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February 5, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Minn. hospitals fail to reduce medical error rate, study says
    An annual report found that the rate of reportable medical errors remained steady at Minnesota hospitals last year, even though reforms have been put in place to reduce mistakes. Data showed most mistakes that involved the wrong procedure or body part were made despite mandatory time-outs for surgical teams to ensure they were doing the correct procedure. "The fact that you did the time-out doesn't tell us the quality of how that was done," said Lawrence Massa of the Minnesota Hospital Association. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Practice Management 
  • Study finds disparity in how doctors prescribe heart drugs
    Americans without health coverage are 6% to 12% less likely than those who have insurance to be prescribed drugs for heart disease, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Patients treated at clinics where many uninsured patients receive care were the least likely to be prescribed heart drugs. Reuters (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Challenges affect shared decision-making
    Inadequate clinical information systems, insufficient provider training and heavy workloads are among the biggest obstacles primary care practices face when implementing shared decision-making, a study published in Health Affairs found. "To meet this challenge, we recommend that such [accountable care] organizations carefully plan their implementation of shared decision making and make substantial long-term investments in information systems, provider training and process reengineering," researchers wrote. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • Mostashari: Care coordination, payment and value fuel HIE growth
    Most groups that already are exchanging health data cite business value for patients and doctors as the key driver for HIEs. On the whole, HIEs are "trending toward care coordination, trending to the arc of payment, trending toward value not volume," National HIT Coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari said during a joint HIT Policy and Standards Committees hearing. Government Health IT online (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • Study: Docs recommend mobile apps to patients
    Doctors are using mobile health applications to access drug data at the point of care and ensure that the drugs they prescribe won't harm their patients, according to a study by Epocrates. The survey also found that more than 40% of physicians are recommending mobile apps to patients, often for patient education, healthy lifestyle tools and chronic disease management. Healthcare IT News (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • HHS: Cutting outdated Medicare rules could save $676M yearly
    HHS proposed eliminating some outdated Medicare regulations to save health care providers and hospitals about $3.4 billion in five years, or $676 million a year. "By eliminating outdated or overly burdensome requirements, hospitals and health care professionals can focus on treating patients," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. Reuters (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AHRQ director is leaving after 10 years
    Dr. Carolyn Clancy will step down as director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Since taking the post in 2003, Clancy "has led the agency to empower patients to plan an active role in their health care, such as through creating tools that assess patients' perspectives on their care, now an essential part of value-based purchasing for hospitals," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • Physician Payment Sunshine rule released, ACC to provide detailed analysis
    As required by the Affordable Care Act, the CMS has disseminated the final regulations implementing the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (also referred to as PPSA or the Sunshine Act). The regulations, overdue by a number of months, set forth the requirements imposed upon industry regarding the public reporting of payments made by industry and group purchasing organizations to physicians and teaching hospitals. Due to the delayed release of the regulations the GPOs will not begin collecting until Aug. 1, with reporting to CMS by March 1, 2014. The ACC is in the process of reviewing these regulations and will provide a more detailed analysis and additional resources in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned to and The ACC Advocate for updates. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • JACC literature review looks at paravalvular leak after TAVR
    A comprehensive review of the medical literature on paravalvular leak after transcatheter aortic valve replacement published Jan. 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology evaluated the association between paravalvular leaks and mortality, and other clinical outcomes in patients who undergo TAVR as well the assessment and treatment of the condition. The study indicates that PVL is associated with an increase in late mortality. In addition, the authors cite the PARTNER (Placement of Aortic Transcatheter Valves) trial which showed that 66% of patients who underwent TAVR had mild or trace leaks, and 12% had moderate or severe leaks. PARTNER also showed that all-cause mortality resulting from the leaks was similar to that of surgical aortic valve replacement at two years post-procedure (33.9% vs. 35.0%, respectively), but that paravalvular regurgitation was more frequent after TAVR and was associated with increased late mortality. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Failure changes for the better, success for the worse."
--Seneca the Younger,
Roman philosopher, statesman and playwright

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