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Hospital Pharmacies Prep for Drug Takebacks

Healthcare News - 10 hours 29 min ago

The American Society of Hospital Pharmacists pushed for and has been granted inclusion in a federal program beginning next month which allows the collection and disposal of discarded medications in a healthcare setting.

Categories: Healthcare News

3 NC Health Systems Form Shared Services Organization

Healthcare News - 10 hours 36 min ago

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, and Vidant Health have no geographic overlap and are not in competition with one another, but the deal should enable them to attain benefits of scale while retaining their independence.

Categories: Healthcare News

After surgery, surprise $117,000 medical bill from doctor he didn't know

Healthcare News - 10 hours 48 min ago

Before his three-hour neck surgery for herniated disks in December, Peter Drier, 37, signed a pile of consent forms. A bank technology manager who had researched his insurance coverage, Mr. Drier was prepared when the bills started arriving: $56,000 from Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, $4,300 from the anesthesiologist and even $133,000 from his orthopedist, who he knew would accept a fraction of that fee. He was blindsided, though, by a bill of about $117,000 from an "assistant surgeon," a Queens-based neurosurgeon whom Mr. Drier did not recall meeting.

Categories: Healthcare News

With eye to the future, small CT hospitals look to network

Healthcare News - 10 hours 53 min ago

The choice facing small hospitals isn't whether to remain independent or partner with a larger facility. It's which network to join and what the merger will look like. Bristol Hospital is considering joining Yale-New Haven Health System and Tenet, a for-profit nation-wide hospital group based in Texas. Different hospital networks, such as the Yale and the Hartford HealthCare Corporation, have different approaches for how they integrate new hospitals and how much local control is retained. While Bradley Hospital in Southington merged with New Britain General Hospital in 2006, the two hospitals had been more loosely connected as the Central Connecticut Health Alliance for the previous 10 years. Proponents of the formal merger of the two hospitals said it would help cut costs.

Categories: Healthcare News

Enterovirus concerns continue in MA

Healthcare News - 10 hours 54 min ago

The Enterovirus D-68 is causing breathing problems for kids across the country, with a case found in Connecticut. It may have already spread to children in Massachusetts. "If the child is breathing very hard, gasping, if the parents are able to look at the breathing muscles above the clavicle or in between the ribs, and if the muscles are working extra hard, that's a patient that should be brought to the Emergency Department," said Dr. Michael Agus of Boston Children's Hospital. Agus says more than 150 children have already come to the hospital with similar symptoms. The three most severe cases used ventilators to help with breathing.

Categories: Healthcare News

Taking IN hospitals to task

Healthcare News - 10 hours 56 min ago

The state board of health last year received 283 complaints related to 99 of the 172 hospitals licensed by Indiana in 2013. Every one was investigated by a surveyor trained to review documents and medical records, make in-person observations and conduct interviews. In a typical year, about one-third of allegations made to the state are confirmed. As of Sept. 5, 170 hospital-related complaints had been filed this year, and investigations found that 32 percent were confirmed. However, although a health department official might confirm that an incident occurred, what happened might not violate state licensing rules.

Categories: Healthcare News

Sepsis an oft-unrecognized killer in CO hospitals

Healthcare News - 10 hours 59 min ago

Define sepsis. Drawing a blank? You're excused for your ignorance. Fewer than half of all Americans have heard of this medical condition, a survey conducted last year by advocacy group the Sepsis Alliance found. But it contributes to as many as half of all U.S. hospital deaths, many of them preventable, according to a recent study by Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Part of the problem? Doctors aren't thinking about sepsis either. Sepsis is the body's out-of-whack inflammatory response to infection. Its symptoms can include a high fever or low temperature, elevated heart rate and difficulty breathing. Early recognition is key to treating it.

Categories: Healthcare News

Pinellas (FL) reaches deal with area hospitals over healthcare for the poor

Healthcare News - 11 hours 35 sec ago

Contract talks between Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and Pinellas County broke down this year after hospital officials disputed figures that showed it was caring for far fewer indigent patients than in previous years. The county uses the numbers to decide how much to reimburse Bayfront for caring for patients in the county's health plan. The dispute will officially end Tuesday, when the County Commission considers a deal that pays Bayfront $570,000 in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 to provide inpatient care for uninsured adults ages 18 to 64.

Categories: Healthcare News

Some Providers Could Face Penalties Under Meaningful Use Glitch

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 13:08

Health care providers who recently adopted electronic health record systems could see a 1% reduction in their 2015 Medicare reimbursements because CMS cannot confirm that they can demonstrate meaningful use until mid-October. A recent HHS final rule allows providers to use previously certified EHR systems in the 2014 reporting period, but it begins Oct. 1. Politico.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

NCQA Releases Annual Health Plan Rankings

Healthcare News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 13:03

Kaiser Foundation, Tufts, and Harvard Pilgrim dominate this year's list of the nation's top health plans according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Categories: Healthcare News

HIMSS Asks Congress To Take Action on Health IT Issues

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 13:02

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society is asking Congress to expand telehealth services, provide funding to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and minimize disruption caused by federally mandated changes to health IT programs. Healthcare IT News et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Study: Users of Online Pricing Tool Chose Higher-Quality Providers

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:58

A study by UnitedHealthcare finds that its members were more likely to select high-quality health care providers after using an online cost estimate tool. The tool provides users with information on the pricing for specific treatments and cost and quality information on providers. MedCity News, UnitedHealthcare study.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Various Health Entities Report Data Breaches Across the U.S.

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:42

Health data breaches and security incidents recently have been reported at health care organizations in several states. One incident at Florida-based Aventura Hospital and Medical Center spanned two years and affected about 82,600 people. Philadelphia Inquirer et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Health IT Business News Roundup for the Week of September 19, 2014

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 08:57

Toshiba has partnered with Johns Hopkins University to establish a data analytics research center for cancer treatment. Alicia Morton — deputy CMO at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and a senior adviser in ONC’s Office of Science and Technology – has been named director of the ONC Health IT Certification Program.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Technology Lights Up Health Innovation Forum

Healthcare News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 06:51

The development and dispersion of cost-effective medical technologies that promise to boost wellness, prevention, and precision care are pivotal to the transformation of healthcare, experts say.

Categories: Healthcare News

Few Winners Among MSSP Participants

Healthcare News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 06:42

The top-performing ACO in the Medicare Shared Savings Plan netted CMS $57.83 million in savings thanks to its creativity and clever use of technology. Other organizations had a tougher time paring costs.

Categories: Healthcare News

Obama ratchets up fight against killer bacteria

Healthcare News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 06:25

President Obama moved via executive action Thursday to quell the rise of deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria blamed for tens of thousands of deaths a year in the United States. Obama signed an order establishing a new interagency task force and directed its members to deliver a plan by Feb. 15 to combat the threat of so-called "super bugs," bacteria that have built up a resistance to antibiotics commonly prescribed to people and animals. Top U.S. health officials called the rise of the bacteria an "urgent health threat" with major implications for economic and national security.

Categories: Healthcare News

How much money do we waste on useless healthcare?

Healthcare News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 06:24

Every health economist remembers their first Dartmouth Atlas. Louise Sheiner got hers in 1998, when she worked at the Federal Reserve. She still has that same copy today — even though it was actually the Fed's property, and she left that job earlier this year for a new post at the Brookings Institution. "Nobody has come after me for it, at least not yet," Sheiner says. It's hard to overstate the importance of the Dartmouth Atlas, a research project begun in the mid-1990s by health-care researchers at (unsurprisingly) Dartmouth College. The 18-year study has shown the incredible variation in American health spending. What Medicare spends on a single patient's hospital care ranges from $5,371 in Utah to $8,937 in Maryland.

Categories: Healthcare News

Doctors should reveal biases and pharma ties, says group

Healthcare News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 06:20

Studies have reported that around 94% of doctors have some sort of relationship with pharmaceutical companies. One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that more than one third of physician respondents received reimbursement from drug companies for costs associated with meetings or continuing education, and over a quarter received payments for enrolling patients in trials, or for consultations and lectures. Patients can already see if their doctor has received compensation from drug companies on ProPublica's database, Dollars for Docs—but one physician wants to take that a step further.

Categories: Healthcare News

Opinion: EHR success—4 change management process tips

Healthcare News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 06:19

"When did the software change?" You've no doubt heard that question once or twice. In healthcare settings, it often comes up when documentation and information on use of electronic health records are not communicated effectively. One reason users pose this question so often is that organizations sometimes overlook the importance of a good change management process as it pertains to EHRs. This, in turn, hinders the success of new EHR configurations. In the context of an EHR build, change management refers to "a project management process wherein changes to the scope of a project are formally introduced and approved," according to John Fillcetti's Project Management Dictionary.

Categories: Healthcare News