Limiting unnecessary medical tests lowers costs, improves care | Global study ranks countries on state of health care | Study: Postdischarge phone calls fail to affect readmissions
May 23, 2017
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First Focus
Limiting unnecessary medical tests lowers costs, improves care
A study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found EHR alerts to prompt adherence to the Choosing Wisely campaign recommendations, a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing unnecessary medical test ordering, have reduced instances of patient harm and cut costs. The research showed that patient cases with low adherence to the guidelines had a higher risk of complications and higher readmission rate.
California Healthline (5/19) 
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Global study ranks countries on state of health care
The US scored 81 out of 100 points in a study of health care access and quality that was published in The Lancet, well below countries such as Australia and Norway. "America's ranking is an embarrassment, especially considering the U.S. spends more than $9,000 per person on health care annually, more than any other country," said Dr. Christoper Murray, a senior author of the study.
BenefitsPro (5/23) 
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Study: Postdischarge phone calls fail to affect readmissions
Data on 2,000 patients showed telephone follow-up for older adults following discharge from the emergency department did not affect readmission rates, researchers reported at the American Geriatrics Society's annual meeting. The study found the nurse-led intervention also did not make it more likely that patients would follow up with their physician.
Medscape (free registration) (5/22) 
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Unexplained stroke, explained.
Until an underlying cause is determined—and addressed—cryptogenic stroke patients may be at risk for recurrence. We can help you find the answers. Visit our resource page for the latest information on diagnosis, care management, patient education and more.
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Practice & Hospital Management
Intervention helps reduce benzodiazepine use in older adults
A study presented at the American Geriatrics Society's annual meeting found having pharmacists fax evidence-based opinions about benzodiazepine use in older patients to physicians led to twice the number of deprescriptions, compared with patient education alone. The study was an offshoot of the randomized EMPOWER trial, designed to educate seniors about the potential risks of benzodiazepines so the patients could help facilitate deprescribing.
Medscape (free registration) (5/19) 
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CMS: CPC+ Round 2 will take 1,000 physician practices from 4 states
The CMS said it will select up to 1,000 primary care physician practices in Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota and the Buffalo, Erie and Niagara areas of New York to participate in the second round of the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus model that runs from 2018 to 2022. Applications for the program can be made through July 13.
Healthcare Finance News (5/18),  Becker's Hospital Review (5/18) 
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E-Health Watch
ONC, CDC to create national system for electronic sharing of Zika data
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the CDC are developing a system to facilitate electronic sharing of Zika virus testing data between laboratories and health care providers. The project will use a web portal for providers and Health Level Seven's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard, said Michelle Meigs of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, which is also a partner on the project.
Health Data Management (5/19) 
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Other News Highlights
Get JACC Highlights on the go
Stay up to date on the most important science and emerging discoveries in clinical cardiology with JACC Journals Audio Summaries. Busy clinicians can easily download issue summaries from JACC Journal editors-in-chief and listen on the go at OnlineJACC.org. Or search "JACC Podcasts" in the iTunes store or Android's Player FM app!
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Spotlight on Innovation
Researchers to use Google tools to predict readmissions
University of Chicago Medicine researchers who are experts at predictive modeling will use machine-learning tools developed by Google to help predict hospital readmissions. The researchers will study how historical patient data contained in electronic health records can help improve outcomes.
Becker's Hospital Review (5/19) 
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Costs & Reimbursement
CMS finalizes rule delaying bundled care models
The CMS issued a final rule postponing the expansion of the bundled care initiatives for joint replacement and cardiac rehabilitation and some care coordination model provisions, originally planned to begin July 1, until Jan. 1, 2018.
Home Health Care News (5/18) 
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Senate Republicans continue work on ACA replacement
Senate Republicans continue to work on legislation dismantling the Affordable Care Act despite unified Democratic opposition to repeal. Proposals include changing the law's tax credits, relaxing coverage rules and cutting funds for Medicaid expansion.
ABC News/The Associated Press (5/22) 
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ACC News
Latest Issue of Cardiology Features a Look at PCSK9 Inhibition and LDL Management
The cover story in the May issue of Cardiology magazine is a deep dive of recent data with PCSK9 inhibitors and issues related to clinical application. The feature article highlights some key heart failure presentations at ACC.17. ACC Secretary and BOG Chair Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC, is featured in the Get to Know Your Leaders article. In the From The Members Section article, Benjamin D. Levine, MD, FACC, and Matthew W. Martinez, MD, FACC, each offer their perspectives on the S2P study. The CV Quality Corner article tells the success story of Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center with the LAAO Registry. Get the full issue at ACC.org/Cardiology.
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Guidance For Protecting Health Care Computer Systems From Ransomware
The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team has received multiple reports of "WannaCry" (also known as "WannaCrypt") ransomware - a type of malicious software, in several countries around the world, including the U.S. While the ransomware has not spread as widely in the U.S. as in Europe and Asia, all computers have the potential to be infected. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has developed resources for health care providers with advice on how to prevent WannaCry infection and promote and implement best practices for computer safety into standard industry protocol. The ACC encourages members to carefully review the advice and ensure that steps have been taken to protect personal computers, as well as those owned and maintained by medical practices, hospitals and health systems. Read more.
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Life is what we make it -- always has been, always will be.
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This news roundup is provided as a timely update to ACC members and partners interested in quality health care topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of the health care professionals who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in ACC Quality First SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American College of Cardiology. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the ACC and its policies, positions, or relationships. For clarification on ACC positions and policies, we refer you to ACC.org.
External Resources are not a part of the ACC.org website. ACC is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the ACC. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by ACC of the sponsors or advertisers of the site or the information presented on the site.
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