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December 11, 2012
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Cleveland Clinic keeps focus on costs, quality
    Doctors at Cleveland Clinic are salaried and on one-year contracts, and they undergo professional reviews each year in an effort to reward quality over quantity, says CEO Delos Cosgrove, whose contract also is renewed annually. The hospital reorganized into institutes focused on disease area instead of separate departments for surgery, medicine and pediatrics. Outcomes and costs are measured and reported, and doctors are aware of how much supplies cost. Business Insider (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Strong growth of ACOs expected in 2013
    Experts predict a rapid increase in the number of accountable care organizations in 2013. "This is becoming a more pervasive phenomenon," said Dr. Norman Chenven of the Austin Regional Clinic. As many as 31 million patients are involved in some way with the ACO model, according to consulting organization Oliver Wyman. American Medical News (free content) (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nurse-led phone support cuts readmissions, reduces costs in study
    Coordinated transitional care, an intervention where nurses meet with high-risk patients before discharge and call them 48 to 72 hours afterward, resulted in reduced readmission rates and saved about $1,225 per case at a Wisconsin hospital, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. "This model requires a relatively small amount of resources to operate and may represent a viable alternative for hospitals seeking to offer improved transitional care as encouraged by the Affordable Care Act," lead author Amy Kind said. (12/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Practice Management 
  • Study supports shorter clinical rotations in hospitals
    Two-week and four-week clinical rotations led to similar rates of patient revisits after hospital discharge, but the shorter rotations could reduce stress and burnout for attending physicians who teach students, Chicago researchers reported in JAMA. Dr. Brian Lucas said education leaders find short rotations are disruptive and "truncate student-teacher relationships" but if they lower stress for attending physicians it could improve relationships with patients and care quality. Medscape (free registration) (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  E-Health Watch 
  Products & Innovation 
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • Proposed essential health benefits regulations issued by HHS
    HHS has proposed regulations on the essential health benefits needed for state health insurance exchanges. The regulations include the 10 specific benefits categories that must be offered in the exchanges, a plan requirement to cover at least one prescription drug in each specified category or class, annual cost-sharing limits, and the minimum value calculations for employer-provided health coverage. The regulations appendix also features a proposed benchmark plan for each state. Employee Benefit News (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • ACC and AHA release changes to current guideline development methodology
    The ACC Foundation and American Heart Association have released a summary of proposed changes to the current ACCF/AHA guideline methodology in an attempt to continue developing timely clinical practice guidelines which meet new Institute of Medicine standards. The recommendations were derived from a two-day intensive Methodology Summit in December 2011 where the ACCF/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines spent time comparing and contrasting current methods against standards set forth by the IOM as the ideal methods for developing a trustworthy practice guidelines. “This was a natural next step in the evolution of our process and methods as we strive to integrate and respond to the continuous stream of new knowledge,” said Alice Jacobs, MD, FACC, immediate past chair of the ACCF/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines. “At the time the IOM report was released, we were already compliant with many of the proposed standards, but we used this as an opportunity to continue to improve.” Learn more about the changes. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ACC announces nominations of new leaders
    The ACC is pleased to announce the new incoming officers for the year 2013. Keeping with tradition, President-Elect John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, will be taking over as president of ACC; with Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, as president-elect and Kim Allan Williams, MD, FACC, as the new vice president. The Board of Trustees is also pleased to announce the following three additional members as trustees: Blair D. Erb, Jr., MD, FACC; Michael J. Mack, MD, FACC; and Debra L. Ness, MS. Read more about the incoming officers. 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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