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April 2021
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Joint Commission extends reduced volume requirements for advanced stroke certification programs

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on March 3 announced that it is extending the reduced volume eligibility requirements for its advanced Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center (TSC) and Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) certification programs through May 31 because the number of patients seeking care for strokes continues to vary because of COVID-19.…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 4, 2021
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Bundled payments with copay waivers reduce surgery costs for patients, payers

Editor's Note A RAND Corporation study published in the March Health Affairs finds that health insurers and patients can achieve significant savings when they participate in a bundled payment program that waives cost-sharing for patients. Researchers examined a bundled payment program developed by a private insurer that ran from 2016…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 2, 2021
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Hospital groups ask US Senate for $35B in COVID-19 relief funds

Editor's Note Nine hospital groups have asked the US Senate to add $35 billion to COVID-19 relief legislation to help them deal with financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the February 25 Fierce Healthcare reports. The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed by the House does not include a provider…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 2, 2021
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Joint Commission offers Advanced Certification for Spine Surgery

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on February 24 announced that it will be offering an Advanced Certification for Spine Surgery (ACSS) in collaboration with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The new program will be available in July to hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers that perform…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 25, 2021
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Total hospital admissions down 8.5%

Editor's Note An electronic medical record (EMR) data analysis by Epic Health Research Network for the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that from March through December 2020, hospital admissions were 8.5% below predictions because of COVID-19. The analysis, which is based on Epic’s EMR data on all inpatient admissions from December…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 23, 2021
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Adverse mental health symptoms, substance use, suicide ideation during COVID-19

Editor's Note This follow-up survey of 5,285 US adults, which was completed in September 2020, finds that overall: 1,710 (33.0%) reported anxiety or depression symptoms 1,536 (29.6%) reported COVID-19 related trauma- and stressor-related disorder symptoms 781 (15.1%) reported increased substance use 618 (11.9%) reported having seriously considered trying to kill…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 22, 2021
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Johns Hopkins professor Marty Makary, MD, predicts herd immunity by April

Editor's Note In a February 18 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Marty Makary, MD, a surgeon and a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, predicts that the US will have herd immunity to COVID-19 by April. He notes that COVID-19 cases have dropped…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 22, 2021
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More states report telehealth reimbursement laws

Editor's Note A Foley & Lardner survey finds that state telehealth reimbursement laws have significantly increased during the COVID-10 pandemic, but more can be done to address telehealth adoption barriers, the February 15 Revcycle Intelligence reports. More than 43 states and Washington, DC, have some telehealth statute for commercial payers,…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 18, 2021
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Joint Commission conducting both virtual and onsite surveys in 2021

The Joint Commission stopped doing most onsite surveys and reviews from March 16 to May 31, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, they developed processes for conducting offsite or virtual events, and as of mid-December, more than 1,200 offsite surveys and reviews had been conducted across…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
February 17, 2021
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Strong new tactics to support COVID-19 financial recovery

The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight, but hospital surgery departments will not likely see a rapid return to normal. Since the start of the pandemic, perioperative leaders have had to stay flexible and act quickly. Over the next 12 months, OR leaders will need to reassess the…

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By: Jeffry A. Peters, MBA
February 17, 2021
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