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Latest Issue of OR Manager
October 2019

Machine learning identifies preop risks linked to postop Medicare super-users

Editor's Note In this study of more than 1 million Medicare patients, 4.8% were super-users of healthcare and incurred 31.7% of Medicare expenditures after surgery. A machine learning approach identified the following as the most significant risk factors linked to super-utilization of healthcare in the year following surgery: hemiplegia/paraplegia weight…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 20, 2019
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Family healthcare costs outpacing wages, inflation

Editor's Note Enrollees in large employer insurance plans are facing higher healthcare spending through rising premium contributions and increased cost-sharing, according to an August 14 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Healthcare costs outpaced wage growth from 2008 to 2018, with employees spending $4,706 for premiums and $3,020 on out-of-pocket…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 20, 2019
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Experts give hospital rating systems low grades

Editor's Note In this study, experts graded the four major publicly reported hospital quality rating systems on their strengths and weaknesses−most received a C and the highest was a B. The grades were: US News & World Report−B Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Star Ratings−C Leapfrog−C- Healthgrades−D+. The researchers found that…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 15, 2019
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Association of US News top ranking for gastroenterology, GI surgical procedures with outcomes

Editor's Note Though the annual volume of gastroenterology and gastrointestinal (GI) advanced laparoscopic abdominal surgical procedures is three-fold higher for US News & World Report’s top-ranked hospitals, the volume does not appear to be associated with improved patient outcomes, this study finds. In this analysis of 51,869 abdominal procedures, the…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 1, 2019
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CMS proposes giving Medicare patients better access to cutting-edge devices

Editor's Note In its proposed rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would give Medicare patients better access to innovative devices beginning next year, the July 30 MassDevice reports. CMS also says it might pay more for “certain transformative new devices” for inpatients, using a new technology add-on…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 1, 2019
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CMS maintains site-neutral cuts in 2020 proposed rule

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on July 29 issued the 2020 proposed payment rule for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs), which would increase Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system rates by 2.7%. CMS is also proposing to add eight codes to…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 31, 2019
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Changes in hospital referral patterns to skilled nursing facilities under HRRP

Editor's Note The Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), which penalizes hospitals for higher-than-expected readmission rates, did not prompt substantial changes in hospital referral patterns to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), this study finds. However, readmissions for patients referred to SNFs decreased more than for other patients. In this analysis of nearly…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 24, 2019
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Are you prepared for the OR of the Future?

Innovative technology and surgical procedures, including artificial intelligence, will be explored in depth during the OR Manager Conference, September 18-20 in New Orleans. The new OR of the Future gives attendees a unique opportunity to learn through interactive experiences, educational sessions, and discussions with leading experts: product manufacturers as well…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
July 24, 2019
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Facilitate and innovate: Ensuring speedy but safe product reviews

Surgeons are the biggest factor in any effort to streamline and standardize the purchase of new surgical devices—and thereby lower costs. But surgeons often balk at getting involved in product review and selection because of the additional demands on their time. Two leading healthcare organizations have moved past this stumbling…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
July 24, 2019
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Hospital network participation not linked with improved outcomes, lower costs

Editor's Note Hospital network participation was not associated with improvements in surgical outcomes or Medicare expenditures, compared with hospitals not in a network, this study finds. In this analysis of nearly 2 million Medicare beneficiaries having general, vascular, cardiac, or orthopedic surgery between 2007 and 2014 at network (1,868) or…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 16, 2019
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