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February 14, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Study: No link between readmissions, hospital mortality rates
    A hospital's readmission rates are not linked to mortality rates, according to a Yale University study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Data found no relationship between the number of Medicare patients with heart attack and pneumonia who were readmitted within 30 days and those who died, and showed from 5% to 9% of hospitals had both low readmission and low mortality rates. CMS uses readmission rates to judge hospital quality and punishes high rates with reduced payments. Kaiser Health News (2/12), Reuters (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CDC: Hospitals made steady progress in curbing some infections
    A CDC report released on Tuesday found that the rates of central line-associated bloodstream infections declined by 41% and surgical site infections fell by 17% in U.S. hospitals since 2008. However, catheter-associated urinary tract infections have not declined further since 2010, possibly due to the number of catheter days holding steady in critical-care settings. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden called on hospitals to do more to control and track infections. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (2/12), Nurse.com (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hours in ED may put heart patients in danger of PTSD
    Patients who waited in the emergency department for more than 11 hours with a heart attack or severe chest pain were at greater risk of heart disease-related post-traumatic stress disorder in the month after hospitalization, a study found. The findings, based on 135 heart patients admitted at a New York City hospital between 2009 and 2011, were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. HealthDay News (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Practice Management 
  • Official urges doctors to be leaders in creating new pay models
    Physicians should not sit on the sidelines as private and public payers decide new payment models, such as accountable care organizations, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovations senior adviser Nancy Nielsen, M.D., told an American Medical Association conference. "I think this is a tremendous opportunity for physicians to take leadership roles," she said, and cautioned that failure to do so may leave them with models that are not doctor-friendly. MedPage Today (free registration) (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • HHS encourages e-patients with new effort
    HHS announced plans to create a broad shift to a less hierarchical health care system and give patients and families a greater role in their own care. A new initiative aims to expand patients' access to EHRs, mobile health applications and devices, and secure electronic messaging between patients and providers, according to an article published in the journal Health Affairs. "Engaged patients ... are more likely than others to participate in preventive and healthy practices, self-manage their conditions and achieve better outcomes," said National Health IT Coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
 
  • Med student designs free health app
    Craig Monsen, a medical student at Johns Hopkins University, has developed a website and mobile health application called Symcat to help people more accurately diagnose their medical problems. The free app compares users' symptoms and backgrounds with the health records stored in the CDC's bio-surveillance program to evaluate their conditions. CNBC (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Obama vows to contain health spending in State of the Union
    President Barack Obama promised to seek to further reduce health care spending while praising the Affordable Care Act during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. "We'll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors," Obama said. "We'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare." The Huffington Post (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • States prepare to market health coverage to the uninsured
    States faced with the prospect of bringing millions of people into health insurance exchanges are developing strategies such as partnering with local celebrities and athletes to reach the 30 million uninsured Americans who will soon be eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. "We have to look at doing things a lot differently than what's been done in the past because this is a very unique audience, and we're marketing a product that's never been marketed before," said Michael Marchand of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. The Wall Street Journal (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • FDA approves IDE for ACC and STS to study alternative approaches to TAVR
    The FDA has granted an investigational device exemption to the American College of Cardiology and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons to conduct a study assessing alternative access approaches for transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Currently, only the transfemoral approach to TAVR using the Edwards SAPIEN valve and, in some cases, the transapical approach have been approved in the U.S. However, an estimated one out of four patients are not eligible for this approach due to inadequate vessel size, vessel disease and/or other anatomical considerations. "The goal behind the study is to expand the field and extend the benefits of TAVR to broader patient groups," said former ACC President David Holmes, Jr., MD, MACC. "This should be a model for specialty societies, industry and federal regulators aligning efforts to ensure appropriate patient access to a new technology in a cost-effective and evidence-based way." Read the full article on CardioSource.org. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are baby boomers the healthiest generation?
    A recent study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine indicates that although the “baby boomers” may be living longer than their parents’ generation, the jury is still out on whether they are healthier. The study, which analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found that baby boomers are more likely to have higher rates of chronic disease, obesity, hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia, however; they are less likely to smoke cigarettes and they have lower rates of myocardial infarction than the previous generation. Check out more stats from the study, as well as catch up on the importance of having an “e-side manner” and what’s on the public’s health agenda in CardioSource WorldNews. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
Mistakes are part of the dues that one pays for a full life."
--Sophia Loren,
Italian actress


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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 http://www.CardioSource.org.
External Resources are not a part of the CardioSource.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.
 
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