Hospital Value-Based Purchasing review shows mixed results | Covered California's strategy is tied to primary care | GAO suggests ways VA pharmacy system could improve patient safety
June 20, 2017
CV Quality SmartBrief
Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out
First Focus
Hospital Value-Based Purchasing review shows mixed results
The Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program has not led to better clinical-process or patient-experience measures, researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study found the initiative did not significantly reduce mortality among patients admitted to the hospital for acute myocardial infarction or heart failure, but it did reduce mortality for patients admitted for pneumonia.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (6/14) 
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Covered California's strategy is tied to primary care
The health care delivery strategy of Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, focuses on primary care and benefit design, emphasizing a primary care physician for every beneficiary and a patient-centered home model, according to a Health Affairs blog post. Health plans in Covered California have committed to primary care payment models based at least in part on population-based payments and performance bonuses linked to quality care and financial accountability, the authors wrote.
Health Affairs Blog (6/14) 
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GAO suggests ways VA pharmacy system could improve patient safety
A Government Accountability Office report stated that in order to improve patient safety, the Department of Veterans Affairs should update its pharmacy system's outpatient pharmacy application inefficiencies, evaluate the system's interoperability capabilities with the Department of Defense's pharmacy system and establish an inventory management capability. The VA should also implement a plan to standardize data between the two agencies, ensure that the VA's evaluation of EHR alternatives includes level 3 capabilities and establish a plan to send outbound electronic prescriptions to pharmacies outside of the VA network, the report adds.
Becker's Hospital Review (6/15) 
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Unexplained stroke, explained.
Until an underlying cause is determined—and addressed—cryptogenic stroke patients may be at risk for recurrence. We can help you find the answers. Visit our resource page for the latest information on diagnosis, care management, patient education and more.
Practice & Hospital Management
CMS not expanding network adequacy pilot
The CMS will continue but not expand a pilot program showing health insurance plan network size for plans sold on The program, launched last year in Maine, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas, ranked networks as basic, standard or broad based on the number of participating primary care providers, pediatricians and hospitals, and the CMS said it is still collecting data on program outcomes.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (6/14) 
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E-Health Watch
Report cites importance of EHR integration to success of PDMPs
Prescription drug monitoring programs must be integrated into electronic health record systems for these programs to be of clinical value, according to a report conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and sponsored by the Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV and HIV. Researchers found that PDMPs were effective in addressing the opioid crisis in the US, with states seeing a reduction in prescription opioid-related deaths of 1.12 per 100,000 people a year after its implementation.
Becker's Hospital Review (6/16) 
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FDA aims to encourage innovation in digital health technology
The Food and Drug Administration is moving on a variety of fronts, including a new approach to regulation, to accelerate the pace of innovation in digital health in a way that could transform health care delivery in the US, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. "FDA will help innovators navigate a new, modern regulatory process so that promising, safe and effective developments in digital health can advance more quickly and responsibly, and Americans can reap the full benefits from these innovations," he writes in the FDA's official blog.
FDA Voice blog (6/15) 
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Other News Highlights
Are You Reading JACC Journals?
The ACC offers six focused JACC journals to keep you up-to-date on significant developments in the cardiovascular field. Theyprovide editor-in-chief audio summaries, article summary illustrations, expert perspectives on new research and in-depth review articles on hot topics. Visit or download the app.
Spotlight on Innovation
"Smart pill" reminds patients to take medications
Patients at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago can take a pill with tiny embedded sensors that transmit information to a Bluetooth device worn as a body patch to allow reminders and tracking of medication adherence. The sensor was developed by Proteus Digital Health.
Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (6/16) 
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Costs & Reimbursement
MedPAC report suggests MIPS may not help patients, clinicians
A Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report said commissioners are looking at revising the Quality Payment Program because its Merit-based Incentive Payment System may not help people choose a clinician or help practitioners change their practices to improve value. MedPAC also made recommendations on ways to improve the Medicare Part B drug program.
MedPage Today (free registration) (6/16) 
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CMS: Report tracks US hospital care spending growth
CMS: Report tracks US hospital care spending growth
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A report from the CMS Office of the Actuary showed total hospital services spending grew nearly threefold from 1991 to 2014, with annual growth rates ranging from 3.8% in the District of Columbia to 7.9% in Idaho. Per capita health care spending in Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states climbed by 4.4% and 4.5%, respectively, which the report attributed to increased coverage in expansion states and higher spending growth per insured person in non-expansion states, the report said.
Healthcare Finance News (6/15) 
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ACC News
JACC Journals See Sweeping Increase in Impact Factors
JACC Journals continue to rank among the top 10 cardiovascular journals in the world, with the Journal of the American College of Cardiology retaining its #1 position for the fourth year in a row, according to 2016 Impact Factors released on June 14. JACC Journals continue to be the profession's top destination for significant clinical and translational cardiovascular research, guidelines and review articles. ACC members can read the entire family of JACC Journals for free at Busy clinicians can hear audio summaries recorded by JACC Editor-in-Chief Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, and JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology Editor-in-Chief David J. Wilber, MD, FACC, on, iTunes or Android's Player FM app. Read more on
ACC's New Self-Assessment Program CathSAP 5 is Now Available
CathSAP 5 - ACC's brand new self-assessment program - is now available and has everything needed to perfect knowledge of interventional cardiology. With an organizational structure that aligns directly with the American Board of Internal Medicine exam blueprint, the self-assessment program is also a great study tool to prepare for the Boards. The educational content is available in an abundance of formats and users can learn by reading text, watching a full-length or condensed presentation, downloading slides or answering questions which are now all case-based. There's also the flexibility to create custom quizzes, simulate Board exams to personalize learning, compare scores with peers and view a dashboard to judge progress. CathSAP 5 offers 128 Continuing Medical Education/Maintenance of Certification credits - enough for licensing and certification requirements through June 2020. Visit to purchase the product and to learn more. Stay tuned for the CathSAP 5 App which will launch later this month.
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With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.
Thomas Fowell Buxton,
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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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