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January 8, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Does greater spending lead to better outcomes?
    An analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed 21 of the 61 studies reviewed found a connection between higher health care spending and better patient outcomes. However, researchers noted that 18 studies linked higher spending on care to worse outcomes, while 22 studies were unable to document a clear relationship between spending and quality. Reuters (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Practice Management 
  • GAO: Payers track performance, pay incentives at group level
    A Government Accountability Office report that looked at the practices of nine private payers showed they measure performance and provide incentives at the physician group level rather than by individual doctors. Payments also were based on nationally endorsed performance metrics and fixed performance targets. The GAO said the CMS could benefit from using some of the protocols in its performance-based reimbursements. (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  Products & Innovation 
  • Study: Hydrogen peroxide vapor disinfects hospital rooms
    A Johns Hopkins Hospital study that used Bioquell robots to disinfect rooms with hydrogen peroxide vapor showed the method reduced the number of patients contaminated with common drug-resistant bacteria by 64%. The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, found the method reduced the risk of vancomycin-resistant enterococci infection by 80%. Palm Beach Daily News (Fla.) (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Digital health firms develop products to boost drug compliance
    Digital health companies, some of which are in talks with drugmakers, are developing products aimed at improving patient adherence, including smart pill boxes and even bottles that remind patients to take their medications. Another company developed an FDA-approved smart pill, a sensor that can be implanted in a drug and ingested, transmitting a signal to record the time a drug was taken. (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Legislator introduces bill to improve federal support for telemedicine
    Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., has introduced the Telehealth Promotion Act of 2012 that would boost federal financial support for telemedicine services. The bill, which has received support from the American Telemedicine Association, would improve current Medicare and Medicaid initiatives by launching new programs using telehealth to augment care. Healthcare IT News (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Health care spending may be poised to accelerate, report finds
    Data from a CMS report showed U.S. spending on health care grew by 3.9% in 2011, marking the third year in a row of relatively small increases in spending. However, the report suggests spending growth may pick up in the coming years as the economy rebounds. The report appears in the journal Health Affairs. Reuters (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • ACC.13 to focus on Discovery to Delivery
    This year, the ACC will take their heart to San Francisco for the 62nd Annual Scientific Session & Expo (ACC.13) held March 9 to 11. With the theme “Discovery to Delivery,” the meeting will explore integrating knowledge into practice in relation to science and education that can help health care providers improve patient care. At ACC.13, attendees will have the opportunity to choose from 16 learning pathways with topics ranging from congenital to intervention, imaging to heart failure, prevention to quality care and all the topics in between. Register before Jan. 30 in order to save on registration and housing. In addition, be sure to download the ACC.13 eMeeting Planner App to easily explore sessions, presentations and speakers. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New CardioSmart Community focuses on patient-centered care
    The College has recently launched a new CardioSmart Community in order to provide physicians with the value of patient-centered care. Patients are beginning to take initiative of their health, with a desire to be a part of their care and work with their doctors as part of a team. Andrew Freeman, MD, FACC, editor-in-chief of the new community, discusses the value of patient-centered care in an video interview by saying that “patient-centered care is nothing new, but the way it’s implemented is new. The purpose of this site is to help educate our cardiovascular providers on how to implement patient-center care.” Watch the interview. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
It is wise to keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final."
--Roger Babson,
American entrepreneur and business theorist

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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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