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March 12, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Analysis suggests ways to improve readmission penalty program
    Boston researchers said an analysis of 3,282 U.S. hospitals found 66% will be penalized for high readmission rates under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. The report in the New England Journal of Medicine said ways to make the program more equitable include adjusting fines based on patient income so safety-net hospitals are on equal footing, weighing penalties based on timing of readmissions and giving hospitals credit for low mortality rates. MedPage Today (free registration) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report examines problem of surgical items left in patients
    Routinely used cotton sponges account for about two-thirds of all devices or supplies that sometimes are accidentally left inside a patient after surgery, according to a USA Today report. Patients can suffer serious illnesses and health care costs increase when sponges are left behind, but fewer than 15% of U.S. hospitals use sponges with electronic tracking devices, the report said. USA Today (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Practice Management 
  • Greater nurse training linked to lower death rates after surgery
    A 10-point increase in the percentage of nurses with baccalaureate degrees in a hospital was associated with an average reduction of about two deaths for every 1,000 surgical patients, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs. Factors such as staffing levels, skills or experience were not associated with lower death rates in the study, which involved 134 Pennsylvania hospitals. (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  E-Health Watch 
  Products & Innovation 
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • CMS to conduct call on State Innovation Models
    A CMS conference call today will address the State Innovation Models initiative and how providers can be part of the program. Six states have received funding to evaluate models for improved health care delivery and payment under Medicare and Medicaid, and 19 states were awarded money to develop plans to do so. AHA News Now (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

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  ACC News 
  • The latest CV news from ACC.13
    Over the past three days, the city of San Francisco hosted approximately 20,000 cardiovascular professionals for the 62nd Annual Scientific Session and Expo. The meeting featured hundreds of education sessions on topics ranging from interventional cardiology to international collaboration, as well as the latest in breaking clinical research, including HPS2-THRIVE, CHAMPION PHOENIX, PARTNER 2, and MASS COMM. Featured clinical research on topics like atherosclerosis in mummies also made headlines. For news coverage of all of the late-breaking clinical trials, links to video interviews, presentation slides, trial summaries and more, visit Interactive coverage of the meeting, including photos and discussions, is also available on the ACC’s Facebook page and the ACC in Touch Blog. In addition, iScience, the ACC’s comprehensive Meeting on Demand program containing overviews and videos of all the science from the meeting is now available for purchase. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ACC welcomes new president as part of annual convocation
    During the Convocation ceremony that officially closed the 62nd Annual Scientific Session and Expo, ACC Past-President William A. Zoghbi, MD, MACC, welcomed more than 200 new Fellows and Associates to the College. In addition, as is custom, he swore in John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, a past chief of staff of Cedars-Sinai and a clinical professor in the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, as the College’s new president. Harold accepted the position by paying tribute to his mentor Jeremy Swam, MD, MACC, who coincidentally was ushered in as president the last time the ACC was in San Francisco 40 years ago. Throughout his year as president of the College, Harold intends to focus on “innovation in technology and education,” while also attempting to expand the diversity of membership by furthering the College’s global reach. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm."
--Winston Churchill,
British prime minister

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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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