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February 2018
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ECRI Institute issues free resource on ransomware attacks

Editor's Note The ECRI Institute (Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania) on May 25 issued a free public resource to protect hospitals from ransomware attacks. The new guidance, “Ransomware Attacks: How to Protect Your Medical Device Systems,” provides recommendations for adapting general cybersecurity principles to the requirements of medical devices, including a list…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 25, 2017
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Mortality lower at teaching hospitals

Editor's Note In this study, major teaching hospital status was associated with lower mortality rates for common medical and surgical conditions, compared with nonteaching hospitals. The analysis of 21.4 million hospitalizations of Medicare patients at 4,483 hospitals (250 major teaching, 894 minor teaching, and 3,339 nonteaching) found that 30-day mortality…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 24, 2017
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National Advocacy Day leads to new cosponsors for ASC legislation

Editor's Note The Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2017 (HR 1838/S 1001) has added new cosponsors in the US House of Representatives and was introduced in the Senate, the May 23 Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) News Digest reports. Many of the cosponsors signed on as a…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 23, 2017
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Effect of early discharge after surgery on costs

Editor's Note Early postoperative discharge after major inpatient surgery was associated with lower total surgical episode payments in this study. In this analysis of 639,943 Medicare beneficiaries undergoing colectomy, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), or total hip replacement, payments were significantly lower in hospitals with lowest vs highest length of…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 19, 2017
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Artificial disc market poised for growth

Editor's Note A GlobalData analysis predicts the US artificial disc replacement market will double by 2023, reaching $614.5 million, with a compound annual growth rate of 12.2%, the May 17 Becker’s Spine Review reports. The growth is a result of the increasing number of degenerative spine conditions and the advantages…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 19, 2017
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AHRQ: Surgical procedures performed in hospital outpatient vs inpatient settings

Editor's Note In 2014, 58% of the 17.2 million hospital-based surgical procedures took place in outpatient settings, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The report, which helps to quantify ongoing shifts to more outpatient surgical procedures, found that the most common outpatient procedures…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 17, 2017
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Lower readmission rates linked to Medicare's HRRP

Studies have shown an association between reduced hospital readmission rates and programs implemented as part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality of care. Researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the RAND…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
May 17, 2017
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Preference card cleanup projected to cut costs across departments

Fine-tuning physician preference cards to reduce instrument use and sterilization is a well-known way to cut costs, but one that is often hard to implement. At Bassett Healthcare (Cooperstown, New York), we had success with a simple intervention involving collaboration with nearly 50 surgeons across multiple departments. We reviewed more…

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By: OR Manager
May 17, 2017
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Choose the right linen service to match supply with demand

Linens and textiles may not be as exciting as the latest spinal device or miracle drug, but they are a mainstay of every healthcare setting. Quality matters, and costs associated with these high-use items can make a difference in a facility’s overall expenses. It’s essential to evaluate the best way…

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By: Paula DeJohn
May 17, 2017
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Effect of Medicare’s Nonpayment Program on HACs

Editor's Note Medicare’s Nonpayment Program of 2008, which withholds hospital reimbursement for costs related to hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), was associated with a declined in the incidence of selected HACs, and the decline was greater in hospitals with a higher Medicare utilization ratio (MUR), this study finds. Of 867,584 Medicare patients…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 8, 2017
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