5 Stories You Need But May Have Missed This Week

mednews-roundup-logo-300x122We know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Below is a roundup of stories you may have missed but need to take a look at before calling it a week. (Sign up on the right if you’d like these news alerts delivered to you.)

  1. MU Stage 2 Requirements ‘Overly Burdensome’ Say AHA, AMA
    With Stage 2 implementation deadlines fast approaching, the nation’s two largest provider associations are asking the Federal government for flexibility in meeting strict Meaningful Use requirements in order to facilitate a more safe and orderly transition to electronic health records. Read more about what factors have health leaders concerned.
  2. ICD-10 Transition Should be Major Focus Now
    After delaying the compliance date for ICD-10 to October 1. 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is warning that practitioners have no time to waste in preparing to make this monumental shift from 14,000 to more than 69,000 codes. Find out how more thorough documentation and proper training could set the stage for a smoother transition.
  3. 13 Papers Reveal Successes, Challenges of Using EHR Data
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced the release of a second special supplement with the journal Medical Care titled The Electronic Data Methods Forum 2013: Advancing the National Dialogue on Use of Electronic Clinical Data to Improve Patient Care and Outcomes.
  4. Studies: Tired Surgeons a Risk to Patient Safety
    Prompted by the more than 260 medical malpractice lawsuits pending decision in state Supreme Court against one New York orthopedic surgeon, the Poughkeepsie Journal did some digging to discover evidence that it may be time for hospitals to start protecting patients by limiting the number of operations that any given surgeon can perform in a day.
  5. Hospitals May Soon Be Reaching for the Stars
    Consider the pros and cons of using visual cues, like a star rating system, on the CMS Hospital Compare website. As the agency searches for ways to better display information on the site, adversaries say such an oversimplified system would actually make available data less meaningful or helpful for patients.

 

[INFOGRAPHIC] HCUP Designs 30-Day Readmission Infographic

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) released its first infographic, 30-Day Readmission Rates to U.S. Hospitals, 2010.

The infographic visually depicts data from two recently released HCUP Statistical Briefs: #153: Readmissions to U.S. Hospitals by Diagnosis, 2010, and #154: Readmissions to U.S. Hospitals by Procedure, 2010.

These two Statistical Briefs include HCUP data on 30-day all-payer, all-cause readmission rates for the most commonly treated conditions and the most common procedures performed in U.S. hospitals, as well as for conditions and procedures that have the highest overall readmission rates. Together they present the most comprehensive national estimates on readmissions by diagnosis and procedure available to date.

readmission-infographic

13 Papers Reveal Successes, Challenges of Using EHR Data

ahrq_logoThe Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced the release of a second special supplement with the journal Medical Care titled The Electronic Data Methods Forum 2013: Advancing the National Dialogue on Use of Electronic Clinical Data to Improve Patient Care and Outcomes. The supplement introduces 13 papers highlighting the challenges as well as successes using electronic health records for comparative effectiveness research (CER), standardizing terminologies in adherence, protecting patient privacy, and improving synergy between research and clinical care.

The EDM Forum was established by AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program to advance a national discussion regarding the use of electronic clinical data to conduct CER, improve quality and develop clinical decision support systems.

To access the supplement, click here.

 

3 Stories You Need But May Have Missed This Week

mednews-roundup-logo-300x122We know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Below is a roundup of stories you may have missed but need to take a look at before calling it a week. (Sign up on the right if you’d like these news alerts delivered to you.)

  1. How Safety-Net Hospitals Are Improving the Patient Experience
    Some healthcare providers say there are certain patient populations that hospitals are never going to make happy, but the leaders interviewed in this article insist that simply isn’t true.  Read about the difference they say a compassionate mindset and a hospital-wide effort can make when it comes to improving the patient experience for our nation’s sickest and poorest individuals.
  2. Operating Room Noise May Pose Risks to Clinicians, Patients
    Researches from the University of Kentucky recently reported in a study that nearly 90% of anesthesiologists and even more nurses say they have experienced difficulty hearing in the operating room.  Learn more about how different individuals, including surgeons, perceive OR noise, which can intensify depending on the presence of an array of contributing factors, and consider how this threat to communication could impact patient safety.
  3. CMS Proposes Final Rule Defining Standards for Marketplace Navigators
    Beginning January 2014, millions of Americans will become eligible for health insurance coverage provided through the nation’s new Health Insurance Marketplace.  In preparation, for this landmark event, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has finalized its proposed rule outlining the standards by which ”Navigators” will provide accurate information about health insurance and unbiased guidance to individuals shopping for insurance via Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces.

New Primer Pinpoints Diagnostic Error Causes, Prevention Measures

logo_psnetA new study conducted by Harvard Medical Practice suggests that thousands of patients die every year due to diagnostic error.  Findings revealed that diagnostic errors make up 17 percent of preventable errors causing harm to patients in hospitals. Consequently, a review of decades of autopsies showed that 9 percent of patients experienced major diagnostic errors that remained undetected before the patient’s death. In response to this realization,  the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality has introduced a new Primer via its Patient Safety Network that can be used to identify and combat the cognitive biases and health system breakdowns that can lead to life-threatening errors.

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Primers guide you through key concepts in patient safety. Each Primer defines a topic, offers background information on its epidemiology and context, and highlights relevant content from the agency’s PSNet and WebM&M online resources.

To learn more and to read AHRQ’s full Patient Safety Primer titled Diagnostic Errors, click here.

 

 

CMS Proposes Final Rule Defining Standards for Marketplace Navigators

cmsBeginning January 2014, millions of Americans will become eligible for health insurance coverage provided through the nation’s new Health Insurance Marketplace. In preparation, for this landmark event, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized its proposed rule outlining the standards by which “Navigators” will provide accurate information about health insurance and unbiased guidance to individuals shopping for insurance via Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces.

CMS states its committed to making sure that all persons needing customer service in this regard receive it from knowledgeable professionals. The proposed rule addresses training requirements for Navigators, conflict of interest standards as well as criteria for serving people with limited English proficiency or disabilities.  CMS also specified that State-based Marketplaces have the option of using this service or developing an assistance program of their own.

“If individuals request assistance and would like in-person assistance, navigators will be available nationwide when the marketplace opens. Navigators will be trained to play a vital role in fulfilling our commitment to help consumers learn about and apply for quality health insurance when open enrollment for consumers in the Marketplaces begins October 1,” CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a press release on Friday.

In addition to in-person assistance provided by Navigators, marketplace consumers also will be able to ask questions regarding eligibility and gain assistance with the enrollment process through a customer service call center.  An interpretation and translation service will ensure the call center’s ability to deliver assistance in over 150 languages. Representatives will be available via a toll-free number at 1-800-318-2596, and hearing impaired callers using TTY/TDD technology will be able to dial 1-855-889-4325 for assistance.

The call center will also provide referrals to appropriate state and federal agencies as well as in-person assistance personnel, certified application counselors, agents and brokers.  The final rule outlines the standards for certified application counselors, including training, qualifications and requirements to ensure that they provide quality, sound, consumer-protective assistance.

To learn more about the customer service assistance being provided to consumers desiring health coverage through the Marketplace, click here.

 

 

 

2 Stories You Need But May Have Missed This Week

mednews-roundup-logo-300x122We know you’re busy, but we don’t want you to miss important healthcare quality and patient safety news. Below is a roundup of stories you may have missed but need to take a look at before calling it a week. (Sign up on the right if you’d like these news alerts delivered to you.)

  1. CMS Releases Proposed OPPS, Physician Fee Rules
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid  Services is taking steps to make its payment practices for outpatient and physician services more like those currently followed  for inpatient care. Read more about the agency’s suggested changes, which incorporate episode-based rates and more service packages, for outpatient care in 2014 and access the full text of its proposed Outpatient Prospective Payment System rule.
  2. EHR Implementation Success Story: Dartmouth-Hitchcock
    In the wake of a challenging but successful hospital-wide launch of a new EHR system, this organization has some valuable advice to share.  Learn what the Dartmouth-Hitchcock team has to say regarding whom to involve in building your EHR system, what features need to be prioritized, the importance of preserving institutional knowledge and the significant difference a physician champion can make.