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March 7, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Study: Patient safety strategies improve diagnostic accuracy
    Stanford University researchers analyzed data from 109 studies and found diagnostic accuracy and patient management increased when technology-based strategies were used to help prevent diagnostic errors. The study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found the use of text message alerts for physicians was a promising strategy. Reuters (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report IDs 6 primary areas of focus for ACO metrics
    A report by MedeAnalytics revealed accountable care organization metrics fall into six major categories including pediatric, ambulatory and acute care. Researchers also found commercial ACOs were more likely to focus on ambulatory processes and cost reduction, while Medicare ACOs were more focused on quality outcomes. (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Younger heart failure patients show less improvement in outcomes
    Heart failure patients aged 54 and younger saw the least improvement in outcomes in terms of hospitalizations, length of hospital stay and mortality rate within 30 days of admission between 2001 and 2009, a U.S. study showed. During the study period, heart failure-related hospitalizations dropped about 37% for adults aged 65 and older, compared to 13% for adults ages 18 to 44 and 16% for patients between 45 and 55. The findings appear in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Reuters (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Hospitals prescribe anger management for misbehaving doctors
    Some hospitals are taking steps such as mandating anger management classes to address disruptive behavior by doctors. Up to 5% of doctors can exhibit inappropriate displays of anger, experts say, and this article cites a surgeon who injured a technician by slamming down a malfunctioning piece of equipment. Regulations adopted in 2009 require hospitals to have policies addressing disruptive behavior. Kaiser Health News/The Washington Post (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Research ties public reporting to quality improvement
    A study in Health Affairs revealed doctor groups that reported their quality data publicly were compelled to improve performance. The research evaluated 20 physician groups participating in the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, finding overall improvement on reported metrics and better performance on certain publicly reported testing metrics than comparison groups. (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  • Study: Docs at risk of losing $43,743 after EHR implementation
    Doctors on average might lose $43,743 within five years after EHR implementation, according to a study in Health Affairs. The study also showed that only 27% of participating practices with EHRs could have a positive return on investment during the time frame. The study found that practices that used EHRs as a tool to increase revenue, whether by improving billing or seeing more patients, were more likely to see positive returns. (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Products & Innovation 
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • ICD-10 transition to move forward, CMS says
    CMS announced that the shift to ICD-10 codes will continue without additional delays, meaning providers must begin using the new codes Oct. 1, 2014. "Many in the health industry are under way with the necessary system changes to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Halting this progress midstream would be costly, burdensome, and would eliminate the impending benefits of these investments," said acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. American Medical News (free content) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HHS makes plans to publicize new health coverage options
    HHS in July plans to start advertising the availability of health insurance through public marketplaces and the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, though enrollment is not open until October and coverage would not begin until January. HHS plans to work with hospitals and community organizations to spread the word. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • Bring your heart to San Francisco for ACC.13
    ACC.13 is just around the corner, and with a focus on the transformation of cardiovascular care — from discovery to delivery – there isn’t a dull moment. One of many sessions not to miss is the Opening Showcase Session that kicks off ACC.13 at 8 a.m. PT on Saturday, March 9. Don’t miss keynote lectures from cardiovascular legend Valentin Fuster, MD, MACC, and ACC President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC, as well as the meeting’s first Late Breaking Clinical Trials. In addition, famed television and radio host Larry King will receive the first-ever CardioSmart Patient Advocate Award. In order for attendees to make the most of their experience, the ACC has created the ACC.13 eMeeting Planner App. Attendees can also stay connected through the ACC’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the ACC in Touch Blog. Attendees are encouraged to participate in the conversations on Twitter by using the hashtag #ACC13. For more information including all of the ways to stay connected at ACC.13, visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The Year in Retrospect: Becoming CardioSmarter
    In the latest JACC President’s Page, ACC President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC, looks back on his transformative year as president and highlights numerous achievements the College has made in moving toward patient-centered care. With cardiovascular disease accounting for 30% of deaths globally and trending upwards, the need for engaging patients in their own care has never been greater. Zoghbi shares how CardioSmart is meeting the demands of cardiologists by making available patient education resources and tools that aim to reverse this dire trend. CardioSmart is also bringing patients and physicians together in communities around the U.S. and is reaching out around the world. “I am confident that we are ‘CardioSmarter’ than when we began this journey together, and I look forward to a healthier future for us all,” writes Zoghbi. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Scientific progress makes moral progress a necessity; for if man's power is increased, the checks that restrain him from abusing it must be strengthened."
--Anne Louise Germaine de Staël,
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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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