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March 14, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Study: Cancer survival rates not linked to Medicare spending
    Medicare data show that average spending on patients with advanced lung, colorectal, pancreas, breast and prostate cancers varied by up to 41% across U.S. regions but had no direct effect on survival, researchers reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study showed that inpatient hospitalization was an important factor in regional spending variation. HealthDay News (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hospital group calls for better inpatient cardiac arrest care
    An American Hospital Association consensus statement said survival rates for in-hospital cardiac arrest need to improve, and it should not be assumed that gains made in out-of-hospital care directly apply to inpatients. The statement, published in AHA's journal Circulation, said hospital culture and best practices should be addressed and in-hospital cardiac arrest reporting should be improved. MedPage Today (free registration) (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: Reducing preventable admissions saved nearly $1 billion
    A 6.2% decline in potentially preventable hospital admissions from 2005 to 2010 lowered hospital costs 2%, saving almost $1 billion, according to data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. The biggest decreases were seen in cases of angina without a procedure, dehydration, bacterial pneumonia and congestive heart failure. (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Practice Management 
  • Cardiologists say some heart patients get too many drugs
    Heart attack survivors are usually prescribed a beta blocker, an ACE inhibitor, clopidogrel, a statin and aspirin, at minimum, but some heart patients are on up to 30 drugs. Some recommendations are based on old data, and new research suggests some drugs do not work as promised. Moreover, doctors may be reluctant to suggest discontinuing a drug once prescribed, experts say. Reuters (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • Poll finds decreasing satisfaction among EHR users
    The percentage of EHR users who said they are satisfied with the technology dropped 12% between 2010 and 2012, according to an analysis of multiple surveys involving 4,279 respondents by the American College of Physicians and AmericanEHR Partners. Issues tied to ease of use, workflows and patient care enhancement were cited as the biggest concerns surrounding EHRs. Healthcare Informatics online (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • New tool evaluates patients' readmission risks
    A new tool, called the IMRS-HF, was created by the Intermountain Heart Institute to boost health care delivery to patients with heart failure and avoid hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge. "When implemented, this gives physicians an effective, real-time tool to help assure patients are in a healthy position for discharge," said Benjamin Horne, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Heart Institute. Healthcare Finance News (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Calif. bills aim to alleviate doctor shortage
    A set of bills introduced in California would allow nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists to provide a broader range of services to help address the looming physician shortage in the state. Under the measures, nurse practitioners would be allowed to see Medicaid and Medicare patients regardless of whether the doctors they work with do so, optometrists would be able to monitor hypertension, and pharmacists would be permitted to order screening to detect diabetes. Modern Healthcare (free registration)/The Associated Press (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Agencies ask for feedback on broader data sharing
    The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and CMS are requesting feedback on ways to engage more providers and patients in health information exchange. The notice appears in the Federal Register. The notice cited a lack of technology at such facilities as long-term care, rehabilitation and psychiatric facilities, in particular. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • Yale and ACC Partner to Understand Hospital Structures When Delivering PCI Care
    Yale University and the American College of Cardiology have joined forces to conduct the Translating Outstanding Performance in PCI study, which works to lower patient mortality as well as decrease the number of readmissions per year. Currently, the study is applying the information they received from the first phase to the second phase with a web-based survey of 500 hospitals selected from the NCDR CathPCI Registry. The point of the survey is to understand the structure of hospitals and how they deliver PCI care in an attempt to close existing knowledge gaps, as well as to provide a toolbox of PCI outcome improvement strategies. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • A Closer Look at the Continuing Struggle to Make Health Care Affordable
    In a recent "Straight Talk" column in CardioSource WorldNews, Spencer B. King, III, MD, MACC, editor-in-chief of JACC Cardiovascular Interventions and a past president of the ACC, discusses the continuing struggle to make health care affordable. King writes: "I believe the Affordable Care Act was a step forward as a developed country must provide health care for its citizens. The challenge now, however, is to make it affordable." Among the topics discussed: eliminating waste without hurting quality, aligning incentives to reward best practices and the role of heart teams in ensuring appropriate care. Read the complete column. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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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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