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February 2018
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Medicare readmission reduction program linked to increased mortality rates

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program has had the unintended consequence of increased short- and long-term mortality in heart failure patients, this study finds. Five years ago, as part of the Affordable Care Act, federal policy makers introduced the Hospital Readmission Reduction…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 13, 2017
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One in five physicians intend to reduce work hours or leave the profession

Editor's Note The burden and bureaucracy of today’s practice of medicine are major factors influencing physicians’ intentions to reduce work hours or leave the profession, finds this study from the American Medical Association, Mayo Clinic, and Stanford University. Of nearly 36,000 physicians across all specialties surveyed, 6,880 (19.2%) responded. Nearly 1…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 2, 2017
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Value of voluntary bundled-payment program unclear

Editor's Note For the third year in a row, researchers with the Lewin Group couldn’t determine whether Medicare’s voluntary Bundled Payment for Care Improvement initiative cuts costs and improves care, the October 31 Modern Healthcare reports. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) funded analysis found that although providers…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 1, 2017
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CMS issues guidance on MIPS information blocking component

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new guidance designed to offer clarity on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System’s (MIPS) data blocking component, the October 30 Healthcare Informatics reports. The guidance outlines how MIPS-eligible clinicians can show they are fulfilling the information blocking requirement, which…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 1, 2017
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Manufacturers optimistic about repeal of medical device tax

Editor's Note On October 24, 179 House members (including 43 Democrats) signed a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) calling for repeal of the medical device tax, the October 25 issue of The Hill reports. The medical device tax, which was included in the Affordable Care Act to help pay…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 27, 2017
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AHA study: Regulatory overload is unsustainable

  Editor's Note A study from the American Hospital Association (AHA) finds that the regulatory burden faced by healthcare providers is substantial and unsustainable, the October 25 AHA News Now reports. Hospitals, health systems, and post-acute care providers spend nearly $39 billion annually on administrative activities to comply with federal…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 26, 2017
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Effect of hospital-wide measure of readmissions for HRRP

Editor's Note Changing to a hospital-wide measure of readmissions for the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) would result in only 76 more hospitals being eligible to receive penalties, but it would substantially increase the penalties for safety-net hospitals, this study finds. For the analysis, researchers used Medicare claims from 2011…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 19, 2017
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Survey finds nearly three-quarters of physicians prefer fee-for-service models

Editor's Note A survey of 980 physicians in eight specialties by New York City-based Bain and Company found that 73% prefer fee-for-service rather than value-based care models because of concerns about the complexity and quality of care associated with value-based models, the October 12 Healthcare Informatics reports. More than 60%…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 19, 2017
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CMS moving MU attestation to QualityNet Secure Portal

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is moving submission of 2017 meaningful use (MU) data from the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System to the QualityNet Secure Portal (QNet), effective January 2, 2018, the October 4 EHR Intelligence reports. QNet is currently…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 9, 2017
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Factors linked to readmission after total hip

Editor's Note All-cause readmission is the only metric in widespread use, but it overlooks important information that enables readmission risk to be understood, this study finds. Of 514,455 patients in the UK analyzed over a 10-year period, there were 30,489 all-cause readmissions, 16,499 readmissions related to the surgical site, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 5, 2017
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