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December 2017
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Editorial

Since July, when repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stalled, healthcare reform has been somewhat overshadowed by events such as natural disasters and concerns about national security. Now, with insurers due to announce rates for the coming year, Congress is working on a bill to stabilize the…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
September 20, 2017
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CMS granting exemptions for providers affected by Hurricane Irma

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exemptions under Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs for certified providers (eg, acute care hospitals, long-term care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers) affected by storms and flooding from Hurricane Irma. Providers will be granted exemptions without having to…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 19, 2017
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Can HAI data be useful in differentiating US hospitals?

Editor's Note There are enough healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data reported on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website to meet minimal criteria for useful hospital comparisons in many geographic areas; however, it varies by type of HAI, this study finds. The analysis included data from 4,561…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 18, 2017
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Bill to reduce EHR burden clears subcommittee

Editor's Note The House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee on September 13 approved legislation that would remove a requirement to make meaningful use standards for electronic health records (EHRs) more stringent over time, the September 13 AHA News Now reports. In a letter of support for the bill, which is…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 18, 2017
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Effect of Medicare's Hospital Readmission Reduction Program on surgical readmissions

Editor's Note From 2008 to 2014, rates of postoperative readmissions declined for both Hospital Readmission Reduction Program targeted procedures (total hip and total knee replacements)--from 6.8% to 4.8%--and nontargeted procedures (colectomy, lung resection, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, coronary artery bypass graft, aortic valve replacement, and mitral valve repair)--from 17.1% to…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 13, 2017
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Children’s Hospital Colorado alerts patients of data breach

Editor's Note Officials at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora are sending notifications to nearly 3,400 patient families about a data breach that may have compromised their health information, according to the September 11 Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review. On July 11, investigators found an unauthorized person may have accessed…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 13, 2017
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FDA to staff new digital health unit

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is filling 13 positions in a new digital health unit that was created as part of the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017, the September 11 FierceHealthcare reports. The FDA intends to build a group of experts who are experienced with software lifecycle…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 13, 2017
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CMS grants exceptions for quality reporting to ASCs in Harvey’s path

Editor's Notes The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will grant exceptions for quality reporting requirements for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) located in the path of Hurricane Harvey, the September 1 ASCA News reports. ASCs in affected counties and parishes in Texas and Louisiana will get exceptions without having…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 6, 2017
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Price transparency tool did not reduce spending for California public employees, retirees

Editor's Note Offering a price transparency tool to California public employees and retirees that focused on services such as lab tests, office visits, and advanced imaging services did not lower spending, this study finds. Only 12% of employees used it in the first 15 months after it was introduced, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 5, 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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