Hospital survey finds drop in rate of health care-associated infections | FDA chief warns of looming drug shortages amid hurricane fallout | Coalition wants changes in 3-day stay Medicare law
October 12, 2017
CV Quality SmartBrief
Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out
First Focus
Hospital survey finds drop in rate of health care-associated infections
Hospitals saw a big drop in health care-associated infections from 2011 to 2015, driven by significant declines in skin and soft tissue infections and urinary tract infections, according to research presented at IDWeek. However, rates for conditions such as pneumonia and Clostridium difficile infection did not change significantly, researchers said.
MedPage Today (free registration) (10/8) 
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FDA chief warns of looming drug shortages amid hurricane fallout
FDA chief warns of looming drug shortages amid hurricane fallout
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said US hospitals and pharmacies might encounter drug shortages in the next two to three weeks because most Puerto Rico pharmaceutical plants are operating at partial capacity due to problems with the power supply and poor access to materials after Hurricane Maria. Gottlieb said it's unclear when drugmakers will be able to return to full manufacturing capacity, and he asked drugmakers to be more transparent about the problems they are facing.
Reuters (10/10) 
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Coalition wants changes in 3-day stay Medicare law
A coalition of national groups supports changes in the law that requires a three-day inpatient hospital stay to qualify for nursing home coverage under Medicare. The group contends hospital stays are much shorter now than they were when the law was written, making it obsolete and a barrier to accessing skilled nursing care.
HealthLeaders Media (10/9) 
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Practice & Hospital Management
Survey: Physician engagement is key to value-based care
Although physicians recognize the challenge posed by high costs, many believe their perspective has been left out of measures taken to advance value-based care, a recent survey found. Although doctors express concerns about the complexity of value-based models, those who are engaged in decision-making express more satisfaction with their professional environment and more interest in leading change. "Health care organizations can generate greater support for value-based care by working closely with their physicians to shape these models and addressing doctors' concerns about implementation and outcomes," write Tim van Biesen and Josh Weisbrod.
Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (10/6) 
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Lack of cyberrisk management plan could put patients at risk, expert says
Health care organizations need to implement a "more strategic, business-oriented and architectural approach to cyberrisk management and move away from the tactical, technical, spot-welding approach" because not doing so puts patient safety at risk, said Clearwater Compliance CEO Bob Chaput. He recommended using the National Institute of Standards and Technology's operational principles and stressed the important role board members and C-suite executives have in developing a cybersecurity plan.
DOTMed (10/9) 
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E-Health Watch
Researchers suggest novel metrics to assess EHR use
An opinion article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine proposed applying six novel metrics to measure clinician use of EHRs, which researchers believe "will identify the burdens of inefficient practice so administrators and clinicians can work together to improve professional fulfillment." The proposed metrics include the ratio of staff-entered to physician-entered EHR tasks; amount of time spent logged in to the EHR during non-work hours; the EHR's regulatory effect on the practice; and rates of visits in which the EHR tasks compete for the attention of the physician.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (10/10) 
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Other News Highlights
Spotlight on Innovation
Quantum dots may help weaken drug-resistant bacteria's defenses
Nanoparticles known as quantum dots have been engineered to release a chemical that weakens bacteria's defenses against antibiotics, according to findings published online in Science Advances. The dots are made of cadmium telluride and, when hit with a particular green light, their electrons jump onto oxygen molecules, creating a superoxide that messes with bacteria's inner chemistry.
Science News (10/9) 
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Costs & Reimbursement
Task force: Policymakers should continue to support value-based care
CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressed support for value-based care, sending "an important signal that the federal government will remain a meaningful partner to the providers and payers working to implement value-based models in commercial markets," write David Lansky and Jeff Micklos of the Health Care Transformation Task Force. As the health care system continues to evolve, policymakers must not only voice their support but also collaborate on what "value" should mean, Lansky and Micklos write.
The Hill (10/10) 
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Global cost of treating obesity to reach $1.2T per year by 2025
A study by the World Obesity Federation showed that the cost of treating obesity would reach $1.2 trillion annually by 2025 across the world, with the US poised to surpass all other nations in terms of health care costs. The US health care system spent $325 billion per year in 2014 to treat cancers associated with obesity and other obesity-related illnesses and is projected to spend $4.2 trillion between this year and 2025, researchers found.
CBS News/The Associated Press (10/11) 
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Spotlight on JACC Journals
ACC News
Pamela B. Morris, MD, FACC, Appointed Next Scientific Session Vice Chair
Pamela B. Morris, MD, FACC, has been selected as the next vice chair of ACC's Annual Scientific Session. Morris will serve as vice chair for ACC.19 and ACC.20, and will transition to chair for ACC. 21 and ACC.22. "Dr. Morris is an outstanding choice for this crucial leadership role in the annual scientific session," said ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC. "She has been active throughout her membership in the ACC and is passionate about educating herself and other clinicians through her work on the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Council, the ACC roundtables and on the Annual Scientific Session Program Committee. Her vast experience and leadership will ensure that the ACC Annual Scientific Session continues to be the premier cardiology meeting." Read more on
Register For the Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI Webinar
The ACC launched the new Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI, which leverages evidence-based best practices to improve the care and outcomes of myocardial infarction patients and reduce readmissions. Registration is open to all ACTION Registry participants. Join Ty Gluckman, MD, FACC, for a special webinar on Oct. 18 at noon ET to learn how your hospital can participate in this free, national program and improve AMI care. Register on Participants in ACC's CathPCI Registry and ICD Registry can take advantage of the ACTION Registry as part of an extended free trial offer through Dec. 31. See first-hand how the ACTION Registry and Patient Navigator Program: Focus MI can complement existing registry efforts. Learn more.
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Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.
Amelia Earhart,
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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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