Posts in Category: hospital management

Early Reaction to MACRA Rule Mostly Positive 

Last weekend was a busy one for those trying to parse the new MACRA rule released on Friday. At 2,202 pages, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act rule wasn't exactly beach reading, and it gave the health IT community plenty to talk about on social media and in policy statements.

The dust is still settling, but it appears that early reaction to the rule was mostly positive. Healthcare organizations praised the CMS for being responsive to concerns they had raised during the comment period leading up to the rule's finalization. In fact, about 80 percent of the 2,000+ pages are comments CMS received and its responses.
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Clinician mobile device use increasing as healthcare organizations struggle to protect data 

The number of clinicians who use smartphones and other mobile devices on the job is rising rapidly, and so is the number of facilities that have created mobile device management strategies to cope. "Organizations with a documented mobility strategy have nearly doubled, and in-house use of pagers has increased slightly during the past two years," according to Health Data Management. Almost 90 percent of physicians surveyed reported using smartphones, while about half of nurses and other staff members use them. In response, more than 60 percent of hospitals surveyed have a documented mobile device strategy. (The survey, by mobile messaging service vendor Spok, included responses from about 550 hospitals.) The leading mobile devices used in hospitals are: Smartphones (78 percent) In-house pagers (71 percent) Wi-Fi phones (69 percent) Wide-area pagers (57 percent) Tablets (52 percent) Security and privacy, of course, are huge concerns for those setting mobile... read more
 

Medical Errors Are Made at an Alarming Rate 

How Integrated Systems Can Help Medical errors are dangerous, deadly, and all too common. Research published in The Journal of Health Care Finance found that these mistakes cost the United States $19.5 billion in 2008 alone. A 2016 study estimated that medical errors cause 251,000 deaths a year in the U.S., where they are the third-leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer). To Err is Human, the groundbreaking report by the Institute of Medicine, found that nearly half of all deaths attributed to medical errors were preventable. What's even more disturbing is the limited improvement that has occurred since the publication of that 1999 report. "The overall numbers haven't changed, and that's discouraging and alarming," Kenneth Sands of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center told the Washington Post. Mickey Norris, National Vice President of Sales for LUMEDX, discusses how a CVIS can help reduce medical errors. Medical errors can obviously result from... read more
 

Improving the Business Performance of Your Heart Hospital 

An effective CVIS strategy can improve the business performance of your hospital The primary goal of any healthcare provider is to improve the lives of patients through effective treatment. However, because they are also businesses, hospitals have concerns that entail much more than this. To be viable in the long term, hospitals must manage their margins to fund their mission. There are three main pillars of business concern for any hospital: Clinical—health outcomes are measured with the goal of healthier patients leaving the facility. Financial—the dollars must add up to keep the enterprise solvent. Operational—staffing and facilities are measured against cost and need. Ultimate success for a hospital demands strength in all three areas. It's incumbent upon clinicians and service line managers to work together to seek out efficiencies in each of them. Praveen Lobo, VP Strategic Products New Operational Realities Payers' shift away from a ... read more
 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: 4/14/16 

News stories you won't want to miss!
Higher patient ratings equal fewer readmissions, lower mortality The scores patients assign their hospitals appear to correspond with the quality of the hospitals' patient outcomes, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers analyzed the scores patients assigned to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' star-rating system for more than 3,000 hospitals. Hospitals' star ratings were inversely proportional to their rates of death within a month of discharge. Hospitals reap $1.6M from specialists, including cardiologists While the average primary care physician is generating less income for hospitals ($1.4 million in 2016 versus $1.56 million in 2013), that’s offset by specialist doctors, whose contribution to hospital revenues jumped 14% to $1.6 million, compared with $1.42 million three years ago. Among specialists, orthopedic physicians bring in the most business ($2.75 million each), followed by invasive cardiologists ($2.45 million) and ... read more
 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 3/28/16 

A sampling of this week's healthcare stories that you won't want to miss. Female cardiologists remain underrepresented, report more work-life challenges than men Two decades have brought little change for women in cardiology, according to a new study. Women account for only 20 percent of cardiologists who see adult patients, and are more likely than their male counterparts to face professional discrimination. Study eases concerns about antidepressants and cardiovascular risk Patients who take antidepressants are not increasing their risk of arrhythmia, MI, stroke or transient ischemic attack, according to new study. Prior research had suggested a link between depression and negative cardiovascular outcomes. ACC honors 18 people for their contributions to cardiology Eighteen people have been selected for a Distinguished Award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The recipients will receive their awards on April 4 during the ACC’s annual scientific session... read more
 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 3/7/16 

Readmissions, Obamacare, and more
CMS targets hospital readmissions after CABG A proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would penalize hospitals that perform an index coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and then have an unexpected 30-day readmission, even if the patient was discharged from a different hospital. "The proposed CABG 30-day readmission measure includes Medicare beneficiaries who are 65 years old or older who at the time of the index admission had been enrolled in a Medicare fee-for-service program for at least 12 months," Cardiovascular Business reports. "CMS intends to add CABG to its readmissions reduction program in 2017." Most support keeping, building on Obamacare The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) continues to have public support, with 36 percent of those surveyed saying it should be expanded, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. That's the position advocated by presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Nearly... read more
 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 2/22/16 

Security breach, telehealth, and Obamacare
LUMEDX does the research for you! Here are some of the top stories in healthcare this week. Security: Hospital pays ransom to get its data back from hackers Security experts are concerned that a Southern California hospital paid a $17,000 ransom in bitcoins to hackers who infiltrated and disabled its network, saying that agreeing to the ransomers' demands could set a bad precedent. The hackers had encrypted the hospital's computer network and demanded the ransom to provide a digital decryption key to unlock it. Healthcare could be major issue in presidential race The future of U.S. healthcare--especially Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid--will be determined in this year's presidential election, and the candidates are offering starkly different visions. Democrat Hillary Clinton would uphold and expand the Affordable Health Act, while her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, would replace it with a single-payer system. Republican Donald Trump expressed support for some facets... read more
 

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 measures. The 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... read more
 

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 2/1/16 

Trending topics in HealthIT
Leave the researching to us! LUMEDX surveys the top healthcare and health IT stories of the week. Healthcare economics: Basing healthcare decisions on Medicare data might not be best practice A recent study found that the correlation between total spending per Medicare beneficiary and total spending per privately insured beneficiary was 0.14 in 2011, while the correlation for inpatient spending was 0.267. “What that suggests is that policy for Medicare doesn’t necessarily make better policy for the privately insured,” one researcher told Health Exec. Reducing readmissions among minorities: 7 population health strategies A new guide from Medicare gives hospitals methods for addressing ethnic and racial healthcare disparities in readmissions. The guide comes amid increasing concerns about racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare outcomes, and frustration about federal penalties that some say unfairly punish providers in high-risk communities. Sharing of medical-claim... read more