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Hospital Groups Back NQF Report on Patient Sociodemographics

Healthcare News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 07:05

The American Hospital Association wants CMS to adjust measures in pay-for-performance programs to reflect factors such as race and income, even though doing so "would be a complex undertaking" for everyone involved.

Categories: Healthcare News

NPP Demand Rising Under Value-Based Care Models

Healthcare News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 06:56

Multispecialty medical practices with non-physician providers typically perform better financially than those without physician assistants and nurse practitioners, an MGMA report finds.

Categories: Healthcare News

Hospitals sue Medicare over 'two-nights' rule

Healthcare News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 06:44

The Einstein Healthcare Network joined in two civil lawsuits against Medicare administrators alleging that a new rule on what qualifies as an inpatient hospital admission is arbitrary and should be dropped and that a related 0.2 percent cut in Medicare payments to hospitals should be revoked. The rule, adopted in August by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, says that a patient has to be in the hospital at midnight on two consecutive days for the hospital to receive an inpatient payment rate. If the patient does not stay in the hospital past the second midnight, into a third day, hospitals are stuck with the outpatient payment - about a third of what they would receive for an inpatient.

Categories: Healthcare News

FL lawmakers will re-evaluate funding model for safety net hospitals

Healthcare News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 06:41

With the federal government making clear last week that no new Medicaid money is coming Florida's way, legislators say it's important they re-evaluate a new funding model that safety-net hospitals say will cost them hundreds of millions of dollars a year. "Tiering" is set to take effect in July unless the law is changed before session ends May 2. It requires counties that use local dollars to draw down more federal money for hospitals to begin sharing that money statewide. Lawmakers in charge of crafting the budget say changes to the new funding model, or at least a delay, will be at the top of their healthcare agenda when negotiations begin next week.

Categories: Healthcare News

Tufts, Lowell hospital uniting

Healthcare News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 06:39

Tufts Medical Center and Lowell General Hospital are joining forces to form a new health care system they say will offer lower-cost medical services from Southern New Hampshire to south of Boston at a time of changes sweeping through the industry. The alliance would link a 415-bed Boston teaching hospital that has been scrambling for a niche in the fast-consolidating market with one of the state's largest community hospitals. Lowell General, which two years ago took over a crosstown rival, Saints Memorial Medical Center, has 434 beds on two campuses. Under terms of a tentative agreement approved by both boards, each nonprofit hospital would continue to operate independently under a new parent organization, which has yet to be named. Other health care providers could eventually be added.

Categories: Healthcare News

Medical research rises from Boston Marathon tragedy

Healthcare News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 06:38

As we mark the one-year anniversary of the blasts at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 260 others, the city looks to the lessons and messages of hope that have risen out of the tragedy. It's all a part of the physical and emotional healing. Here is one of those stories, where the impact of a tragedy has resulted in groundbreaking research on blast-related ear trauma. Fifth-year otolaryngology resident Dr. Aaron Remenschneider at Massachusetts Eye and Ear was on-call last year on April 15, 2013. It was a shift change at the hospital when two explosions at the finish line sent injured people to nearby hospitals in a matter of minutes.

Categories: Healthcare News

Summa Health eliminates weekend premium pay for nurses

Healthcare News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 06:36

Summa Health System is eliminating premium pay for about 230 nurses who work weekend shifts at Akron City, St. Thomas, Barberton and Wadsworth-Rittman hospitals. The nurses recently were notified that they will no longer receive bonus pay for working weekends beginning June 29, Summa spokesman Mike Bernstein said Monday. "Based on current compensation models at similar organizations in our market, we have adjusted our nursing compensation as related to premium pay for weekend hours worked," Bernstein said. "No changes have been made to anyone's base pay. … We did not announce a reduction in hours for the nurses in question, and we did not make any changes to care at the bedside."

Categories: Healthcare News

Report: 5 died after infections tied to linens at Children's Hospital

Healthcare News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 06:34

The five children ranged in age from 35 days to 13 years. They arrived at Children's Hospital from different homes, had severe illnesses of various types and were admitted to assorted hospital wards in 2008 and 2009. The one thing the three boys and two girls had in common, before they all died, was the hospital linens, and that's how they were infected by a nasty fungus that ate them away, according to a soon-to-be-published research study. News of the outbreak, five years after investigators with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sleuthed out its likely source, prompted a former New Orleans city health director to slam the hospital and state on Tuesday for failing to sound the alarm to the public when it happened.

Categories: Healthcare News

Man found dead of gunshot wound in Johns Hopkins Hospital bathroom

Healthcare News - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 06:30

A man entered Johns Hopkins Hospital with a gun early Tuesday morning and is believed to have fatally shot himself inside an emergency room bathroom, an incident that came days after the medical center held a national symposium on safety inside hospitals. The man, who was 69 years old, was found dead with a gunshot wound to his chest shortly after midnight, Baltimore police spokeswoman Sgt. Sarah E. Connolly confirmed. Police would not identify him or provide additional details of the shooting, saying it was under investigation. The man's wife identified him as Donald G. Wizeman, a tourism and marketing consultant who was living in Virginia Beach.

Categories: Healthcare News

Historic Texas City Explosion Featured in TMA Exhibit

Texas Medical Association - Hot Topics - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 14:40

The deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history 67 years ago this week in Texas City — one that changed the state’s emergency response system — is chronicled in a Texas Medical Association (TMA) exhibit. TMA’s History of Medicine Gallery exhibit, “Bugs, Bones, and Blood,” features artifacts from the April 16, 1947, tragedy in the harbor town southeast of Houston.

Categories: Healthcare News

Primary Care Physicians’ EHR Satisfaction Increasing, Report Finds

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 13:12

A Black Book Rankings report finds that 8% of primary care physicians reported being “very dissatisfied” with their electronic health record system’s ability to lessen workload, down from 48% who were “very dissatisfied” in 2009. Meanwhile, Practice Fusion received the highest EHR vendor ranking, according to the report. Clinical Innovation & Technology, Black Book release.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

OIG Raises Concerns About States’ Outsourcing of Medicaid IT Work

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:59

A report by the HHS Office of Inspector General says that 11 states outsource some Medicaid IT work to foreign contractors. According to the report, two of the states only allow offshoring in limited circumstances, while the other nine lack any restrictions on how to handle personal health data. Washington Times.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

N.J., N.Y. Announce Plans To Bolster HIE Use, EHR Adoption

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:54

Officials in New Jersey and New York recently announced plans to promote health information exchange and electronic health record use in their states. New Jersey plans to use $11.6 million in federal funding to launch a statewide health information exchange, while New York has allocated state funds to boost EHR use. Healthcare IT News, Albany Business Review‘s “Health Care Inc.”

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Poll: 58% of Health Care Organizations Disappointed in ICD-10 Delay

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:40

A recent poll by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions finds that 58% of respondents are disappointed with the one-year delay to the ICD-10 compliance deadline, while 22% say they are pleased with the delay. Meanwhile, accrediting agencies and health IT workforce training programs are feeling the effects of the delay. Health Data Management et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

National Park Service Taps E-Prescribing To Promote Health, Wellness

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:25

A National Park Service initiative, called “Park Prescription,” uses an electronic prescribing system to promote exercise and wellness through the use of neighborhood parks. Since its launch in July 2013, 27 health care providers have integrated Park Rx into their electronic health record systems and 500 park e-prescriptions have been made. Clinical Innovation & Technology, “Health IT Buzz.”

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use