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January 31, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Intermountain Healthcare finds lower-cost care is not always best
    Studies done at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah show the least expensive cancer care is not always the best quality care and spending more money upfront in some cases leads to lower costs overall. Researchers found when there is wide variation in physician care for patients with complex illnesses, such as cancer, training on policies, data and peer feedback can result in higher compliance with standards of care. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ohio initiative reduces hospitalizations, saves $20 million
    The Better Health quality improvement program in northeastern Ohio reduced hospitalizations for cardiovascular conditions by 10.7% in 2011, with three-year program savings totaling more than $20 million. The program uses primary care physicians to improve the quality of care for multiple chronic conditions. Healthcare Finance News (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • 6 key factors that determine ACO readiness
    An accountable care organization's readiness is determined by six primary factors, according to an in-depth review of 59 groups operating 88 different hospitals. These include existing relationships with other providers, an advanced EHR system coupled with a health information exchange adoption strategy and clinical integration across the entire spectrum of care. (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • ACCF, AHA boost care with EHR data elements, cardiology definitions
    A set of standard definitions for cardiology and EHR data elements was recently developed by the American College of Cardiology Foundation and American Heart Association to boost communication among health care professionals. "We hope that these data definitions can advance research and clinical care, to increase the adoption of both proven old therapies and new innovations in cardiology," said Dr. Christopher Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and chairman of the writing committee. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to avoid the common complaints about EMR adoption
    The transition to EMRs can sometimes trigger concerns about workflow disruptions, training gaps and reduced productivity among doctors and hospital staff. Carl Medley II of re_group offers four ways to avoid these complaints, including leveraging additional resources during the changeover and allowing enough time for thorough training. (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  • ONC issues reports on services that will back HIE operations
    A series of reports has been issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to make health care providers more familiar with the different high-impact services that support health information exchange. The themes covered include master data management, query-based exchange and consumer participation in HIE. Healthcare IT News (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tech challenge targets tools to address urgent health needs
    The Innovate Health Tech NYC challenge, launched by the New York City Economic Development Corp. and Health 2.0, calls on developers to create commercially viable tools, such as analytics software and mobile applications, to address "urgent health care problems." The contest, which runs through May 2, will give three winners prizes totaling $50,000. (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Senator's bill to target physician shortage in U.S.
    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Tuesday he would introduce a bill to address the shortage of primary care physicians before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act's individual insurance mandate, insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion next year. The bill would include funding to expand community health centers and the National Health Service Corps. The shortage "has been accentuated by the ACA and 30 million more people getting insurance, so we just got to make sure there is a place for them to go," Sanders said. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (1/29), The Washington Times (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Experts: Higher Medicaid copays may lead to deferred care
    Some health care experts believe a proposal to allow states to charge Medicaid beneficiaries higher copays for some services may lead the poorest people to delay getting needed care until their health condition becomes dire. The plan would give states a tool to discourage patients from seeking care at emergency departments for nonemergent issues and likely would affect hospital-based physicians more than office-based doctors, consultant Jennifer Kowalski of Avalere Health said. American Medical News (free content) (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • ACC president discusses opportunity to shape the future
    In a recent President’s Page column in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, William A. Zoghbi, MD, FACC, president of the American College of Cardiology, along with Anne M. Gillis, MD, FRCPC, FHRS, president of the Heart Rhythm Society, and J. Jeffrey Marshall, MD, FACC, FSCAI, president of the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, discuss the growing role of public reporting. They touch on the historical background of public reporting, and share their principles and concerns, in addition to opportunities for registries and professional societies to implement public reporting. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • American Heart Month activities abound
    February is American Heart Month! Join CardioSmart, The Heart Truth and Centric TV, a part of Black Entertainment Television Networks, for a special Heart Month Twitter chat held Feb. 1 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. To participate, follow @CardioSmart on Twitter and use the hashtag #myheartchat. The American College of Cardiology has also partnered with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to support women's heart health through The Heart Truth® Red Dress Collectionâ„  2013 Fashion Show on Feb. 6 as part of Fashion Week in New York City. In addition, the College will also hold a number of other activities throughout the month for ACC members and the public. Learn how you can get involved and be a part of Heart Month! 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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