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March 2021
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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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CMS to increase pay to hospitals for care of COVID-19 patients

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on August 17 updated its patient payment guidance to increase hospital reimbursement for care of COVID-19 patients by 20%. The payment increase will take effect September 1. Among requirements for hospitals to receive the Medicare payment increase: Patients must have…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 24, 2020
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Pandemic raises OR nurse recruitment, management challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on OR managers’ lives, according to the 2020 annual OR Manager Salary/Career Survey. Many new developments related to the pandemic have occurred and continue to evolve since the spring and early summer, when the survey was deployed. However, the concerns stated by many…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
August 21, 2020
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What does it take to become an ERAS hospital?

Leaders at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System in Richmond started the journey to become an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) hospital in 2016 with the following problem statement: Across surgical specialties, and regardless of superior surgical technique, perioperative care, and anesthesia care, patients can experience extended length of hospital…

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By: Paula Spencer, MSHA, PMP, CPHIMS
August 21, 2020
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ASC staffing and surgical volume drop in response to pandemic

Nearly a third (30%) of ambulatory surgery center (ASC) leaders have experienced layoffs of direct care staff during the past year, according to the 2020 annual OR Manager Salary/Career Survey, up from a mere 4% in 2019. COVID-19 is the likely culprit: Most of the comments received in response to…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
August 21, 2020
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CDC: 7-day moving average of COVID-19 cases drops below 50K

Editor's Note The 7-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in the US, a key metric for gauging the severity of the disease, dropped below 50,000 on  August 18 for the first time since early July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  reports. On August 19, the CDC…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 20, 2020
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Public health implications of chronic hospital nurse understaffing in COVID-19 era

Editor's Note This study by noted nurse researcher Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, finds that hospital nurses were burned out and working in understaffed conditions in the weeks preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, posing risks to the public’s health. The…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 19, 2020
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