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January 22, 2013
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Transforming Health Care from the Inside Out

  First Focus 
  • Insurers push hospitals to reduce nonmedical early births
    Some health insurers have stopped paying for early elective deliveries, while UnitedHealthcare is increasing payments to hospitals that reduce their numbers in an effort to avoid NICU stays and the risk of complications. Medicare plans to begin a program in July requiring hospitals to report elective deliveries before 39 weeks and will penalize facilities for high rates beginning in 2015. Kaiser Health News/The Washington Post (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Electronic palliative care reports reduce hospital admissions
    Unplanned hospital admissions were reduced when emergency department physicians had access to electronic palliative care summary information for cancer patients who arrived outside of regular hours, University of Aberdeen researchers reported in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care. "Pro-active planning for out-of-hours contacts is one way of promoting continuity of care and high quality palliative care and should be encouraged," the authors wrote. MedWire News (U.K.) (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mo. hospital patients get prescriptions filled before discharge
    The Mobile Pharmacy program at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis is helping patients get their prescriptions filled before they are discharged to reduce noncompliance and readmissions. Staff use a Blackberry application that lets patients pay their insurance copays at the bedside, and prescriptions are delivered to their hospital room within 60 minutes. KMOX-AM (St. Louis) (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Medical education model may reduce physician shortage
    The Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program has provided valuable training for electronic health record utilization, team-based care and quality improvement, researchers report in Academic Medicine. The program provides up to $230 million over five years to train more medical residents in community-based centers to help curb physician shortages in underserved communities. American Medical News (free content) (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NCQA offers certification for PCMH consultants
    The National Committee for Quality Assurance has made available the Patient-Centered Medical Homes Content Expert Certification to give "advocates and coaches a way to stand out from their peers by demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of the NCQA PCMH model," and provide practices with "a way to gauge the qualifications of the growing numbers of consultants," a news release stated. Modern Healthcare (free registration) (1/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  E-Health Watch 
  Products & Innovation 
  • AMA offers support to forward-thinking medical schools
    Medical schools that develop innovative programs addressing topics such as patient safety and team-based care may receive a share of $10 million in competitive grants from the American Medical Association. "Rapid changes in healthcare require a transformation in the way we train future physicians," said AMA president Dr. Jeremy Lazarus. Institutions have until Feb. 15 to submit a letter of intent. Modern Physician (free registration) (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Reform Spotlight 
  • HHS boosts patient protections with HIPAA updates
    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the release of HIPAA changes to ensure that the privacy and medical data of patients are protected. The HIPAA update allows patients to request an electronic copy of their EHRs and gives them control over the data that can be shared by their doctors. Healthcare Informatics online (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ACC News 
  • Making New Year Resolutions for 2013: Great Expectations for Cardiology
    Every year on Jan. 1 a number of resolutions are made—and possibly broken—that are health related, such as: eat more vegetables, exercise more, lose weight, reduce stress, get more sleep, etc. CardioSource WorldNews, which is celebrating its first anniversary this month, made a resolution to try to answer the question: "If the field of cardiology were a person, what would its resolutions be for 2013?" Editors from several of the ACC's top peer-reviewed journals covering imaging, interventional cardiology, Heart Failure and more spoke to CSWN about what they were looking forward to in the coming year, and what it would take to follow through on the eight different resolutions decided upon for 2013. Read more about each resolution. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Physicians spend 11% of career with unresolved malpractice claim
    A recent study published in Health Affairs found that the average physician spends roughly 50.7 months, or 11%, of their career with an unresolved, open malpractice claim, an allegation of malpractice against a physician and a request for compensation. "This is powerful evidence of the need for national tort reform," said Richard E. Anderson, M.D., chair and CEO of The Doctors Company. The ACC is partnering with The Doctor's Company on the first ever national program tailored to cardiologists and targeted at reducing risk and premiums specifically for cardiovascular teams. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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American comedian, actor and writer

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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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