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October 2017
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Physicians spend more than half their time on EHR tasks

Editor's Note Primary care physicians spend more than half of their workday typing data on a computer screen and completing other electronic health record (EHR) tasks, this study from the University of Wisconsin and the American Medical Association finds. During a typical 11.4-hour workday, physicians spent nearly 6 hours on…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 20, 2017
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California county goes surgery shopping

Editor's Note California's Santa Barbara County and other government employers are joining private employers in shopping for lower-cost bundled surgical care, even if it means going out of town, the September 1 Kaiser Health News reports. The voluntary program that includes incentives such as waived copays and deductibles as well…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 5, 2017
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AHRQ: Cost trends for inpatient stays

Editor's Note From 2005 to 2014, the average inflation-adjusted cost of a hospital inpatient stay increased by 12.7%, from $9,500 to $10,900, according to new statistics from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Average costs for stays increased: 16% for Medicaid 18% for private insurance 8% for Medicare…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 2, 2017
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Study identifies high-risk groups for readmissions

Editor's Note Comparing rates, characteristics, and costs of hospital readmissions across all ages and insurance types, researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, found that of more than 12.5 million patients discharged in 2013, approximately 1.8 million were readmitted within 30 days. Medicare patients accounted for 56% of readmissions,…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 11, 2017
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Study characterizes ED visits after total joint procedures

Editor's Note Emergency department (ED) visits after total joint procedures were numerous and mostly for pain-related diagnoses, and Medicaid patients had almost double the risk of an ED or pain-related ED visit, this study finds. Of 152,783 patients analyzed, 3.42% returned to the inpatient setting and 5.81% visited the ED…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 28, 2017
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Editorial

Efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are ongoing, with continued uncertainty about what may happen and when. To keep things in perspective, here’s a snapshot of recent developments. On May 4, the US House of Representatives approved the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by a vote…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
June 20, 2017
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AHRQ releases stats on outpatient, inpatient surgeries

Editor's Note According to statistics from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in 2014, 17.2 million hospital visits (inpatient and outpatient) included surgical procedures. More than half (57.8%) occurred in a hospital-owned outpatient surgery setting, and the remaining (42.2%) were inpatient. Private insurance was the primary payer for…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 2, 2017
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House passes American Health Care Act

Editor's Note The US House of Representatives on May 4 passed the American Health Care Act with 217 yes votes; 216 was the number needed. The bill now moves to the Senate. The House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act with a slim majority on Thursday. The bill gives…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 4, 2017
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Bill to repeal, replace Affordable Care Act released

Editor's Note The 123-page bill, called the “American Health Care Act,” was released March 6, Modern Healthcare reports. The bill replaces the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) income-based premium tax credits with age-based tax credits. It also enhances federal funding for states to expand Medicaid to low-income adults, and it converts…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 7, 2017
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Use of high-, low-quality hospitals by uninsured

Editor's Note Despite the Affordable Care Act, which was designed to improve access to care for patients without insurance, patients without insurance have lower use of high-quality hospitals, this study finds. The probability of admission to high-quality hospitals was similar for patients with Medicaid (23.3%) and private insurance (23.0%), but…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 25, 2017
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