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December 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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Customer service can make or break a patient's experience

Healthcare providers and their patients have benefited from practices borrowed from other industries—for example, the checklists and time-outs used in aviation or the Lean management principles used in manufacturing. Applying lessons learned in the entertainment industry to the hospital setting may seem like a stretch, but Dennis Snow will explore…

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By: Paula DeJohn
June 20, 2017
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Cost data persuade surgeons to be more frugal

Surgeons usually don’t have a high awareness of costs, partly because they haven’t had an easy way to know them. An unfortunate byproduct of this lack of knowledge can be higher OR costs. “Imagine what it’s like if, when you go to the grocery store, there are no price tags,…

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By: OR Manager
June 20, 2017
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Efforts to improve FCOTS may reduce overutilized OR time

Ccommon cost-saving strategies in the OR include increasing workflow efficiency, reducing turnover times, implementing standardized preoperative protocols, and improving surgical case scheduling and first case on-time starts (FCOTS). These interventions aim to decrease under- and overutilized time in the OR, but there is conflicting evidence about their economic value. Many…

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By: OR Manager
June 20, 2017
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The microhospital trend: ASC friend or foe?

Among the changes occurring in healthcare delivery is an emerging trend that suggests ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) may find themselves with a new type of business partner—or possible competition. That would be the microhospital, which occupies a fraction of the space of a standard inpatient hospital, with some, but not…

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By: Paula DeJohn
June 20, 2017
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Value-based purchasing not linked to improvements in quality

Editor's Note In this study, Medicare’s Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP) program was not associated with improvements in quality measures of clinical process or patient experience. HVBP also was not associated with a significant reduction in two of three mortality measures (ie, acute myocardial infarction or heart failure). It was associated…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 16, 2017
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Half million providers to get 2% cut in Medicare payments

Editor's Note More than 500,000 physicians and other providers will get a 2% cut in their Medicare payments because of poor performance in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the June 13 Modern Healthcare reports. The penalties are based on 2015 claims data. Though Medicare is phasing out PQRS and…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 14, 2017
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Analysts predict 5% growth for GI endoscopy device market

Editor's Note The global market for gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy devices is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 5.09% through 2020, the June 13 Becker’s GI & Endoscopy reports. A large, growing patient pool is driving growth, but risks and complications tied to GI endoscopy procedures also will…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 14, 2017
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Relationship between bariatric surgery outcomes and Medicare expenditures

Editor's Note Medicare payments for bariatric surgery are significantly lower at hospitals with low complication rates, and cost savings are most prominent in patients at highest risk for complications, this study finds. The analysis of 38,374 bariatric surgery patients found a strong correlation between complication rates and episode payments−hospitals in…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 12, 2017
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Racial disparities in surgical mortality narrowing

Editor's Note Despite concerns that quality improvement efforts may widen disparities, national racial disparities in surgical mortality are narrowing, this study finds. Using Medicare claims data from 2005 to 2014, Harvard researchers found that, overall, national mortality trends improved for both black and white patients by 0.10% and 0.07% per…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 12, 2017
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