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In reversal, US to raise Medicare Advantage payment rate
In a reversal that followed intense lobbying from the health insurance industry and members of Congress, the U.S. government said it will increase the payment rate for health insurers that offer coverage through the popular Medicare Advantage program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said on Monday it will increase the rate by 3.3 percent in 2014, reversing a 2.3 percent cut announced in February.
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Is your OR prepared to treat retrobulbar hematoma?
The ASF Source
Retrobulbar hematoma is a rare but potentially devastating intraoperative complication that can result from both otolaryngic and ophthalmologic procedures. However, a calm and immediate
appropriate response can drastically reduce morbidity.
Operating room checklist by Lorne Rosenfield, MD
The ASF Source
Our "job" in the operating room has often been likened to that of a pilot. However, there is a singular sobering but critical difference: The commercial pilot has a very personal and consistent incentive to fly safely, while the surgeon has the treacherous freedom to walk away unscathed regardless of the outcome! It is for this simple reason that premeditated measures must be designed and implemented within the operating room to fill this perilous "risk" vacuum. One such tool that has proven to be consistently successful is a comprehensive surgical checklist.
Optimizing patient-ventilator interaction: Reducing asynchrony
Anesthesiology News and General Surgery News
There is an established association between patient-ventilator asynchrony and the duration of mechanical ventilation. Asynchrony results from a mismatch between patient and ventilator efforts and arises due to the complex relationship between patient parameters and characteristics of the support mode. Clinical decisions regarding ventilator support modes may alter the incidence of asynchrony and mitigate the risk of deleterious systemic effects.
AMBULATORY SURGICAL CENTERS
Infection prevention checklist for outpatient settings
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC has issued a companion checklist to its "Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care." The checklist helps ensure facilities have appropriate infection prevention policies in place, as well as appropriate supplies on hand. It also allows administrators to systematically assess personnel adherence to infection control practices.
Price transparency in healthcare: The latest buzzwords
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Unless you're totally oblivious to all forms of media from TV, print or Internet, you've probably heard about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. One of the main goals of the legislation is to bring down healthcare costs by several means: cutting reimbursements, decreasing the amount insurance companies spend on salaries, etc. One hope of the new law is to decrease costs by increasing competition on healthcare plans. How do they plan to do this? Price transparency, my friend.
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Maryland pushes bill to increase oversight of cosmetic surgery centers
The Baltimore Sun
A bill to give health regulators in Maryland more oversight of facilities like the shuttered Monarch Medspa in Timonium is making a late surge in the General Assembly after weeks of discussions among state and industry officials. The House of Delegates unanimously passed the legislation April 1. It needs to clear the Senate, including an extra procedural step, within the next week as the legislative session draws to a close April 8. If passed, the law would close a regulatory gap that does not allow state health officials to proactively inspect and oversee plastic surgery centers.
5 technologies that will change medicine in the next 5 years
Advances in medical technology during the past five years have been impressive. But even more impressive: the widespread adoption of a scant few of those technologies. The following five trends stand a chance of being adopted soon, dramatically changing the way medicine is practiced.
Thousands lose telemedicine access as Medicare redraws map
Even as telemedicine is increasingly proven to help keep chronic diseases under control and gains acceptance among patients, some of the neediest Medicare beneficiaries will be losing access to this valuable service as the government redraws county maps across the country. Medicare patients in 97 counties from Hawaii to Puerto Rico to Minnesota will be redefined as living in "metropolitan" areas, precluding them from receiving Medicare coverage for video conferencing and other telehealth activities, even though 80 percent of beneficiaries live in urban counties such as those cut from the list.
'Bedless hospital' trend could reshape clinical lab testing
Here's a trend that should catch the attention of every clinical laboratory manager and pathologist working in a hospital. New hospitals are being designed and built around a new treatment paradigm: that tomorrow's patients will get sophisticated treatment, then mostly go home to sleep in their own beds.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
OUTPATIENT PHYSICAL THERAPY CLINICS
Top iPad apps for physical, occupational therapists
Fusion Medical Staffing
With the use of the tablet becoming increasingly more popular in therapy facilities, Fusion Medical has highlighted some of the staff's favorite iPad apps for physical and occupational therapists. All of these apps are available for purchase through your iTunes account or App Store on your device.
Take your PT practice for a walk on the green side
Spring means energy, vibrancy and positivity, so be sure to channel all of that into bettering your clinic. Consider a spring cleaning day or some sprucing up to freshen your practice's decor or layout. Perhaps you can start new wellness initiatives in your community, or consider new initiatives internally.
5 best-kept secrets about music therapy
As the state of Colorado observed Music Therapy Month in March, one practice has identified some of the best-kept secrets about music therapy that shouldn't be secrets.
ASF INTERNATIONAL CLINICS
Dental tourism options expand with new accredited facility in Guatemala
Guatemala is at the crossroads of the world, and a newly accredited dental clinic is expanding the options for dental tourists to visit the country. Dr. James Hazbun and Dr. James L. Hazbun and staff have had the benefit of caring for hundreds of patients who travel to Guatemala to seek dental expertise. Most out-of-town patients are able to return home within five days, and during their stay in Guatemala, heart of the Mayan world, they can explore a culture and country rich in history and natural resources.
Reassortment of flu viruses most likely in China, Nile delta
HealthDay News via Physician's Briefing
The potential for reassortment between human and avian influenza viruses underscores that emerging diseases arise at the convergence of the human and animal domains, according to a study published in the April issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Related: Livestock-to-human MRSA transmission confirmed (Food Safety News)
Pioneering reconstructive surgery by Vietnamese doctors recognized
A pioneering method of reconstructive surgery by Vietnamese doctors has been recognized by a prestigious German foundation, and one surgeon, Dr. Nguyen The Hoang, has won plaudits for his outstanding achievements in the field.
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