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January 24, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Readmission trends analyzed for heart failure, MI and pneumonia
    Most 30-day readmissions for heart failure, acute myocardial infarction and pneumonia happened within 15 days of discharge, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Heart failure was the most frequent reason for readmission for heart failure and MI patients, while recurrent pneumonia was the most common reason for readmission of pneumonia patients. Overall, the reasons for readmission were diverse, according to researchers, who cited a "heightened vulnerability of recently hospitalized patients to a broad spectrum of conditions." (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Readmission penalties vary among U.S. hospitals: Large, teaching and safety-net hospitals were more likely to be penalized for failing to lower readmission rates than small, nonteaching and non-safety-net hospitals, respectively, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Of the 3,282 hospitals included in the study, 2,189 will receive pay cuts under the CMS's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. (1/23), MedPage Today (free registration) (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pediatric hospitals have varied 30-day patient return rates
    Overall, the 30-day unadjusted readmission rate for all children admitted at pediatric hospitals was 6.5%, but readmission rates varied across conditions and hospitals, U.S. researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Hospitals with high readmission rates had higher 30-day adjusted readmission rates and sickle cell rates than low readmission hospitals, the study found. News (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Areas with quality improvement programs show fewer readmissions
    Communities where Medicare Quality Improvement Organizations oversee quality improvement efforts showed greater reductions in 30-day rehospitalization compared with areas that did not have such initiatives, a study found. Reductions in all-cause hospitalization were also greater under the Quality Improvement Organizations. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Medical education model may reduce physician shortage
    The Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program has provided valuable training for electronic health record use, team-based care and quality improvement, researchers report in Academic Medicine. The program provides up to $230 million over five years to train more medical residents in community-based centers to help curb physician shortages in underserved communities. American Medical News (free content) (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Digital communication may improve doctor-patient relationship
    A Televox report showed 85% of Americans regard digital forms of communication such as e-mail and text messages as being at least as useful as conversations with health professionals in person or over the telephone. Researchers also found 51% of those who had received text messages, voice mails or e-mails from their providers said they felt more valued as a patient. (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • Ad-based EHRs save doctors money but raise practice concerns
    Advertising linked to electronic health records could help small physician practices afford to implement EHR systems but there are questions about whether advertising exerts undue influence on prescribing patterns, expert said. Patient privacy also is a concern due to possible mining of patient information for advertising purposes. EHR Intelligence (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • ACO uses telehealth services to enhance patient care
    Clermont, Fla.-based accountable care organization Primary Partners is working with AMC Health to enhance the telemonitoring of Medicare patients with medical conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart failure and hypertension. The ACO plans to use AMC Health's remote care and home telehealth services to lessen patient admissions and readmissions as well as prevent complications. (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Other News
  ACC News 
  • New rule protects patient privacy, secures health information
    HHS recently released privacy and security updates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 in an effort to help protect patient health information in an ever expanding digital age. This update is designed to strengthen the government’s ability to enforce HIPAA, as well as enhances patient’s privacy protections. Get the details. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Conference to spotlight health IT
    Professionals from across the health care spectrum will come together to discuss HIT issues and review innovative solutions designed to transform health care at the 2013 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans from March 3 to 7. Topics on the agenda include ICD-10, clinical business intelligence, health information exchanges, clinical engineering, innovation, meaningful use, nursing informatics, physicians' IT, and RFID and RTLS in health care. More than 300 peer-reviewed sessions, including workshops and roundtables, round out education offerings at HIMSS13. The ACC is proud to support this annual event that helps HIT professionals make the right decisions for their organizations. Register today! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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All news is an exaggeration of life."
--Daniel Schorr,
American journalist

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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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