Study shows racial disparities in heart failure readmissions, mortality | Study finds inaccurate provider lists affect access to care | ACOs may help improve clinical health outcomes
July 14, 2016
CV Quality SmartBrief
Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out
First Focus
Study shows racial disparities in heart failure readmissions, mortality
A study published in JACC Heart Failure found black and Asian heart failure patients had lower one-year mortality rates than white patients with HF, but black and Hispanic HF patients had higher readmission rates, said researcher Dr. Saul Blecker. Blecker said future research should look at ways to reduce disparities, such as quality improvement initiatives. (7/12) 
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Study finds inaccurate provider lists affect access to care
A study in Health Affairs found inaccurate health plan provider lists made it difficult for callers posing as patients to schedule physician appointments, which can affect access to care. Insurers say they are working to update their provider lists, but the study authors said frequent real-time updates combined with incentives or penalties may be the "only path to truly improved access for patients."
HealthLeaders Media/Kaiser Health News (7/11) 
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ACOs may help improve clinical health outcomes
Accountable care organizations have access to a large amount of data that providers can use with intuitive analytical tools to help improve clinical outcomes, patient experience and cost efficiency, writes Tim Moore, chief medical officer and executive vice president of health affairs for AxisPoint Health. The effective use of big data presents challenges to ACOs because of its sources, such as EHRs, and ACOs must change this data into actionable information in order to succeed, Moore writes.
Health Data Management (7/11) 
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CMS Open Payments: What You Need to Know
As part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments, medical drug & device companies submitted data about their financial relationships with you–physicians and teaching hospitals. This data is now live and CMS encourages you to review, and dispute if needed, your information in the system. Limited time remaining–Learn more now!
Practice & Hospital Management
Physician practices can boost revenue by billing for CCM, TCM
The CMS pays physicians to provide transitional care management and chronic care management, but some doctors question whether the financial benefits are worth the administrative hassles linked to reporting requirements. Data suggest physicians could add thousands of dollars in revenue to their practices, and Barbie Hays, a coding expert with the AAFP, said she advises doctors to file for the reimbursement since they are providing the services.
Medical Economics (7/10) 
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The Basics of Encryption and Compliance
Do you know why data encryption is important for your business? Read this ebook to see how using advance encryption lets you support your compliance with multiple regulations while meeting clients' expectations, protect your data and reputation, and eliminate paperwork and other overhead. Download the free ebook now.
E-Health Watch
Amino launches data tool to help connect patients with doctors
A tool launched by health data company Amino helps patients connect with doctors in their areas and allows users to look for prices for procedures based on the type of insurance and their physician. The tool covers 550,000 physicians, 49 procedures and 129 insurance companies.
USA Today (7/12) 
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Other News
Spotlight on Innovation
AHA joins with Amazon for precision cardiovascular medicine
The American Heart Association and Amazon Web Services announced a collaboration to use cloud technology to accelerate research in cardiovascular medicine and foster advancement of personalized treatments. The AHA will award 14 grants over 12 months to projects focused on data mining, innovative development, fellowships and methods validation, while Amazon will give grant recipients credits for free access to its services.
HIT Consultant (7/12) 
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Pediatric heart surgeons use Google Cardboard to design infant's surgery
The Google Cardboard tool helped pediatric heart surgeons at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, in Miami, design a one-of-a-kind surgery for a 4-month-old infant born with half a heart and a single lung. The app allowed the surgeons to view images of the infant's anatomy in virtual reality from every angle, so they could plan her surgery, which was successful, although her long-term outlook is not clear.
CNN (7/13) 
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Costs & Reimbursement
Report: US health care costs to reach $10,345 per person this year
An HHS report released Wednesday predicts a 5.7% annual increase in national health spending from 2017 to 2019 and 6% annual growth from 2020 to 2025, while per-person health spending is projected to be $10,345 this year, totaling $3.35 trillion for the nation. Medicare is expected to spend an average of almost $18,000 per beneficiary by 2025 when the program will cover 20% of Americans, and Medicaid is projected to spend about $12,500 per beneficiary by 2025, up from $8,000 last year.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (7/13),  The Miami Herald (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (7/13) 
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Slavitt to lawmakers: CMS could move MACRA start date
Andy Slavitt
Slavitt (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The CMS could delay the start of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act payment reforms because stakeholders have indicated some physicians may not be ready by the current Jan. 1 deadline, said CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee. Slavitt said the agency is also considering shorter reporting periods, alternative ways of gathering data and additional ways to reimburse providers caring for chronic patients at a higher rate.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (7/13) 
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ACC News
Study Shows Few Periprocedural Anticoagulation Management Standards Exist
There is a need to develop standardized protocols for the interruption of oral anticoagulation for surgery and invasive procedures, according to results of a study published July 4 in the Journal of American College of Cardiology. Because the management of parenteral anticoagulation is a complex process and requires coordination between health care providers, the ACC Anticoagulation Initiative Work Group developed a survey to help “better understand current practice patterns for patients requiring interruption of anticoagulation therapy.” The survey found that few respondents had standardized periprocedural protocols at their institutions, and highlights confusion surrounding periprocedural management of anticoagulation in patients treated with a direct-acting oral anticoagulant. “Overall, promotion of anticoagulation education programs and coordination among specialties, pharmacists, nursing and other health care providers are needed to improve anticoagulation patient care,” said Greg C. Flaker, MD, FACC, lead author of the study. “The College is in the process of developing a clinical policy document in direct response to this need.” Read more on
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ACC, STS Seek Comments on STS/ACC TVT Registry In-Hospital Risk Adjusted Stroke Metrics
The ACC and STS, along with statisticians and investigators at Duke Clinical Research Institute have developed a proposed risk model to report in-hospital stroke within the STS/ACC TVT Registry institutional outcomes reports. The STS/ACC TVT Registry monitors patient safety and real-world outcomes related to transcatheter valve replacement and repair procedures – emerging treatments for valve disease patients. A sample report has been developed, outlining how the model will be reported in the outcomes reports. Comments will be accepted until July 29. Access the survey here.
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There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position, and be bruised in a new place.
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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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