Obama holds emergency meeting on Ebola response | Study: SNF quality measures not linked to readmissions | Increased hospice services may reduce hospitalization
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October 16, 2014
CV Quality SmartBrief
Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

First Focus
Obama holds emergency meeting on Ebola response
President Barack Obama on Wednesday held a meeting at the White House on the U.S. response to the Ebola virus outbreak after the CDC announced a second Dallas health care worker had been infected with the virus. Obama directed the CDC to send a rapid medical "SWAT team" within 24 hours after a new diagnosis to take "the local hospital step by step through exactly what needs to be done," and he said the risk of a widespread Ebola outbreak in the country remains extremely low. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (10/15), Reuters (10/15), The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/Post Politics blog (10/15)
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Study: SNF quality measures not linked to readmissions
University of Pennsylvania researchers said performance measures for skilled nursing facilities were not consistently linked to 30-day readmission or mortality risks among post-acute care Medicare patients. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News (10/15)
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Increased hospice services may reduce hospitalization
A study found that greater "hospice penetration" at nursing homes may reduce the risk of hospitalization for all residents, regardless of hospice status, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. The report estimated that at 14,000 facilities, 38% of nonhospice patients and 23% of patients in hospice had a hospital stay in the final month of life. McKnight's Long-Term Care News (10/15)
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Close to 5% of patients die within a month of cancer surgery
Nearly 53,500 of 1.1 million people diagnosed with cancer between 2004 and 2011 died within a month of surgical treatment, study data showed. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers, who presented the study at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Care Symposium, said disparities in the mortality rate were linked in part to uneven access to quality health care. HealthDay News (10/14)
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Practice & Hospital Management
More physicians warming up to health care law
Data from The Medicus Firm's Physician Practice Preference Survey revealed 8.6% of responding doctors gave the health care law an A rating, an increase from 6.3% in 2013. The survey found more physicians said the Affordable Care Act has improved access to health care, but few said it has improved the efficiency of health care. BeckersHospitalReview.com (10/15)
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E-Health Watch
EHR use linked to fewer adverse events, data show
Advanced EHR use resulted in a 30% decline in adverse events tied to drug errors and a 25% reduction in complications, according to a new study. The findings, drawn from hospitals and physician practices, were presented at the Workshop on Health IT and Economics. BeckersHospitalReview.com (10/14)
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Group issues recommendations on advancing MU
The American Medical Association has issued recommendations to help bolster EHR functionality and health care quality. Some of the strategies suggested include a better alignment of meaningful use criteria, restructuring EHR certification and keeping quality measures updated. Clinical Innovation + Technology online (10/15)
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Spotlight on Innovation
Google tests a service for video chatting with doctors
Google is moving beyond facilitating Internet searches for medical symptoms by trying out a service that will let users video chat with physicians after a symptom search. The company is covering the costs of the chats during the trial, although any follow-up virtual appointments will likely be the responsibility of the patient. Engadget (10/11)
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Costs & Reimbursement
Share of health care spending that goes to meds is projected to hold steady
An Altarum Institute report found that total U.S. prescription drug spending last year reached $381 billion, or 13.1% of total health care spending. That figure includes medicines delivered by providers in clinics and hospitals. Prescription drug expenditures will remain steady at 13% of total spending over the next decade, the report projected. Modern Healthcare (subscription required)/Vital Signs blog (10/14)
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ACC News
Register For the 47th Annual NY CV Symposium
Learn how current research is going to impact your practice by attending the 47th Annual New York Cardiovascular Symposium, held Dec. 12 to 14 in New York, N.Y. This three-day course, directed for more than two decades by world-renowned cardiologist and teacher Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, offers opportunities to compare cardiovascular techniques with international counterparts and hear expert opinions from highly trained and well regarded faculty who will discuss innovative scientific advances, their applications into clinical practice and how the future of cardiovascular medicine will optimize patient care. Learn more and register on CardioSource.org.
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The ACC and the Future of Clinical Research
"Clinical research provides the evidence base for American College of Cardiology documents that help guide clinical practice, including expert consensus documents, guidelines, performance measures, and appropriate use criteria,” write Patrick O'Gara, MD, FACC, and Robert A. Harrington, MD, FACC, in a recent Leadership Page published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. However, while clinical research is critical for the advancement of clinical practice, it has also become increasingly complex, expensive and difficult to integrate into clinical care. As a result, O'Gara and Harrington note that "thoughtful and appropriate practice of cardiovascular medicine requires an ongoing commitment to the generation of new knowledge through discovery and clinical investigation." They suggest that the ACC is well poised to serve its members and society in this area. Read more.
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Every great dream begins with a dreamer."
-- Harriet Tubman,
American abolitionist
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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 http://www.CardioSource.org.
External Resources are not a part of the CardioSource.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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