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Operational assessment in strategic planning
Hospitals & Health Networks    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Forthcoming changes in hospital payment will require significant transformations in care delivery from hospitals and health systems. The shift to value-based payment mandates that hospitals and health systems do more with less. To be successful, organizations will need to cut costs, enhance operational efficiencies and improve quality and outcomes. More

Better transitions curb post-op complications, readmissions
FierceHealthcare    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 40 percent of all patients who experience complications after surgery experience them at home, according to a November study in the journal Archives of Surgery, suggesting hospitals are sending patients home sooner than they should. With hefty Medicare penalties for excess readmissions, hospitals should focus on improving post-discharge outcomes, given that almost one in 10 general surgery patients return to the hospital with postoperative complications. That doesn't mean keeping patients in the hospital longer, but rather enhanced monitoring of patients after they leave the facility. The researchers called for "fastidious" triage at discharge and prompt patient follow-up. More

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Physician pay a major unknown despite health reform certainty
American Medical News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama's victory in the November election clears up one major element of uncertainty on how the nation will proceed with health system reform. The Obama administration will move ahead with implementing the Affordable Care Act's payment and coverage reforms in the coming months. For doctors, "the things we've been talking about for the last year-and-a-half in terms of new ways of being paid, quality reporting, concerns about cost, transparency and quality" all remain important, said Laura Jacobs, executive vice president with the Camden Group, a business advisory consulting firm. Still, now that the focus is squarely on ACA implementation, the physician community faces many new health system variables — especially when it comes to payment from both public and private payers. More

New tool aids patient information exchange for skilled nursing facilities
Health Data Management    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Keystone Beacon Community serving central Pennsylvania, one of 17 federally funded communities across the nation serving as model sites for comprehensive use of health information technology, has developed a tool to enable skilled nursing facilities to share patient information, whether it is a paper or electronic health record. More

HHS issues 2014 rules for health plans, exchanges
HealthLeaders Media    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Regulation of the health insurance industry for 2014 recently became clearer, as the Obama administration issued a raft of proposed rules that would bar discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, incentivize wellness with rate reductions and set standards for state insurance exchanges. More

ICD-10 best practices: Preparing for a successful transition
HER Intelligence    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
ICD-10 represents a dramatic shift in the way medical coding is conducted, using nearly five times as many codes as ICD-9. While the increase in codes will add greater specificity and detail to patient charts, resulting in more accurate billing and better descriptions of procedures, complaints and illnesses, the switch will require providers to make significant changes in the way they handle coding and billing processes. Only 24 percent of ICD-9 codes have a direct correlation with ICD-10, meaning coders and physicians will need to absorb new knowledge in order to use the system effectively. More

Transitional care bridges treatment gaps, cuts hospital re-admissions
MyCentralJersey    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With no one available to transport him to his appointments to follow up with his doctors, a legally blind man finds himself readmitted to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for heart failure. Thanks to the hospital's Transitional Care Program, the patient is diligently monitored by hospital staff and RWJ visiting nurses so that he can get the care he needs. As a result of provisions in the Affordable Care Act, beginning in October, many state hospitals will lose a portion of their regular Medicare reimbursements because of high re-admission rates for certain conditions, such as congestive heart failure, within a month of discharge. Efforts like the Transitional Care Program at RWJ are responses to this change and are part of an overall effort to improve the quality of care provided and keep patients healthy at home. More

Competition escalates: Public vs. private health information exchanges
InformationWeek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Community and statewide health information exchanges are becoming increasingly concerned about competition from enterprise HIEs and health IT system vendors offering HIE solutions, according to the 2012 report on Health Information Exchange by the eHealth Initiative. However, the report also finds that the number of operational public HIEs is continuing to increase and that the majority of HIE initiatives are supporting new reform models such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes. More

Hospitals check into social media
Times Union    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Capital Region hospitals in New York are dabbling in social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Like many businesses, they grapple with the best way to use the platform, but they have stopped debating whether they need to. "A hospital without an engaging social media presence soon may be viewed with the same suspicion as a business that has no Website," said a white paper by the Healthcare Association of New York State. The paper, titled "Health Care Social Media: Getting Executives on Board" cited research from a market research group that said "81 percent of consumers believe that if a hospital has a strong social media presence, it is likely to be more cutting edge." More


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