Health systems should work with community organizations and a broad coalition of stakeholders to improve population health beyond campus borders, says Ninon Lewis, head of content portfolios at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Even small health care organizations should start with a data review strategy that includes analyzing systemwide data on utilization and outcomes and interview patients and health care providers using open-ended questions or motivational interviewing techniques, Lewis says.
An analysis of Medicare claims data on almost 865,000 patients over 65 years who used emergency medical service transport between 2006 and 2012 showed black and Hispanic patients were less likely to be transported to the emergency departments most often used by white patients living in the same ZIP code, even though it was often the closest ED. Hispanic and black patients were more frequently transported to safety-net hospital EDs than their white counterparts, according to the study in JAMA Network Open.
The STROKE Perception Report was tested among patients at 35 US certified stroke centers to determine perceptions of the quality of stroke care. It showed three main themes of fast action to diagnose and treat stroke, genuine caring, and education to prevent and respond to stroke, researchers wrote in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.
Theft of physicians' National Provider Identifier is common in fraud cases, and the victims usually are unaware their NPI has been stolen, says HHS Office of Inspector General special agent Matt Charette. NPIs cannot be completely concealed, but experts say health care providers should stop using it where it is not required, share it only on a need-to-know basis, ensure former employers no longer use it, keep detailed billing records that are backed up externally, and notify the HHS OIG or the CMS Center for Program Integrity if they suspect fraud.
Experts say ransomware, cryptojacking, device hacking, data theft, phishing and insider breaches will remain the primary cyberthreats in health care next year, and health care organizations should patch and update critical systems regularly, train employees and avoid common mistakes like using out-of-office autoreplies. Cybersecurity should be a priority at the board and executive levels, and organizations that cannot afford to hire experts full-time should form partnerships, says Fairwarning CEO Kurt Long.
The Center for Medical Interoperability has launched a program to test the security of patient monitoring systems and map patient vital sign data from multiple devices into clinical systems. Center staff worked with medical device makers and health systems on the Patient Vitals Program, the first under C4MI Verified, to test products for compliance with certain interoperability standards, and more testing standards will be issued in the future.
Physicians with no coding experience used automated deep learning tools to develop a platform to classify medical imaging data, demonstrating that automated deep learning could increase clinical access to advanced analytics, researchers reported in The Lancet Digital Health. Two physicians with no expertise in deep learning developed algorithms for diagnosing health conditions based on retinal fundus, retinal optical coherence tomography, pediatric and adult chest X-ray, and dermatology images.
The CMS should address the problem of patient overlap in its various payment models, such as the Medicare Shared Savings Program and the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, to avoid confusion on which program gets credit for savings on patients' care, stakeholders said. This payment overlap is critical to value-based care reform and the CMS may need to come up with an overarching policy that covers all payment models to address the issue, they said.
Payers, providers and other stakeholders are promoting advance care planning through value-based care models, which could lead to greater use of hospice care. "Advance care planning makes clear the patient's wishes and values for end-of-life care; patients want clinicians to listen and explain things to them and when clinicians explain care and are transparent, patients are happier," said VITAS Healthcare Vice President Brandon Stock.
The ACC is seeking comments on a draft competency statement describing the knowledge and skills of clinical cardiovascular nurse practitioners and physician assistants, including those in general cardiology practice and those working in focused areas of cardiovascular medicine. The document is intended to delineate competencies that one member of the cardiovascular care team can reasonably expect of other members who play complementary roles. Comments from cardiovascular NPs and PAs, cardiologists, and other stakeholders are due by Monday, Sept. 30. Access the document and public comment response form and submit comments to email@example.com.
ACC's CardioSmart team recently developed a suite of tools and resources to help patients with heart failure get off to a good start in managing their condition and knowing what to expect. These tools, including the Heart Failure Action Plan and Heart Failure Video, were created to increase patient engagement and improve the patient-clinician dialogue. Visit CardioSmart.org/MyHFActionPlan for more information and resources.
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