Checklist helps reduce post-surgical mortality, study says | CMS proposes rule to adjust hospital readmission penalties | Study: Fewer readmissions with vertical integration model
April 20, 2017
CV Quality SmartBrief
Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out
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Checklist helps reduce post-surgical mortality, study says
A study of 14 South Carolina hospitals found the use of a 19-item surgical checklist developed by the World Health Organization led to a 22% decrease in post-surgical deaths over five years, compared with other hospitals, researchers reported in the Annals of Surgery. The checklist included information to verify before anesthesia induction, prior to skin incision and before a patient leaves the operating room.
The State (Columbia, S.C.) (4/17),  United Press International (4/17) 
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CMS proposes rule to adjust hospital readmission penalties
The CMS released a proposed rule that would adjust penalties in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program based on a facility's proportion of dual-eligible patients. The agency offered different options for implementing the risk-adjustment model.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (4/18) 
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Study: Fewer readmissions with vertical integration model
Vertical integration of primary care and hospitals in Portugal reduced readmissions, according to a study published in Medical Care. Researchers said the unplanned 30-day readmission rate at six vertically integrated hospitals was 4.8%, compared with 5.4% among hospitals in a control group.
Clinical Innovation + Technology online (4/17) 
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Practice & Hospital Management
CMS proposal would require hospital accreditors to disclose findings
Proposed rules from the CMS would require private health care provider accreditors to publicly disclose findings from inspections and steps being taken to resolve any problems. The proposal aims to ensure that accrediting organizations hold providers to the same standards as state inspectors and the CMS, both of which have identified deficiencies missed by private inspections.
ProPublica (4/18) 
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E-Health Watch
Survey examines top data security threats in health care
HIMSS Analytics found that almost 80% of 125 health IT executives and professionals surveyed cited employee security awareness as their top health care data security concern, followed by 69% who cited exposure from partners or third parties and 54% who cited securing wireless or bring-your-own devices. Respondents said budget concerns, competing priorities, employee awareness and training, impact to clinical workflows and in-house expertise are the top barriers to adopting security programs.
Health IT Security (4/18) 
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Spotlight on Innovation
Edible "CRISPR pill" in development to cause bacterial self-destruction
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers are developing edible probiotic therapies, such as a pill or liquid that contains a customizable CRISPR message, to possibly treat infectious diseases caused by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile. The pill would contain bacteriophage that will deliver the CRISPR message to pathogens such as C. diff., resulting in the bacteria destroying its own DNA.
MIT Technology Review online (free registration) (4/17),  Futurism (4/17) 
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Costs & Reimbursement
Fewer nursing home admissions help ACOs in MSSP cut costs
Accountable care organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program posted a 9% decrease in post-acute spending, partly due to fewer skilled nursing home admissions and shorter lengths of stay, researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study did not find a reduction in quality of care or a link between MSSP participation and mortality, readmission rates or use of nursing homes with high ratings.
McKnight's Long-Term Care News online (4/20) 
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Study: Rx nonadherence costs the US up to $289B each year
An estimated 20% to 30% of drug prescriptions are never filled, and approximately half the drugs prescribed for chronic conditions are not taken properly, causing some 125,000 deaths per year, accounting for at least 10% of hospital admissions, and costing between $100 billion and $289 billion each year, according to a study in Annals of Internal Medicine.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/17) 
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Spotlight on JACC Journals
ACC News
Don't Forget About the Upcoming Physician Compare Webinar!
Next week, the CMS, with the Physician Compare support team, will host two one-hour webinars about the upcoming publication of the Achievable Benchmark of Care and 5-star ratings on Physician Compare. Register here for the first webinar on Tuesday, April 25 at 11 a.m. ET. Register here for the second webinar on Thursday, April 27 at 3 p.m. ET. If you have any questions about Physician Compare, public reporting or the preview period, please contact
ACC Seeks Comments on Document on Optimization of HF Treatment
The ACC is seeking comments on a draft of the Expert Consensus Decision Pathway for Optimization of Heart Failure Treatment. This document will serve as a complement to the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline for the Management of Heart Failure, and the 2016/2017 focused updates addressing new medical therapies, prevention and certain co-morbidities for which new data are available. Despite the recent guideline updates, gaps remain in certain areas that have incomplete evidence. This document aims to address 10 pivotal questions centered on important clinical dilemmas and offers strategies on how to address them. Comments are due by Friday, April 28. Access the document and public comment response form and submit comments to
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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
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