Employment is top socioeconomic factor in readmissions, data show
CMS hospital discharge data from 2009 to 2012 show employment status was the top socioeconomic factor affecting 30-day readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. The report from Truven Health Analytics said bigger readmission penalties were linked to higher rates of unemployed patients, with race and income having a lesser effect on penalties. BeckersHospitalReview.com
CCI: Protocol gets TAVR patients home faster without harming care
A fast-track protocol designed to get patients moving sooner and out of the hospital faster after transcatheter aortic valve replacement results in lower costs and shorter stays without compromising the quality of care, according to a report in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions. The approach was tested at two sites, where 40% of TAVR patients met fast-track criteria. TCTMD.com
HHS recognizes efforts to improve care with $36M in funding
More than $36 million has been awarded by HHS to over 1,000 health care centers in the U.S. The funding, which recognizes efforts to advance patient care, including use of EHRs, will be used to finance further infrastructure, systems and overall patient care improvement. The Hill
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Report shows access problems for Medicaid patients
An HHS Office of Inspector General's investigation found that half of 1,800 physicians who were listed as Medicaid participants were not actually available to take appointments. The report said more than 33% were not at the address listed in the Medicaid managed care plan, 8% were at the listed location but did not participate in the health plan listed, and 8% were Medicaid participants but were not taking new patients. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)
How practice environments can affect patient outcomes
Research suggests health care work environments can make a difference in care outcomes. In addition to being safe, satisfying and empowering, a healthful practice environment promotes a culture of safety where all staff members and leaders work together in a patient-centered team, according to the American Nurses Association. Missoulian (Missoula, Mont.)
Studies: Schedule restrictions did not boost outcomes
Restrictions placed on intern and resident work schedules did not improve patient mortality, rates of readmission or inpatient safety among Medicare beneficiaries, according to one study. Another report showed no changes in mortality or illness among surgery patients. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. HealthDay News
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Walgreens taps MDLIVE for telehealth app launch
A partnership was formed between Walgreens and MDLIVE to design and launch a telemedicine mobile application for iOS and Android devices that will allow Walgreens customers to consult with a doctor at any time of the day. The service will initially be available in Michigan and California, but the companies plan to expand it to more states and markets later. Healthcare Informatics online
ACOs seek additional changes to MSSP rules
The CMS proposed relaxing some criteria for participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, but some accountable care organizations would like to see more concessions. The CMS proposed delaying until 2018 rules that establish penalties for missed savings goals and proposed reducing the sharing rate for achieved savings from 50% to 40%. ACOs are requesting a longer delay in the downside risk rules to optimize their programs and no cut in the sharing rate. MedPage Today (free registration)
Join the Experts in the Next Journal Club Webinar as They Discuss INVEST Results
The next ACC Journal Club will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. ET, with a discussion on "2014 Eighth Joint National Committee Panel Recommendation for Blood Pressure Targets Revisited," published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This innovative online educational series provides ACC members with the opportunity to post comments and questions for faculty members during a live, interactive webinar. A link to the webinar will be available on CardioSource.org on Dec. 17. If you miss the webinar, the Journal Club activity includes links to past webinars and articles, as well as three multiple choice questions per session that allow you to earn 2 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits™ per month and up to 10 MOCII points by the end of the year. Start the activity. Your progress will be saved so that you can complete the activity when the remainder of the modules are added in late Dec. 2014.
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