Health systems go beyond medical care to help patients, reduce costs | Implementing OIG recommendations could save billions, report says | Intervention promotes hand hygiene in emergency department

March 24, 2015
CV Quality SmartBrief
Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

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Health systems go beyond medical care to help patients, reduce costs
The Center for Health Care Strategies said programs in 26 states are trying to reduce medical costs by helping hospital emergency department super-users who are poor or uninsured access social services and less expensive routine medical care. Health care systems across the country help people get driver's licenses, bus tickets, blankets and medical supplies, while teams in New York are getting training to help people handle housing eviction notices. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/22)
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Implementing OIG recommendations could save billions, report says
An HHS Office of Inspector General's report found taxpayers could have saved $24 billion if federal agencies had implemented 25 of its recommendations for improving care, patient safety and financial management. One recommendation to the CMS that could save $15 billion over five years is reducing payments to hospital outpatient departments for surgeries that could have been done less expensively at ambulatory surgical centers. HealthLeaders Media (3/23)
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Intervention promotes hand hygiene in emergency department
A study in the Journal of Emergency Nursing found that a three-month multifaceted intervention for nurses and technicians significantly improved hand hygiene compliance in an emergency department. The program included an instructional unit and two learning activities. "Providing education, identifying gaps in practice, and brainstorming solutions to address department-specific challenges are key strategies for improving hand hygiene compliance in a fast-paced environment," the authors wrote. News (3/20)
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A Guide to the Joint Commission's Communication Goal: Four Tips
Poor communication among caregivers is a leading root cause of sentinel events in hospitals. Read this eye-opening guide for four tips to improve how caregivers share information. Read the guide now.
Practice & Hospital ManagementAdvertisement
PCMHs and ACOs have similarities, differences
Patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations take similar approaches, such as relying on analytics, moving away from volume-based care and using care coordination, but they can differ in accountability. A PCMH tends to be mainly accountable to itself, although it can be part of an ACO, and there are differences between the medical home model of PCMHs and the medical neighborhoods in an ACO that include multiple clinicians. Health IT Analytics (3/19)
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U.S. doctors need support in adjusting to new payment models
Multiplicity and administrative burdens are drawbacks reported by many physician practices transitioning to fee-for-service payment models, according to a joint report released by RAND Corp. and the American Medical Association. Support from the government and payers can ease the transition, while improved care may depend on the practice seeking partnerships with other providers and using data management to help track performance, the report found. Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (3/19), (3/19)
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Making the Most of Meaningful Use: Why Choosing the Right EHR Matters
Healthcare professionals understand how EHRs can increase patient engagement and the quality of care. What's not clear is how to choose the right EHR vendor or how to transition to a new EHR smoothly and within government guidelines. This guide provides an overview of Meaningful Use, highlights the requirements for 2015, and provides tips for selecting the right EHR to avoid penalties and position your practice for continued success in the future. Read now.

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HHS releases draft rule for MU stage 3
HHS issued its proposed rule for stage 3 of meaningful use on Friday. The draft lays out the standards that providers will have to meet to receive Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentives and to avoid penalties. Stage 3 requirements include the use of five clinical decision support interventions. Feedback on the proposal will be accepted through May 29. HealthLeaders Media (3/23), (free registration) (3/20), Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (3/20)
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CMS outlines how physicians can report on quality measures just once
The CMS has outlined how physicians can report quality measures to meet requirements for the physician quality reporting system, the EHR meaningful use program and the value-based modifier program. To do so, however, physicians or practices will have to use a qualified registry, a certified EHR or a special online interface. Medscape (free registration) (3/19)
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Infographic - 12 Healthcare Secure Texting Use Cases
Learn how secure texting allows your organization to send PHI in a HIPAA compliant manner and collaborate in real-time with file attachments, notifications and delivery receipts. Download this infographic to see how healthcare organizations are using secure texting today in their daily workflows.

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Spotlight on Innovation
Google files patent for wristband that could attack Parkinson's, cancer cells
A patent for a wristband that could be used to help patients with cancer and Parkinson's disease was recently filed by Google with the World Intellectual Property Organization. According to the patent, a magnet will be used to supply energy to the wearable device that will target and change or eliminate cells and proteins that cause the diseases. The company has not yet developed or tested the device. (3/19), International Business Times (3/18)
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10 ways to inspire creativity in your staff.
Fostering creative business practices isn't as hard as it seems and can lead to smart solutions. Use these ten techniques to help inspire and encourage creativity in your staff. Read the article and learn 10 ways to get the creative juices flowing.

Costs & ReimbursementAdvertisement
HHS: Hospitals saved $7.4B under ACA in 2014
Emergency Department
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
In 2014, hospitals had $7.4 billion less in uncompensated costs than in 2013 as patients gained insurance under the Affordable Care Act and the number of emergency room visits declined, according to data released by HHS. Washington, D.C., and the 28 states that expanded Medicaid eligibility saved $5 billion, while states that did not expand the program saved $2.4 billion. Reuters (3/23), The Hill (3/23)
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How to Achieve IT Agility: A Survival Guide for IT Decision Makers
When business teams add new apps and services to already-strained networks, IT departments are accountable for making everything work. Is your team ready for this challenge? Read this eGuide to learn how IT teams are automating their networks, why they're utilizing Ethernet fabrics and SDN, and what success looks like as they regain network control and business relevance.

ACC News
Call For Applications: Editor-in-Chief of New JACC: Basic Translational Research Journal
The ACC Publications Committee is seeking applications for Editor-in-Chief of a new journal, JACC: Basic Translational Research. The new editor's term will begin in June 2015 and will run for five years, with the possibility of re-appointment for an additional five-year term. The deadline for applications is May 1. Read more about the position on
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Unprecedented Progress Made Towards SGR Repeal
Less than two weeks ahead of when the latest Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) patch is set to expire, the House has introduced the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1470), legislation that would permanently repeal the flawed formula. Companion legislation, S. 810, has been introduced in the Senate as well. Last year, the entire house of medicine and three congressional committees of jurisdiction agreed upon legislation that would not only repeal the SGR but also create new pathways for clinicians to participate in alternative payment and health care delivery models. The latest bicameral, bipartisan proposal, which would increase stability in the health care system for Medicare patients and providers, mirrors last year’s legislation. Read more about what you can do on
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Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."
-- Thomas Edison,
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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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