Patient handoffs increase mortality risk, study says | Best practices for transitioning to value-based care | Fewer complications found after common surgeries at rural hospitals
May 19, 2016
CV Quality SmartBrief
Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out
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Patient handoffs increase mortality risk, study says
Hospital health professional
(Christopher Furlong/AFP/Getty Images)
End-of-rotation handoffs between teams of hospital interns and residents were linked to 718 additional patient deaths, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society. The study, which analyzed 2008 to 2014 data on 230,701 admissions at 10 university-affiliated Veterans Affairs medical centers, found mortality risks increased up to 20% depending on the type of transition.
MedPage Today (free registration) (5/18) 
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Best practices for transitioning to value-based care
Hospitals and health care systems making the transition from a fee-for-service model to outcomes-based care must collaborate early with key stakeholders, including employed and affiliated health care providers, to set strategic objectives, write Bruce Hamory, Graegar Smith and Rohit Singh of Oliver Wyman. Other best practices include using data to identify the right physician-partners, developing a variety of care strategies, empowering health care professionals and updating incentives.
Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine (5/16) 
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Fewer complications found after common surgeries at rural hospitals
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that risk of major complications associated with four common surgeries is lower at rural hospitals than suburban or city hospitals. Researchers found no difference in 30-day mortality, but rural hospital patients undergoing colon surgery, gallbladder removal, hernia repair or appendix removal were less likely to experience problems such as heart attack, pneumonia or kidney damage after the procedure, and Medicare spent $1,400 less for treatment at such hospitals than at larger facilities.
HealthDay News (5/17) 
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Other News
Practice & Hospital Management
Hospitals readying to help pregnant women, infants with Zika
Aedes aegypti mosquito
An Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can transmit the Zika, chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever viruses. (Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images)
US hospitals are bolstering care for pregnant women and infants infected with the Zika virus, amid the rising number of infections. Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C., announced its Congenital Zika Virus Program, which will treat infants, take referrals from around the nation and provide information for women infected with Zika, while Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, both in Houston, have begun a specialized program.
USA Today (5/16) 
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Nonprofit hospitals enter new partnerships, markets
More nonprofit hospitals are entering partnerships with health insurance carriers, starting their own insurance companies or purchasing existing insurers, according to a Moody's Investors Service report. Nonprofit hospitals are also co-branding pharmacies and urgent-care clinics, offering direct-to-employer contracts and accountable care organizations, and entering new markets, such as ambulatory care, cancer care, skilled nursing and long-term care. (5/17) 
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E-Health Watch
ONC issues legislative proposals to support use of data analytics in health care
Several pieces of legislation to promote data standards and big data analytics for health information exchange and interoperability were unveiled by National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo and ONC Chief Operating Officer Lisa Lewis. The legislative proposals focus on the elimination of health information blocking, interoperability of health care data between different technologies, increased health care technology transparency, and sharing of best practices to help improve patient experience, hospital safety and hospital quality.
Health IT Analytics (5/17) 
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Spotlight on Innovation
5 telemental health resource centers to be open this summer, VA says
Five telemental health resource centers will be open this summer, with four new centers joining an existing one in West Haven, Conn., the Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week. "These mental health telehealth resource centers will provide our veterans in underserved areas the expert mental health providers they may not otherwise be able to obtain locally," said VA Under Secretary for Health David Shulkin.
Healthcare IT News (5/18) 
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Costs & Reimbursement
CMS looks set to launch Part B drug demo despite criticism
The CMS appears likely to launch a proposed project to overhaul how some drugs are reimbursed under Medicare Part B, despite considerable resistance to the proposal in Congress and the medical community.
STAT/Pharmalot (5/17),  MedPage Today (free registration) (5/17) 
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ACC News
ACC is Celebrating Nurse Appreciation Month
The ACC would like to say "thank you" to all our nursing colleagues for all they contribute to cardiovascular medicine and patient care each day. The efforts of our nurse members are vital to the success of the College and the entire cardiovascular care team, and help us meet our mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. With hundreds of educational resources, quality improvement tools and the latest clinical updates, ACC strives to be the professional home for nurses and support them in their daily practice. To say thank you for all they do, the ACC is offering 40% off member fees for cardiovascular nurses who join during the month of May using code ThnkNurses.
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Meet PQRS Reporting Requirements Through the GPRO
In 2016 eligible providers must report on nine measures, including two outcome measures, covering three National Quality Domains in order to avoid a 2% penalty in 2018. In 2016, 8,518 cardiologists are subject to the adjustment. For the 2016 PQRS program year, the PINNACLE Registry and the Diabetes Collaborative Registry are a CMS-approved QCDR. To provide participants of the PINNACLE Registry and/or Diabetes Collaborative Registry greater flexibility to meet PQRS requirements, the ACC is offering to report on 16 measures covering four National Quality Domains. Providers will also receive online benchmark reports to help validate the quality care you provide and identify areas of opportunity for quality improvement. PQRS submission through the QCDR is a free benefit for practices and for the first time in 2016, the QCDR category will be expanded to allow for Group Practice Reporting. This is a significant change to the previous program years, where only individual provider reporting was offered. Practices must self-nominate for GPRO using the CMS interface by June 30, 2016. Learn more about reporting through the PINNACLE and Diabetes Collaborative registries.
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Miguel de Cervantes,
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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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