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CMS to Speak with ICD-10 Backers Tuesday

Healthcare News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:45

AHIMA and other ICD-10 stakeholders say they want to know when federal officials intend to set a new implementation date for the delayed code set.

Categories: Healthcare News

Last-minute change in TN law lets hospitals drop patients

Healthcare News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:28

A few weeks before Terry Gordon died, a court-appointed lawyer paid a visit to the 63-year-old homeless man in his seventh-floor hospital room at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital. "I explained to him that this was not the Hyatt Regency, but we had to find him another place for him to stay," the lawyer, George Duzane, later reported to the court. But the visit, which took place in August of last year and led to Gordon's temporary departure from the hospital, had its origin in a last-minute amendment to legislation involving conservatorships approved earlier that year.

Categories: Healthcare News

Opinion: ICD-10 delay—What's next for healthcare organizations?

Healthcare News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:26

Many of the complexities of medicine are distilled down to a vocabulary of diagnostic codes, called the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which are used by doctors, insurers, and hospitals. Today's ICD-9 codes are now more than four decades old. Although the US was aiming to transition to ICD-10 by Oct. 2014, the recently announced postponement, until at least October 2015, presents a dilemma for many providers that were ready to activate the new system. The question that remains is how best to move forward? It's not hard to imagine how the added specificity will drive advancements in managing patient populations, as providers and payers transition from roughly 14,000 codes in ICD-9 to around 69,000 in ICD-10.

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Hospitals challenge observational case designation

Healthcare News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:21

Finally, some pushback against hospital visits that insurers categorize as an observation case rather than admission, costing hospitals a bundle in recent years. The American Hospital Association has filed two related lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services to challenge the government's "two-midnight" admission rule. Effective this year, the stay of two consecutive midnights constitutes a hospital admission rather than an observation case. The federal standard is used by private insurers. But the standard is arbitrary, according to AHA, which deprives hospitals full Medicare reimbursement for providing care.

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AMA report: Doctors support nearly 572,000 jobs

Healthcare News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:19

New York's doctors supported nearly 572,000 jobs while generating billions of dollars in taxes and other revenue, according to a new trade group report. The American Medical Association, or AMA, recently released a study of the economic impact of more than 720,000 total physicians in the U.S., including almost 60,000 in New York. In 2012, the physician industry played a role in nearly $100 billion worth of sales. That accounts for about 8 percent of the state's total economic output, or gross domestic product, the report shows. The national association of physicians released its economic impact report as health care issues dominated the news.

Categories: Healthcare News

House calls are making a comeback

Healthcare News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:17

A relic from the medical past — the house call — is returning to favor as part of some hospitals' palliative care programs, which are sending teams of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other workers to patients' homes after they are discharged. The goal is twofold: to provide better treatment and to cut costs. Walter Park, 68, of San Francisco says house calls prevented an expensive return visit to the hospital, where he initially stayed for seven weeks after a heart attack in 2012. After his discharge, palliative care specialists from the University of California, San Francisco, were among those who visited his home to monitor his physical and emotional health.

Categories: Healthcare News

15-minute visits take a toll on the doctor-patient relationship

Healthcare News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:14

Patients – and physicians – say they feel the time crunch as never before as doctors rush through appointments as if on roller skates to see more patients and perform more procedures to make up for flat or declining reimbursements. It's not unusual for primary care doctors' appointments to be scheduled at 15-minute intervals. Some physicians who work for hospitals say they've been asked to see patients every 11 minutes. And the problem may worsen as millions of consumers who gained health coverage through the Affordable Care Act begin to seek care — some of whom may have seen doctors rarely, if at all, and have a slew of untreated problems.

Categories: Healthcare News

Court to consider Natchez hospital ombudsman

Healthcare News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:12

A federal bankruptcy court overseeing Natchez Regional Medical Center's Chapter 9 filing may decide this week whether to appoint some to oversee patient care. A hearing is scheduled Thursday in Natchez. The hospital is opposing the appointment of an ombudsman. Bankruptcy attorney Eileen Shaffer tells The Natchez Democrat that any time there is a health care-related case, the question of an ombudsman come up. "We don't think (the ombudsman) is necessary because we have enough internal controls to maintain quality of care," Shaffer said. "There is oversight by federal, state and local programs. Any time you interject a third party into a case, it creates a great amount of cost. We would rather see those dollars go to the creditors."

Categories: Healthcare News

Intensive care patient to face charges of selling drugs from hospital bed

Healthcare News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 06:09

A Youngwood woman is accused of selling heroin from her hospital bed while she was in the intensive care unit at a Westmoreland County hospital. The 38-year-old woman will likely be charged criminally Tuesday, according to Greensburg Police Capt. Chad Zucco. He said she was a patient at Excela Westmoreland Hospital for an unrelated medical issue when hospital staff noticed unusual behavior in and out of her room. "What they noticed last week was an exorbitant amount of foot traffic happening to a patient's room. Not patients coming to stay two hours, but patients coming to stay two minutes. They thought that was really odd so they contacted security at Excela Westmoreland Hospital," said Excela Vice President of Marketing, Jennifer Miele.

Categories: Healthcare News

CU system resets healthcare with $63M personalized medicine division

Healthcare News - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 06:47

The accelerating speed of DNA sequencing, drug development and data analysis has led UCHealth, the University of Colorado Medical School and Children's Hospital Colorado to join in an effort to fundamentally change the way they care for patients.The partnership will invest more than $63 million over the next five years to create a new division, adding clinicians, genetic counselors, researchers and advanced practice nurses — and also expanding a DNA bank and advanced data warehouse.

Categories: Healthcare News

KLAS Report: ACOs Turning to Third-Party Vendors Over EHR Vendors

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:14

A new report from KLAS Research finds that third-party accountable care organization vendors are outperforming electronic health record vendors among physician-led ACOs. According to the report, the ACOs say EHR vendors are not meeting the needs of their organizations. FierceEMR.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Lawmakers To Withhold Funding Until VA, DOD Make EHR Progress

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:10

The House Appropriations Committee last week approved a fiscal year 2015 budget plan that would withhold 75% of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ funding request for electronic health record system upgrades until it makes progress on EHR interoperability with the Department of Defense. Military Times, EHR Intelligence.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Psychiatric Care Quality Data Posted to CMS’ Hospital Compare Site

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:48

CMS’ Hospital Compare website now includes quality data on inpatient psychiatric facilities. The new data include information on how many hours patients spent in physical restraint and seclusion, as well as the facilities’ follow-up care plans. Modern Healthcare, AHA News.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Hospitals Weigh In on Doctor Ratings as Websites Grow in Popularity

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:01

A recent study finds that 25% of patients consulted physician rating websites when choosing a primary care physician in 2012. In response to that demand and some of the negative reviews that have been posted, hospitals increasingly are posting the results of their own patient satisfaction surveys and physician feedback directly on their websites. Kaiser Health News‘ “Capsules.”

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Health IT Business News Roundup for the Week of April 18, 2014

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 05:28

BlackBerry has purchased a minority stake in NantHealth, a cloud-based health IT provider, and the two firms plan to develop a new smartphone targeted at the health care sector. Nuance Communications, a developer of clinical documentation and voice recognition software, has acquired Accelarad, a provider of medical imaging software, for an undisclosed sum.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Reports Highlight Need for Greater Health Care Price Transparency

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 13:26

A report from the California HealthCare Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation highlights the need to tie online health pricing information with meaningful quality data. Meanwhile, a separate report from a Healthcare Financial Management Association task force calls on insurers, providers and employers to boost health price transparency. Modern Healthcare et al.  

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Report: Lack of Interoperability Limits Meaningful Use Program

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 13:19

A report released by an independent task force concludes that meaningful use stages 1 and 2 “fall short of achieving meaningful use in any practical sense” because of the lack of interoperability among electronic health records. The report urges CMS to create a “truly interoperable health data infrastructure” through Stage 3 objectives. Health Data Management et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

How Physicians Can Help Ease Mental Health Provider Shortages

Healthcare News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 13:01

By integrating a behavioral health team and a telemedicine component into all 250 of its primary care practices, Carolinas HealthCare System is trying to head off a potential behavioral health crisis in doctors' offices and emergency departments.

Categories: Healthcare News

Coalition Urges CMS To Set Official ICD-10 Compliance Deadline

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:46

In a letter, a coalition of health care stakeholders calls on CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to declare Oct. 1, 2015, as the official compliance deadline to switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code sets. A new law pushes back the ICD-10 compliance date by at least a year, but CMS has yet to make an official announcement about the new deadline. Modern Healthcare et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

HIMSS Analytics IDs Most In-Demand Software Apps in U.S. Hospitals

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:30

A recent survey by HIMSS Analytics finds software applications focusing on bed management, enterprise resource management and financial planning are the most in demand among U.S. hospitals. The group also notes that contract management and financial data warehousing software have growth potential. Health Data Management et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use