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December 2020
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CMS releases final 2021 Medicare payment rule for ASCs, HOPDs

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on December 2 released its 2021 final payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). CMS has finalized the addition of 11 procedures to the ASC covered procedures list, including total hip arthroplasty, autochondrocyte knee implant, and open complex…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 3, 2020
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CMS releases final PFS for 2021, surgeons say rule jeopardizes care

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on December 1 released its 2021 final rule for the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS), which expands telehealth services and increases payments for primary care and chronic disease management. The rule also reduces payments for surgeons, emergency physicians, and other…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 2, 2020
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Effect of cancelling elective surgery on ICU bed, ventilator capacity

Editor's Note This study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, New York City, finds that patients having elective surgery make up a small fraction of ICU bed and mechanical ventilation use in New York State. The researchers reviewed 5 years of New York State data…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 1, 2020
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66 hospitals suspending elective surgical procedures

Editor's Note In response to an increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 66 hospitals have postponed or cancelled elective surgical procedures in an effort to free up space and ensure enough staff and PPE are available, the November 24 Becker’s Hospital Review reports. All of the hospitals are in the Midwest…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 30, 2020
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Hospitals understaffed for COVID-19 surge

Editor's Note Demand for temporary nursing staff is on the rise as COVID-19 cases surge across the country, the November 13 Healthcare Dive reports. Surge capacity plans include the following: Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare is hiring 200 traveling nurses. The 24-hospital system also brought on 31 nurses from New York-Presbyterian, a…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 17, 2020
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Nurses’ union survey reveals lack of preparation for COVID-19, flu season

Editor's Note A new nationwide survey by National Nurses United of more than 15,000 RNs finds that hospitals are failing to prepare for a surge of COVID-19 during flu season. Among the nurses’ complaints: inappropriate pursuit of profits resulting in lack of proper infection control measures ongoing issues of both…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 17, 2020
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Editorial

Most respondents to a July 2020 American Organization for Nursing Leadership survey said they felt prepared for a future surge of COVID-19. That future is now, with nearly 150,000 new cases being reported daily across the country and multiple hospitals at capacity. Survey respondents said their biggest challenges early in…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
November 17, 2020
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Access OR Manager Conference sessions by December 31

For the first time in its history, the annual OR Manager Conference was held virtually September 30 to October 2. Many things were different this year, but the robust educational content and advanced technology were the same as in previous years. In a post-conference survey, more than 60% of respondents…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
November 17, 2020
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Using advanced analytics to maximize OR utilization

Wasted room capacity is a major problem in hospital surgery departments. In most facilities, OR utilization hovers around 60%. Practically speaking, that means between one-quarter and one-third of expensive OR time is going to waste. Inefficiency at this scale is clearly a financial problem. As hospitals struggle to absorb volume…

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By: OR Manager
November 17, 2020
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Shifts in case mix bode well for future of outpatient surgery

Before COVID-19 emerged as the biggest disruptor of 2020, many ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) had been growing volume and receiving Medicare reimbursements for an increasing number of procedures. Stopping elective procedures in the spring was a significant setback, especially for smaller, independent facilities, notes a Global Healthcare Advisors (GHA) brief,…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
November 17, 2020
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