|This message contains images. If you don't see images, click here to view.|
Advertise in this news brief.
ABEM free PQRS MOC Additional Incentive Program Webinar
ABEM has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to participate in the 2013 PQRS MOC Additional Incentive Program. Participating diplomates are eligible to receive 0.5 percent reimbursement for 2013 Medicare billings.
To find out about the requirements and the process for receiving the incentive, you can join ABEM at a FREE webinar about the PQRS MOC Incentive Program. The live webinar will take place on Sept. 25, from 1-2 p.m. Eastern. If you will be joining the live webinar, you must register; click here to do so. If you will not be joining the FREE, live event, you will be able to view it shortly afterward on the PQRS Webinar page on the ABEM website.
Visit the PQRS MOC Additional Incentive Payment page on the ABEM website for further details.
ACEP's Saving Millions Campaign
As part of ACEP's Saving Millions campaign, ACEP is running ads in the national edition of USA Today and the Dallas (regional) edition. Congress is back in session this week, and so ads are also running in Politico.
In addition, the Saving Millions Web pages have been upgraded and include a new Infographic about the value of emergency medicine.
Politico Ad & Sticker for front page
USA Today Ads
Statewide Safe Sleep Campaign offers free resources to first responders
Florida Department of Children and Families
In 2011-2012, 90 Florida babies had confirmed deaths due to unsafe sleep.
These tragedies could have been prevented, and now Florida government agencies, state officials, nonprofit organizations and first responders are coming together to launch The Safe Sleep Campaign. The campaign will kick-off on Sept. 25 and provide free online training and materials to Florida's first responders in an effort to prevent unsafe sleep during routine calls and interactions with the public.
In addition to the free materials, many local stations will be serving as drop-off locations for new, donated pack-n-plays (portable cribs) which will be distributed to families in need by the local Healthy Start Coalitions.
For more information, to access to free resources, pack n play drop-off info, and a full list of partners, visit www.MyFLFamilies.com/SafeSleep.
FCEP Job Bank: NEW JOBS!
New jobs were added to the Job Bank on Sept. 8, 2013.
EMERGENCY MEDICINE IN THE NEWS
Medicare proposes flat facility fee for all ED visits
Modern Healthcare via The Advisory Board Company
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may do away with its sliding scale for ED overhead and staffing costs and instead pay hospitals a flat "facility" fee for all Medicare visits, regardless of treatment intensity, Fred Schulte writes in Modern Healthcare. Currently, CMS has five escalating price codes for facility fees, which are intended to cover ED overhead and staffing costs. Those codes range from $51.82 for a Level 1 visit to $344.71 for a Level 5 visit. Hospitals argue they need the fees to defray the costs of expensive medical technologies.
Lack of Medicaid expansion puts some Floridians in new doughnut hole
Nearly 1 million Floridians will fall through a large doughnut hole next month when the health insurance exchange — a key element in the Affordable Care Act — opens. The unintended coverage gap in the new health-care law will put a large group of uninsured residents right in the middle — not earning enough to qualify for tax credits available through the exchange, but earning too much to qualify for Medicaid. On the flipside, more than 1.7 million Floridians will be able to enroll in the exchange and receive a tax credit to make their health premiums more affordable, according to an analysis from Families USA recently released.
Easing the bite on the ED
Hospitals & Health Networks
Several factors have combined to create the dental access crisis in the United States. The lackluster economy caused businesses to drop dental insurance or increase cost-sharing. At the same time, budget woes caused many states to eliminate or trim Medicaid dental benefits for adults, which are optional. Even when coverage is available, the rates often are so low that dentists are unwilling to take Medicaid patients. As a result, millions of Americans, particularly those with low incomes, lack access to routine dental care. People with problems, that could have been prevented or easily treated at the dentist's office, wind up seeking care at the hospital emergency department.
Electronic records tied to fewer hospitalizations
Switching from paper to electronic medical records at health clinics led to "modest reductions" in the number of people with diabetes that went to the emergency room or were hospitalized, in a new study. Researchers looking at before-and-after rates found both ER visits and hospital admissions dropped by between 5 and 6 percent once the computerized records were put in place, but that there was no change in the frequency of office visits.
Study finds high rate of post-surgical ED visits among seniors
A new study revealed that post-surgical emergency visits may become a solid measure of hospital quality. The study, published in the September issue of the journal Health Affairs, found nearly one in five older adults who have common operations on their hearts, hips, backs, colons and major blood vessels will end up in the emergency room within a month of their hospital stay.
Feds propose shakeup for emergency room billing
The Center for Public Integrity
Federal officials for more than a decade have let hospitals decide on their own how much to charge Medicare for certain emergency room overhead and staffing costs called "facility" fees — a controversial policy some critics believe invites overcharges. Now in a major turnabout, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are seeking tighter controls over the fees as part of a plan to redirect billions of dollars Medicare spends annually on outpatient healthcare.
Evidence-based medicine: Art, science or both?
By Dr. Maureen Anderson
In this digital age, emergency department physicians have immediate access to reams of data, guidelines, algorithms, etc., to help us care for patients. This is great in our fast-paced ED environment — but we must not lose sight of the fact that we are caring for individuals, each with a unique profile, who may or may not benefit from a given intervention. This is where the "art" of medicine plays a role.
An update on synthetic and designer drugs seen in the ED
By Maria Frisch
The use and abuse of novel, synthetic or plant-based drugs is an unfortunate trend seen among many emergency department patients. Use of these drugs can cause seizure, kidney injury, rhabdomyolysis, acute coronary syndrome and more. Without awareness of current drugs of abuse, these cases may present as both elusive and complex. Therefore, this article provides a summary of the types of novel drugs that may show up in your ED.
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063