nation states, according to a Critical Infrastructure Technology report. They’re after everything from patient records to employee personnel files, and any records that can help them steal identities, the report says.

Out-of-network integration, interoperability among problems facing ACOs

Interoperability and integration problems plague Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) despite the fact that many systems have made health IT a major focus, according to a survey. Integrating data from out-of-network providers is the most daunting challenge they face, according to 80 percent of ACO representatives surveyed.

Give patients control of their data, researchers argue

Hospitals should make changing to a patient-controlled records system a priority, say researchers at Boston Children's Hospital in the New England Journal of Medicine. They argue that the benefits of patient-controlled records are far-reaching, and that the technology needed to make the shift is already in place. They admit, however, that the incentives to make the change are lacking. 

Building a Comprehensive, Customizable STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database Module 

A Case Study

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta built a customizable STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database Module that improves the quality of patient care through the use of STS National Database benchmarks and evidence-based medicine. By adding additional fields to those defined by STS, Children’s has a more complete, patient-focused congenital database. Find out more.
 

Posted by Thursday, January 21, 2016 1:33:00 PM Categories: best practices case study data health information technology health IT hospitals pediatric cardiology

Top health IT and healthcare stories: Week of 1/18/16 

Cybersecurity, population health, reducing readmissions, and more

Leave the researching to us! LUMEDX surveys the top healthcare and health IT stories of the week.

Mobile health apps particularly vulnerable to hacking

Although most executives believe their applications are secure, eight out of 10 mobile health applications are open to HIPAA violations, hacking, and data theft, according to a new study.

FDA advises medical device manufacturers on cybersecurity

The Food and Drug Administration has issued draft guidelines that outline how medical device manufacturers can prevent cybersecurity threats. In addition to incorporating controls in device designs, makers must also consider ongoing improvements because risks could occur over the devices’ lifecycles.

How to improve population health management

“The sickness, hospital-centric model of healthcare, which has been in place in this country since the mid-1960s, is giving way to an ‘anywhere care’ model that centers on population health management,” according to Executive Insight, which lays out four leadership imperatives to improve population health management.

Reducing readmissions and mortality centers on identifying risk factors

Better coordination between hospitals and post-acute care facilities could decrease the number of patient readmissions to hospitals, and could also reduce mortality rates. A new study by researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine identified specific risk factors that led to hospital readmissions. Almost 50 percent of those readmissions happened within two weeks of patients’ being released from hospitals.

Population health management for older patients

Hospitals are making changes in certain departments and service lines with the needs of older patients in mind. From the emergency department to the OR, healthcare organizations are looking at new ways to treat the aging population.


 

The Best of Cardio, Health IT News: Week of 12/21/15 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

Mount Sinai heart director predicts cardio care will focus more on prevention

In the future, healthcare providers will put more emphasis on prevention, and (it is hoped) less on treating disease, Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., said during a Dec. 17 panel discussion at the United Nations. Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and physician-in-chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, added that the transition “will require that cardiovascular specialists and healthcare workers are trained in ambulatory and home-based care.” 

Heart disease still top cause of deaths, but rate is decreasing in U.S.

Heart disease-related deaths are down, but still account for nearly one-third of all deaths in the United States, according to the American Heart Association's (AHA's) annual Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update. Cardiovascular disease caused 30.8 percent of all U.S. deaths in 2013 and is still the leading cause of death, with about 2,200 people dying of it daily in the United States. From 2003 to 2013, death rates attributed to cardiovascular disease declined 28.8 percent, the AHA reported.

Healthcare 2015: The year in review

Rising drug prices—including huge increases in the prices of some older drugs— lead Modern Healthcare’s list of top medical stories for 2015. Also on the radar: cyberattacks on health insurers, and the congressional breakthrough on “the long-standing headache of Medicare physician pay.”

Population health the big issue in healthcare IT

In the healthcare IT community, population health was one of the hot topics of 2015. That’s according to healthcareitnews.com, which closes the year with its 10 most-read population heath stories of 2015. One of the featured stories covers possible population health gains that could come about as patients become more engaged. 

Self-service kiosk lets patients share data with providers

A new self-service kiosk will allow patients and providers to share medical exam reports, radiology reports and medical images. Although it’s not yet available for commercial sale, Carestream Health’s MyVue Center Self-Service kiosk debuted recently at the 2015 Radiological Society of North America conference. 

Posted by Monday, December 21, 2015 12:14:00 PM Categories: cardiology data electronic health records health information technology health IT heart failure HIT hospitals

The Best of Cardio, Health IT News: Week of 12/14/15 

Telehealth trend continues its upward climb

2015 sees digital health funding top $4.3 million

More than $4.3 million flowed into the digital health market this year, with consumer engagement tools, personal health tools, and tracking categories by themselves making up 23 percent of overall funding. Consumerization in healthcare is also driving mergers or funding deals, according to a report by Rock Health.

Doctor shortages, readmission fines drive up use of remote patient monitoring systems

A new report from Frost & Sullivan predicts that the remote patient monitoring market will grow by 13.2 percent during the next five years. The market growth is thought to be caused in part by fear of readmissions penalties, an anticipated doctor shortage, and an increase of chronic health conditions.

Kaiser betting telehealth is the wave of the future

Kaiser Permanente Ventures has invested $10 million in Vidyo, a visual communications company that integrates hi-def video communications into workflow and patients’ electronic health records. Forbes reports that Vidyo is already used by clinicians at Mercy, American Well, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Healthcare, and Philips, among others.

Adequate nursing staff increases survival rates for in-hospital cardiac arrest patients 

A new report finds that assigning fewer patients to each nurse and improving working conditions for those nurses can increase the number of in-hospital cardiac arrest patients who live to return home. Outcomes are better “when nurses have a more reasonable workload and work in good hospital work environments," the report’s authors said in an announcement.

STS issues new CABG guidelines

Physicians who perform coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) should use arteries from the chest and forearm instead of veins from the leg in certain patients, according to guidelines from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The STS members who created the guidelines “found that targeting the left internal thoracic artery during CABG procedures was associated with improved survival, graft patency and freedom from cardiac events compared with saphenous vein grafts,” according to cardiovascularbusiness.com.

 

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 12/7/15 

Good news, bad news: High cholesterol rates are down, but fewer than half of patients are taking their statins

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

 

The good news: High total cholesterol rates declining among U.S. adults

Rates of total high cholesterol and low high-density protein (HDL) in U.S. adults decreased between 2011 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  From 2009 to 2010, 13.4 percent of adults had high cholesterol and 21.3 percent had low HDL cholesterol. From 2011 to 2014, those percentages dropped to 12.1 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.

The bad news: Most patients not making changes to reduce cardio risk

Fewer than half of patients considered candidates for cholesterol-lowering treatments are actually implementing the treatments, which include exercising more, taking statin medication and losing weight. “Cholesterol treatment gaps” are greater among non-white ethnic groups in the United States than they are for Americans who are white.

Mood matters! Patients with negative emotions before interventional procedures have more adverse outcomes    

Adverse effects after angioplasty and interventional radiology procedures are more common in patients who are fearful or distressed prior to the procedures. Patients who went in with negative emotions were more likely than those with positive or neutral emotions to experience prolonged lack of oxygen, low or high blood pressure, post-operative bleeding or an abnormally slow heart rate.

Hospital staff don’t feel prepared for a mass casualty event

Are critical care and emergency room (ER) staff ready to handle the next terrorist or other mass casualty event? Two-thirds of the physicians and nurses surveyed recently said no. They’re concerned about shortages of available surgeons, beds and blood supplies. 

What healthcare leaders must do to improve patient outcomes

Outcomes-based patient care requires a paradigm shift that has yet to occur for many in healthcare management, according to a Harvard Business Review blog post. Successfully adapting to this new business model requires investing time and money over the long haul, plus taking two other key actions, the post says.

Hospitals drowning in paperwork 

Did you know that in many hospitals, every two hours of patient care causes one hour of paperwork? It's even worse for emergency rooms, which have a 1-to-1 ratio of paperwork to patient care. Those are just two of the findings in "Patients or Paperwork? The Regulatory Burden Facing America’s Hospitals." The report, by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was commissioned by the AHA. 

For more healthcare facts, click here

And for the full report, click here

The best of healthcare news, week of 11/30/15 

The future of healthcare, according to one cardiologist

In the future, smart phones might help prevent heart attacks and strokes. That's according to Eric Topol, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, who wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Topol predicts that patients will use their smart phones to provide doctors with continuous data on themselves, as opposed to waiting for office visits--a practice that would provide for earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Doctor strikes don't increase patient deaths

In wealthy countries, patient mortality doesn't suffer because of work stoppages by physicians, according to a new study published in The BMJ. Mortality rates even fell during  some strikes. Researchers theorized that patient mortality didn't increase during strikes because hospitals cancelled elective surgeries and continued to offer emergency care, among other reasons. They also noted that many doctors continued to work during strikes, and theorized that those who worked were better rested, enabling them to provide better care.

Age a big determinant of stroke rates in adults with ACHD

Patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) face a substantially higher risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes than the general population, according to a retrospective study.  "Compared with the general population, patients with ACHD who were younger than 55 years old had a 9 to 12 times higher rate of ischemic stroke, and a 5 to 6 times higher rate of hemorrhagic stroke," the study found. "Patients with ACHD who were 55 to 64 years old had a 2 to 4 times higher rate of ischemic strokes." Heart failure, diabetes and recent MI were the biggest predictors of ischemic stroke. 

One-third of healthcare organizations leave records vulnerable to cyberattacks

Despite the prevalence of hacking, many hospitals haven't implemented strong web security programs, according to a survey conducted by HIMSS Analytics and Akamai, a content delivery network. More than 39 percent of hospitals in the survey reported that they don't have web application firewalls in place. And 35 percent of healthcare organizations are "vulnerable to a type of  cyberattack that is increasing in frequency and size across all industries," the survey said.

Paper demonstrates efficacy of repeat BAVs in high-risk population

Patients deemed to be at too high a risk for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) can benefit from balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV), according to a new study. "For patients in whom BAV is the only structural treatment available to relieve their symptomatology, repeat BAV performance is one of the only means to maintain symptomatic control in an otherwise very high-risk patient population," the study's authors note.

Posted by Wednesday, December 02, 2015 10:48:00 AM Categories: cardiology healthcare reform HIPAA hospital management hospitals
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