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Attention Morris County family physicians
On Sept. 16 Morristown Medical Center and the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence are offering a presentation on addiction, opioids, The NJ Good Samaritan Act and naloxone. Click read more for further details.
Certified Medical Examiner prep course for CDL Examinations — 2 question survey
As you may know the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) with requirements that all medical examiners who conduct physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers meet the following criteria: 1) Complete certain training concerning FMCSA's physical qualification standards, 2) pass a test to verify an understanding of those standards and 3) maintain and demonstrate competence through periodic training and testing. NJAFP has had many requests to offer a preparation course for those who wish to sit for the exam. To ensure we meet the needs of our members, please click the link to take a very brief two question survey.
FSMB completes drafting process for interstate medical licensing compact
Fierce Health IT
The Federation of State Medical Boards announced the completion of the drafting process for an interstate compact for physician licensure. The interstate compact will help to reduce barriers for physicians who are looking to obtain medical licenses in multiple states, and will help facilitate licensure portability and telemedicine, according to the announcement. A recent revision to the proposal in July added changes to strengthen patient protections and streamline the requirements for licensures across states.
Survey: EHRs cause physicians to lose 48 minutes per day
As a physician, free time is a scarce enough commodity without having to factor in convoluted EHR workflows and frozen computers, but a large number of providers surveyed by the American College of Physicians are still reporting significant productivity losses due to their EHR technology. In a letter published in JAMA, participants in the poll reported an average of 48 minutes lost each day to EHR woes including sluggish record retrieval and cumbersome documentation processes.
Study: Patient-centered medical homes reduce ER visits among chronically ill
Chronically ill patients who receive care from a patient-centered medical home experienced fewer emergency visits, according to a study that analyzed claims data by Independence Blue Cross and CTI Clinical and Consulting Services. Using claims data from approximately 460,000 Independence beneficiaries enrolled in 280 primary care practices, the study found that the transition to a medical home was associated with a statistically significant 5 to 8 percent reduction in emergency department visits.
Improving performance: Show me, don't just tell me
By Christina Thielst
It is amazing how much you can learn about how processes really work by talking to staff, physicians, patients and others involved in those processes. However, actually observing the workflow and how processes unfold can shine a bright light on what really happens — especially when it comes to patient care. During my career I've had the occasion to ask for a process to be explained and am usually able to identify a few opportunities for improvement with the help of the subject-matter expert offering the description. I've also reached out to others, especially those who have responsibility for processes that intersect with or impact the one being explored.
3 ways to improve physician engagement
Physician engagement is more important than ever as healthcare shifts toward value-based purchasing models like accountable care organizations, John Wallace, vice president and general manager of ACO services at McKesson, writes in Becker's Hospital Review. Part of the challenge of adjusting to these new models is bringing independent-minded physicians into alignment with more team-based models, Wallace writes, which providers can accomplish with several strategies.
What has physicians concerned with cost transparency?
As patients assume more responsibility for the cost of their healthcare, they will need access to information that can benefit their financial decision-making. This is one driving force behind increasing the transparency of pricing for healthcare services by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This push, however, has many healthcare providers uneasy not because they are opposed to transparency but because they have concerns about the accuracy and context of these data.
Medicare covers less when a hospital stay is an observation, not an admission
The Washington Post
An increasing number of seniors who spend time in the hospital are surprised to learn that they were not "admitted" patients — even though they may have stayed overnight in a hospital bed and received treatment, diagnostic tests and drugs. Because they were not considered sick enough to require admission but also were not healthy enough to go home, they were kept for observation care, a type of outpatient service.
NJ groups get $1.9 million from federal government to provide navigators for ACA sign-ups
The federal government announced it has awarded $1.9 million to New Jersey organizations to provide navigators that would help individuals sign up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act. They would take effect in time for the open enrollment period for 2015 plans that begins Nov. 15
Hospital patients benefit from new rooms, Princeton HealthCare System CEO says
Times of Trenton via NJ.com
Back when the dream of a new hospital was just a series of blueprints, officials took two patient rooms at the former University Medical Center at Princeton out of rotation and did some redesigning. They constructed a functional, single-patient room with a hands-free sink, sliding bathroom door and a computer for caregivers to document patient information, among other features they tried out with patients and staff a year before opening the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, New Jersey, in May 2012.
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