The Kansas Healthcare Collaborative oversees a network that links 106 of 133 hospitals in a federally funded program designed to cut readmissions and patient harm by sharing best practices, and data suggest there has been some success. In one year, central line infections were down 55%, catheter-associated urinary tract infections were down 28%, and about 230 instances of patient harm were avoided, saving $1.6 million.
California-based Kaiser Permanente conducted 52% of patient transactions using virtual visits, online portals or its telehealth apps last year, company CEO Bernard Tyson said, noting that as providers assume risk under value-based care models such as bundled payments, interest in telehealth has increased. Kaiser also saw 4 million appointments scheduled online, 37 million tests viewed online and 20 million health care provider e-mail collaborations in 2014-2015.
A study published in JAMA Surgery found that patients treated for surgery complications at hospitals with the highest "cost of rescue," which refers to spending used to keep people from dying, were no more likely to survive than patients at low-cost facilities. Adjusted rates of serious complications were higher at the highest-cost hospitals, and costs varied substantially, with elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repair costing $60,000 at the most-expensive hospitals, compared with $23,000 at hospitals with the lowest cost of rescue.
A study comparing 23 symptom checker websites or apps with physicians found doctors got the correct diagnosis 72% of the time, compared with 34% for the digital platforms, researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers said 84% of physicians listed the correct diagnosis in the top three options, compared with 51% of the symptom checker programs.
A study in The Lancet found "clinically meaningful reductions" in physician burnout may be achieved through the use of strategies such as mindfulness, stress management training and small group discussions. Researchers said studies found no single intervention to be superior, and that both individual and structural or organizational interventions are probably needed.
Providers should focus on EHR optimization to help them succeed with population health management and quality reporting requirements in value-based care and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, said Micky Tripathi of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative. Tripathi advises providers to use EHR help portals, communicate with a vendor support specialist or turn to Regional Extension Centers for help with optimization.
The National Quality Forum announced the winners of its Innovation Challenge, which sought ideas to improve quality measures within the health care industry. The winners include Charlotta Lindval of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who proposed the use of EHR data in developing quality measures in palliative surgery; Tracy Spinks of MD Anderson Cancer Center, who suggested a new, standardized, streamlined method to implement patient-reported outcome measure sets in EHRs; and S. Mani Marashi of the Henry Ford Health System, who described a pilot program that reported hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism events in real-time using EHR data.
The CMS paid Medicare Shared Savings Program participants $646 million in 2015, while those organizations generated $429 million in savings for the year, dealing a $217 million loss to the agency. Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Commissioner Dr. Craig Sammit called the results "incredibly unsatisfying," and Commissioner Willis Gradison said the agency may need to nudge more ACOs to assume upside and downside risk.
Inpatient drug spending rose by 23.4% per year from 2013 to 2015, fueled largely by rising drug unit prices rather than higher volume, according to a report by the National Opinion Research Center commissioned by two hospital groups. Nearly 50% of price increases involved drugs made by just one manufacturer, some of which have been around for decades, such as nitroprusside, which now costs $790.46 per unit after a 672% price hike between 2013 and 2015.
Renew your ACC membership today to continue your access to tools and benefits that help support you as a cardiovascular professional. With 300+ educational opportunities online, six JACC journals and resources to help you improve patient care and navigate practice change, the ACC is the best investment you can make in your career. Allow us to continue to support you. Renew online at ACC.org/Dues or by calling the Resource Center at +1 202-375-6000, ext. 5603.
Latest Issue of CardioSource WorldNews Examines the Risk and Rewards of Risk Scoring
The cover story of the latest issue of CardioSource WorldNews reviews the use of cardiology risk scoring and determines that it is important to find "the sweet spot of its use." This month's Business Consult examines the new cardiac-specific bundled payments from the CMS. Elsewhere in the issue, Stephen Worthley, MD, FACC, is interviewed about the next generation of stent evaluated in the RevElution Study, while D. Scott Lim discusses his work in pioneering novel treatment for heart valve disease. See the full issue at ACC.org/CSWN.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
Edmund Burke, statesman and orator
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
External Resources are not a part of the ACC.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.