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December 2017
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CMS proposes paying for outpatient total joints

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on July 13 issued a proposed rule that updates payment rates and policy changes in the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System. Among the proposals are that Medicare pay for knee replacement procedures performed in outpatient…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 17, 2017
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Joint Commission revises 2018 Medication Management standards

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on July 12 announced revisions to its Medication Management standards that will become effective January 1, 2018. Among the revisions: Implementing a policy to provide emergency backup of medication dispensing equipment. Adding “wasting” of medication to required written policies. Implementing a policy for medication overrides…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 13, 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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New guidelines published on enhanced recovery after colon, rectal surgery

Editor's Note The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons have jointly published new clinical practice guidelines on enhanced recovery after colon and rectal surgery. The enhanced recovery protocol is multidisciplinary, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and dietitians and involves all aspects of care…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 10, 2017
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FDA: Oscor recalls Atar extension cables

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 6 announced the recall by Oscor Inc (Palm Harbor, Florida) of its Atar extension cables. The recall was initiated because, during use, some of the cables were separating from the connectors at the proximal end. The Atar cable is an…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 10, 2017
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Joint Commission: Four new performance measures for total joint certification

Editor's Note Four new performance measures are available for the Joint Commission’s Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement (THKR) advanced certification program, the Joint Commission announced on July 5. They are: THKR-1 Regional anesthesia THKR-2 Postoperative ambulation on the day of surgery THKR-3 Discharged to home THKR-4 Preoperative functional/health status…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 6, 2017
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CMS star ratings not linked to surgical outcomes

Editor's Note High Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings were not associated with improved patient outcomes in advanced laparoscopic abdominal surgery, this study finds. Morbidity at low-star hospitals was higher for colorectal surgery but not for bariatric or hiatal hernia surgery, and no significant…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 5, 2017
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Survey: Physicians unprepared for MACRA

Editor's Note A survey of 1,000 physicians by the American Medical Association and KPMG finds that fewer than one in four believe they are well prepared to meet the 2017 requirements of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), KPMG.com reported on June 28. MACRA reshapes how…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 5, 2017
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FDA issues draft guideline on UDI requirements

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 30 issued a draft guideline: “Product Identifier Requirements Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act−Compliance Policy.” The draft guidance describes the FDA’s enforcement of requirements related to unique device identification (UDI), specifically those that manufacturers affix or imprint on a…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 5, 2017
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Joint Commission: Quick Safety on daily safety briefings

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on June 28 posted a Quick Safety on daily safety briefings--a hallmark of high reliability organizations. Safety briefings--also called safety huddles, daily check-ins, or daily safety calls--are used to give keep frontline staff and leadership informed. The briefings can be used to: share issues that…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 29, 2017
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