Hypertension treatment guidelines released last November by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association mean about 46% of the US population would now be considered to have high blood pressure and 36% could be recommended for blood pressure medication, according to a study in JAMA Cardiology. If the guidelines were fully implemented, it could lead to 156,000 fewer deaths and 340,000 fewer heart attacks, strokes and other heart-related problems each year, the researchers predicted.
The patient-centered medical home model focuses on health care access and coordination as well as the overall patient experience, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and health care providers can use the model to facilitate patient wellness at a lower cost, thus improving the odds of success under value-based payment contracts. Transforming to a PCMH requires an investment in technology and partnerships, but experts like Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative Project Director Pam Minichiello says the benefits outweigh the costs, even for small practices.
Covered California Chief Medical Officer Lance Lang said health plans have been told that by the end of 2019 all hospitals included in their networks should meet specified safety and quality metrics or risk being excluded from the "in-network" designation in the state's health insurance marketplace. Hospitals will be assessed on unnecessary cesarean sections, opioid prescribing, and imaging utilization in diagnosing and treating lower back pain.
A survey of physician groups with 10 or more clinicians found that 68% plan to seek help by mid-2019 on identifying the most financially feasible risk-sharing model, and a survey of larger organizations found that 21% of academic medical center physician departments and clinics expect to consult with an adviser by the end of this year. Most of the physician groups surveyed said they lack internal expertise in value-based care, have no transition plan and also need help with population health and revenue cycle management.
A poll of 1,328 emergency room doctors conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that 9 in 10 respondents indicated their hospitals are insufficiently prepared for mass tragedies or major disasters. The findings underscore the need for an increased focus on medical aspects of preparedness as Congress works on major disaster preparedness legislation called the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018, said ACEP President Dr. Paul Kivela.
A study in the journal Cell, based on 2 million EHRs from three New York-based academic medical centers, showed that emergency contact information in EHRs could help predict a patient's risk of developing 500 hereditary conditions, including celiac disease and type 2 diabetes. Researchers identified 7.4 million familial relationships from reviews of standard emergency contact information included in patients' EHRs.
Enhancing patient EHRs, having graphical displays of controlled-substance prescription use and implementing maps showing distances between patients, pharmacies and prescribers could help determine the possible risk areas in prescription drug monitoring programs, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts study. Researchers also found several barriers to PDMP implementation, including time constraints associated with reviewing information in patient profiles, differences in the interpretation and application of PDMP data between states, ability to monitor the extent and appropriateness of PDMP use and high costs.
A $30 million venture capital fund called Cardeation Capital has been launched by the American Heart Association, Royal Philips and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to support products for addressing cardiovascular disease and stroke created by emerging health care companies. The fund, which will be managed by Aphelion Capital, will invest in medtech, health information technology, health care services, diagnostics, digital health and consumer tools, but not in pharmaceuticals or biotechnology companies, said AHA CEO Nancy Brown.
An analysis of commercial and individual market plans from 2014 to 2016 showed that 23.3% of every premium dollar goes to prescription drugs, 22.2% to physician services, 20.2% to office visits and 16.1% for hospital stays, according to a Milliman study commissioned by America's Health Insurance Plans. "[A]s prescription drug prices and medical costs continue to rise, it forces premiums higher for hardworking American families," said America's Health Insurance Plans incoming President and CEO Matt Eyles.
Reduce Coding and Documentation Errors With Latest Practice Made Perfect Podcast
In this month's Practice Made Perfect podcast, titled Coding & Documentation, Linda Gates-Striby offers an overview of what clinicians need to know about coding and documenting their evaluation and management, with a focus on critical elements that often lead to coding errors. Developed by ACC President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, this new podcast series aims to help clinicians sharpen their non-clinical competencies through expert discussions on career and leadership development topics. Earlier episodes of the podcast include Contracts 101 and Finding a Job After Fellowship. Listen to the entire series at ACC.org/PracticeMadePerfect or find it on iTunes or Google Play.
ACC Cardiology Hour Now Contains Quick Links to Individual ACC.18 Trial Discussions
Thanks to the newly added video quick links, it's easy to get caught up on one discussion at a time with ACC Cardiology Hour from ACC.18. In the latest installment of the video, Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, leads Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC; Kim A. Eagle, MD, MACC; Jeanne E. Poole, MD, FACC; and Vinod H. Thourani, MD, FACC, in a roundtable discussion of the hottest trials released during the sessions. Need key takeaways from the Blood Pressure in Black Barbershops, ODYSSEY OUTCOMES, VEST or SECURE-PCI trials? Watch the video on ACC.org for commentary and expert discussion on these and more. For more ACC.18 resources, including trial summary slides, video interviews and journal scans, visit the newly updated ACC.18 Meeting Coverage Page.
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