CMS canceling mandatory bundled payment initiative | Aledade launching ACO in N.J. | Study: Specialist access no higher using state standards
August 16, 2017
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Accountable Care Spotlight
CMS canceling mandatory bundled payment initiative
The CMS says it will cancel a proposed rule mandating that payments for certain joint replacements and cardiac rehabilitation be bundled under Medicare.
Healthcare Informatics online (8/14),  Cardiovascular Business online (8/14) 
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Aledade launching ACO in N.J.
Aledade and the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians are launching an accountable care organization in January. Aledade will provide software and other resources to participating health care providers to assist with the transition to value-based care.
Becker's Hospital Review (8/15) 
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Study: Specialist access no higher using state standards
Specialty access standards used by five state Medicaid agencies did not significantly improve access to specialist physicians, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. By next year, the CMS will require state Medicaid programs to implement time and distance standards for managed care organizations to ensure Medicaid patients have adequate access to specialist physicians.
Healio (free registration) (8/15) 
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Insight into Health Care Quality
Report: More seniors than expected having end-of-life talks with providers
Federal data show that in the first year that health care providers were allowed to bill Medicare for advance care planning, almost 575,000 beneficiaries engaged in end-of-life discussions with a clinician. The number is higher than expected, but it represents only about 1% of eligible beneficiaries, and researcher Donald Taylor said use of the program varied widely by state.
Kaiser Health News (8/14) 
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Incentive motivates newly insured to have primary care visit
A study in Health Affairs found offering a financial incentive to newly insured, low-income patients who did not have a regular source of care increased the likelihood they would have a primary care visit within six months of gaining coverage. The likelihood of a visit increased with the amount of the incentive, researchers said.
AAFP News (8/11) 
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The Technology Component
EHRs help improve coordination of care between health care settings
EHR access helps emergency medical services organizations improve clinical decision-making during high-stakes transitions of care and allows long-term post-acute care facilities to improve care coordination between providers and prescribers, experts say. Integrating EHR use and adopting health information exchange can also boost care management and collaboration among physicians in specialty care facilities.
EHR Intelligence (8/15) 
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Population Health and Patients
Study: Adults considered fit but fat have higher heart risks
Study: Adults considered fit but fat have higher heart risks
(Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Metabolically healthy adults who were overweight had a 26% higher risk of heart disease, compared with normal-weight adults, while those who were obese had a 28% higher risk, according to a study in the European Heart Journal. People with three or more heart risk factors had twice the likelihood of developing heart disease regardless of their weight, the study found.
HealthDay News (8/14),  CNN (8/14) 
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Viral hepatitis rates higher among indigenous peoples
A worldwide survey presented at the 2017 World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Viral Hepatitis found that indigenous peoples in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand had higher rates of hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection than the general population. Causes can include poverty and a lack of access to health care.
Specialty Pharmacy Continuum (8/10) 
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