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February 2021
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Healthcare employment up in September

Editor's Note US healthcare added 52,800 jobs in September for a seasonally adjusted 15, 839,600, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on October 2. Hospitals lost 6,400 jobs, but nursing and residential care facilities added 1,600 jobs. Ambulatory healthcare services also added jobs, including physicians (18,200), dentists (3,900), and home…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 5, 2020
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Joint Commission revises EC standard for fluoroscopy services

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on September 30 announced a revision to its Environment of Care (EC) standard EC.02.04.03, element of performance (EP) 34, which will take effect January 1, 2021, for ambulatory care organizations, office based surgery practices, hospitals, and critical access hospitals. The Joint Commission has determined that…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 1, 2020
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ASCs reduce Medicare costs $4 billion annually

Editor's Note A new analysis of Medicare payment data by KNG Health Consulting shows that ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) reduced Medicare costs by $28.7 billion from 2011 to 2018, a savings of more than $4 billion each year. The analysis also shows that, without policy changes, performing procedures on Medicare…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 29, 2020
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AHA launches new webpage with COVID-19 vaccine resources

Editor's Note The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced September 26 that it has launched a new webpage that comprises AHA-developed tools and resources from the federal government and others related to COVID-19 vaccines. The AHA will update the webpage often as new developments occur to keep the healthcare field informed…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 28, 2020
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CDC: Delay, avoidance of medical care because of COVID-19

Editor's Note This survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the extent to which adults are delaying and avoiding medical care because of concerns about COVID-19. By June 30, an estimated 40.9% of those surveyed (4,978 US adults) had delayed or avoided medical care including urgent…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 14, 2020
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Joint Commission refreshes Accelerate PI Dashboard Report data

Editor's Note The Joint Commission announced September 9 that it has refreshed the Accelerate PI Dashboard Report data for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, and nursing care centers. The reports reflect the most recent and available external data from CMS’ Hospital Compare and Nursing Home Compare websites as well as…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 10, 2020
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CMS issues final inpatient payment rule for FY 2021

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on September 2 issued its final inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) rule, which will: increase IPPS rates by 2.9% in FY 2021 for hospitals that report quality data and are meaningful users of electronic health records, resulting in an increase…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 8, 2020
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National Academies release COVID-19 vaccine distribution proposal

Editor's Note The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, on September 1, released draft guidelines to help policymakers plan for equitable allocation of a COVID-19 vaccine. The committee that drafted the guidelines was formed at the request of the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 2, 2020
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Study: Who should receive COVID-19 vaccine first?

Editor's Note This study, led by economists from Washington University in St Louis, finds that the ideal COVID-19 vaccine policy should emphasize age more than work-exposure risk for vaccination priority. To provide a best-practice scenario to supplement a vaccine distribution strategy, the researchers tracked eight age groups in more than…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 31, 2020
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CMS issues emergency regs on daily COVID-19 reporting for hospitals, critical access hospitals

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on August 25 issued emergency regulations requiring all hospitals and critical access hospitals to report daily COVID-19 data. The data includes: number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 positive patients being treated ICU beds occupied availability of ventilators, PPE, and other…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 26, 2020
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