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December 4, 2012
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Mass. hospital system uses software to reduce readmissions
    UMass Memorial Health Care is using transaction analytics software to track patients admitted to its five hospitals in an effort to reduce readmissions for patients with heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia. The system was penalized by Medicare for high readmission rates and the software is designed to flag at-risk patients, prompting physicians and nurses to do follow-up care. The Wall Street Journal/CIO Report (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • QI program reduces colorectal surgery site infections
    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles reduced surgical site infections in patients having colorectal procedures by more than 60% using a quality improvement program that included having patients shower using antiseptic solutions the day before surgery. The QI protocol also included sterilizing the surgical site, using antiseptic wipes afterward, antibiotic therapy, and having surgical teams use wound protectors and change gowns, gloves and instruments once the contaminated portion of the procedure was finished. News (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Watch Dr. Clyde Yancy and other cardiology experts discuss new cardiovascular therapies, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemias, ACS and AFIB. Complimentary, online continuing medical education video sessions are presented by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Join us on DECEMBER 5 & 6, 2012.
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  Practice Management 
  • Hospital trend of employing physicians causes controversy
    The hospital trend of buying up physician practices has hit a boiling point in Boise, Idaho, as the area's largest health system is accused of having too much market control, affecting patient care and procedure costs. While some policy experts say moving away from independent practices makes health care less fragmented and expensive, some physicians say hospitals are pressuring them to admit more patients to meet financial targets. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey explores physicians' use of mobile devices, websites
    According to a comScore study evaluating physicians' Web and device use, EMRs saw the greatest number of visits per site and the longest duration of use compared with other websites for health care professionals. Researchers also found tablet computers are gaining prominence, with 44% of physicians using the devices and a majority saying they prefer using them over mobile phones. EHR Intelligence (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  Products & Innovation 
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Cost of 1-year SGR fix increases by $7 billion, CBO says
    The Congressional Budget Office said a one-year fix of Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula for 2013, to stop a 26.5% physician pay cut, will cost $25 billion -- $7 billion more than earlier estimated. American Medical Association President Dr. Jeremy Lazarus said a short-term approach to put off cuts will not work to fix the flawed SGR formula, which should be eliminated. American Medical News (free content) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • How Much Does CMS Value-Based Purchasing Affect You?
    Be sure to join the ACC today at 3 p.m. for a webinar on value-based purchasing. CMS will begin to adjust payment for quality and cost of care starting with groups of 100 or more professionals in 2015. Because of data collection requirements, this payment adjustment will be based on performance in 2013. Physicians in large groups will have an option to participate in the payment adjustment but must participate in PQRS as a group to avoid being penalized as a low quality provider. This webinar will provide information, instruction and resources to help practices understand the implications of their participation in 2013 PQRS and the components of the value-based modifier that may impact their payment in 2015. Register today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ACC President Highlights New Imperative for Medical Imaging
    In a recent ACC in Touch Blog post, as well as in his most recent President’s Page in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, ACC President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC, focuses on the past, present and future of cardiovascular imaging. He also highlights the need for what he considers to be a "new imperative" for medical imaging given the increasing trend towards a more value-driven health care system and the fact that technology will continue to improve, enhancing our ability to diagnose and treat patients earlier. "Novel technologies need to show a positive effect in patient care and outcome since ultimately, our driving concern is to achieve the triple aim of quality care, reasonable cost, and the health of the population," he says. Meanwhile, Zoghbi also highlights the many ACC tools and resources available to help cardiovascular professionals ensure appropriate imaging. Read more. 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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