Texas medical center curbs unneeded testing, care with patient risk program | Agency clarifies guidance on dosage protocols for opioid use | CDC: Asthma costs the US $82B every year
January 18, 2018
On the Provider Front
Texas medical center curbs unneeded testing, care with patient risk program
The THA Smart Ribbon program, developed by the Texas Hospital Association, provides physicians with real-time risk and cost data for patients, such as medications and lab results, via a ribbon image applied to a hospital's EMR system. The program allowed Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple to reduce unnecessary care and testing, said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Sibbitt.
Becker's Hospital Review (1/11) 
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Agency clarifies guidance on dosage protocols for opioid use
The CDC has released information to clarify its final guidance on opioid prescribing dosage thresholds for patients with chronic pain. The agency clarifies that the thresholds do not apply to opioid agonists or partial agonists used in the treatment of opioid use disorder.
AAFP News (1/12) 
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Other News
On the Payer Front
CMS' move to permit Medicaid work requirements could face legal challenges
The Trump administration's move to allow states to add work requirements to their Medicaid programs could face legal challenges from advocacy groups that argue such changes require congressional action. CMS Administrator Seema Verma, however, defended the administration's actions, saying it has "broad authority" to let states use waivers to make changes to their Medicaid programs.
The Hill (1/15) 
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Republicans turn focus to repealing ACA's employer mandate
Congressional Republicans are working to end the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers of a certain size offer employee health insurance, an effort that comes after the elimination of the ACA's individual mandate under the recent tax overhaul. Supporters say repealing the employer mandate would improve businesses' bottom lines, while opponents say it will lead to fewer employees having insurance.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (1/14) 
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HIT Developments
Lloyd's of London: Cyberattacks are insurers' biggest risk
Insurers need to take the threat of a cyberattack as seriously as they do the threat of a natural disaster, Lloyd's of London CEO Inga Beale warned attendees at the Asian Financial Forum. Many companies aren't ready to defend against such attacks, she warns, and many insurers are ill-prepared in terms of applicable policies.
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) (1/16) 
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Trends in Health Care
561 ACOs participating in Medicare Shared Savings Program
According to the CMS, 561 accountable care organizations will participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program this year -- 124 new participants, 372 continuing participants and 65 organizations that renewed agreements -- covering 10.5 million lives. The majority of ACOs will be in the upside-only Track 1, but 55 will be in Track 1+, which transitions participants toward accepting some downside risk, eight will be in Track 2 and 38 will be in Track 3, both of which carry downside risk.
RevCycle Intelligence (1/10) 
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Aon News
How to build a reputation as a top employer
Studies suggest an average of 75% to 80% of people "prefer to work for a company known for its social responsibility." To attract and retain top talent, organizations have to work harder than ever to build employer brands that differentiate their organization from those competing for the same top-tier talent. Becoming a more diverse and socially responsible employer is not just about attractiveness to employees -- it is also a question of competitiveness in the marketplace. Read more.
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Findings from the 2018 Global Medical Trend Rates Survey
The 2018 Global Medical Trend Rates Survey was conducted across 98 countries in which Aon brokers, administers or advises clients on employer-sponsored medical plans. The survey results highlight the medical trend expectations shared by Aon experts, clients and carriers in each country. Join our Aon experts on Wednesday, Jan. 24, as they discuss the findings from the survey and the potential impact to your business. Register.
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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw,
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