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December 2017
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Hospital teaching status and Medicare payments, outcomes

Editor's Note Risk-adjusted Medicare payments for an episode of surgical care were similar at teaching and nonteaching hospitals for three complex surgical procedures, this study finds. Teaching vs nonteaching hospital payments included: abdominal aortic aneurism repair−$29,946 vs $27,993 pulmonary resection−$25,407 vs $26,813 colectomy−$34,949 vs $30,352. Very major teaching hospitals had…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 10, 2017
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Medical technology jobs drop amid device tax implementation

Editor's Note The Advanced medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) in a February 8 press release linked medical technology job losses to the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax. The US medical technology industry lost nearly 29,000 (7.2%) jobs from 2012 to 2015 while the 2.3% medical device tax was in effect,…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 10, 2017
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Impact of SSIs on costs after ambulatory surgery procedures

Editor's Note Surgical site infections (SSIs), especially serious infections resulting in hospitalization or surgical treatment, were associated with significantly increased health care costs after four common ambulatory surgical procedures, this study finds. The incidence of serious SSIs was 0.8% after 21,062 anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions, 0.5% after 57,750 cholecystectomies, 0.6%…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 8, 2017
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Effect of bundled payments on total joint costs

Editor's Note In this study, Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement bundled payment model resulted in a decrease of $5,577 in total spending per episode. Most hospital savings came from implants and supplies, and most postacute care savings came from decreased use of inpatient rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility care.…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 7, 2017
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Tools lacking to assess readmission risks after joint replacement

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and care providers lack the predictive models needed to assess risks for readmission after joint replacements, finds this study. Researchers tested the applicability of the Carlson Comorbidity Index, Elixhauser Comorbidity Index, and CMS Hierarchical Condition Category to see whether any…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 26, 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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ACS notifies members of CMS software errors

Editor's Note The American College of Surgeons (ACS) on January 20 notified members that it had received a letter from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) saying new moderate sedation codes that took effect January 1 were incorrectly bundled into several surgical procedures codes in CMS payment software.…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 23, 2017
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CMS extends deadline for reporting 2016 quality data

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 17 announced a deadline extension for reporting CY 2016 electronic Clinical Quality Measure data to avoid a 2.7% payment adjustment in FY 2018. The extension applies to hospitals and critical access hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 18, 2017
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Total joint PSH helps meet patient satisfaction goals

When leaders at Memorial Healthcare, a 154-bed community hospital in Owosso, Michigan, wanted to get a jump on preparing for bundled payments, they chose to focus on total hip and knee surgery. Creating a perioperative surgical home (PSH) for this patient population paid off in enhanced patient satisfaction and reductions…

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By: OR Manager
January 18, 2017
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Building a business case for new technology

OR leaders besieged by surgeons and others clamoring for the latest innovations must ensure that the business case for any new technology makes good sense both for patients and the organization’s bottom line. Building a strong business case requires careful assessment, clear writing, and a strong partnership with the finance…

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By: OR Manager
January 18, 2017
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