Monday, April 30, 2012

The Advisory Board Company: The ICD-10 delay clarified: What it means for you

Josh Gray, April 9, 2012

CMS on Monday released a proposed rule that would delay the ICD-10 compliance date by one year, until October 1, 2014. The agency considers a one-year delay a “reasonable compromise” between the incremental costs that a delay imposes on hospitals already on track for compliance in 2013 and the additional time that many small hospitals and provider groups need to become compliant.

Learn more about the ICD-10 delay from The Advisory Board Company.

CAQH: One Million Healthcare Providers Now Use the CAQH Universal Provider Datasource

Trusted Healthcare Industry Resrouce Improves Efficiency and Reduces Costs Associated with Provider Data Administration

April 18, 2012

CAQH® announced today that one million healthcare providers are now using the Universal Provider Datasource® (UPD®), demonstrating that the service is the trusted healthcare industry standard for self-reported provider data used to streamline critical processes including credentialing, member services, network directories, referrals and claims administration.

Read the full press release here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Sydney Morning Herald: Meet the new flying doctors

Simon Webster, April 23, 2012

Advertisement Neurologist Professor Geoffrey Boyce has just seen a patient with severe Parkinson's disease and explained that their disease is also causing dementia.

The consultation was like many others Professor Boyce conducts at his practice in Lismore, northern New South Wales, but with one big difference: the patient was almost 2000 kilometres away in Cairns.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Joint Commission's Standards FAQ Details

April 25, 2012

Human Resources (CAMH / Hospitals): Non-licensed, Non-employee Individuals

What are The Joint Commission’s expectations regarding non-licensed, non-employee individuals in health care organizations, including health care industry representatives (HCIRs)?

The Joint Commission, similar to organization’s themselves, has expectations regarding anyone entering a health care organization. In order to maintain patient safety, accredited health care organizations need to be aware of who is entering the organization and their purpose at the organization (EC.02.01.01, EP 7). Accredited health care organization leaders need to also make sure they oversee operations and that responsibilities are assigned for administrative and clinical direction of programs, services, sites, and departments (LD.04.01.05, EPs 1 and 3); this includes processes for knowing who is entering the organization and their purpose.

Click here for TJC's full response.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Congratulations, Top 100 Hospitals!!

Thomson Reuters Names Top 100 Hospitals for 2012

Cheryl Clark
HealthLeaders Media
April 17, 2012

If all Medicare patients received care equal to that provided by hospitals that made Thomson Reuters' new top 100 list for 2012, 186,000 people who died would be alive, more than $4.3 billion would be saved, and about 56,000 patients would have avoided complications from hospital procedures they otherwise endured.

Thomson Reuters made that assessment after evaluating 2,886 short-term acute-care, non federal hospitals for quality characteristics that included Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, as well as core measures and patient experience scores tallied by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to come up with this year's list.

Read the full story here.

Monday, April 23, 2012 Health system changes inspire more med students to pursue dual degrees

Medical schools see growth in enrollment in extra degree programs as students seek an edge in what they believe will be a changing job environment.

Carolyne Krupa, April 23, 2012

As they contemplate careers in a rapidly changing health care landscape, a growing number of medical students are deciding that a medical degree is not enough.

Most U.S. medical schools offer students the chance simultaneously to get advanced degrees in a variety of other areas, such as public health, law, business administration, mass communications and the sciences. Some schools have offered the programs for more than two decades. However, more recently, dual degrees are growing in popularity as prospective physicians feel they must develop expertise beyond medicine to compete in a dynamic health care market.

For the full story:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

BNA: House Judiciary Committee Considers Bill to Cap Medical Malpractice Awards

The House Judiciary Committee April 17 began considering legislation (H.R. 5) that would cap medical malpractice awards, as part of its plan to find savings under the budget proposal the House passed in March.

The Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare Act of 2012 would create federal rules for medical malpractice cases, including a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages. The markup is expected to conclude April 18.

For the full article:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Mercy Opens New Hospital in Joplin

April 11, 2012

The startling thing in first seeing the new Mercy Hospital Joplin — the factory built, trucked-in replacement for the building destroyed by last May’s tornado — is how attractive and permanent it looks. Joplin has a new hospital as of mid-April, and this one isn’t tents or trailers.

For the full article:

Friday, April 13, 2012

H&HN Daily: Combating Physician Stress

Physician burnout is on the rise. Help your medical staff cope by providing stress relievers such as job flexibility, ancillary services and time to exercise.

Mitchell Best and Alan Rosenstein, M.D., April 12, 2012

Almost 87 percent of physicians report they feel moderately to severely stressed and burned out on an average day, and almost 63 percent of them are feeling more stressed and burned out than they did three years ago, according to a recent survey.

For the full story:

Thursday, April 12, 2012 Criminal background checks provide patchwork protection against rogue doctors

About two-thirds of medical boards have the authority to investigate whether a physician has a criminal history, but rules vary by state.

Carolyne Krupa, April 2, 2012

Driving under the influence, tax evasion, fraud, battery and sexual assault.

These are some of the charges that have been revealed in criminal background checks of physicians by medical boards around the country. Often the doctors in question try to hide their criminal past, but that has become increasingly difficult.

During the last 15 years, concerns over public safety have led to many state medical boards being given authority to investigate as a condition of licensure whether doctors have a criminal history. But how that authority is used varies from state to state.

For the full story:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A NAMSS' Government Relations Update

NAMSS’ President, Connie Riedel; Industry & Government Relations Chair, Nancy Lian; and the Government Relations team are keeping busy this year with various meetings and discussions with industry and government leaders to advance NAMSS’ strategic plan. We’d like to take a moment to tell you about some of our latest initiatives.

Capitol Hill
As you may know, Senator Tom Udall plans to introduce a bill, “Increasing Telehealth and Access to Care through Streamlining Licensing and Credentialing Portability Act.” This legislation tackles both licensing and credentialing inefficiencies by establishing a national licensing body and a credentialing data-exchange system for primary source-verified data.

The bill makes great strides simply by recognizing the current inefficiencies within the licensing and credentialing processes, but taking on both issues in one bill is difficult.

Creating a federal license could, in theory, increase efficiencies for telehealth providers, but the draft bill goes beyond these providers and offers the licensure for all practitioners. There are many complex issues, such as creating a national scope of practice, which would be extremely difficult to establish a consensus among all stakeholders.

We are also concerned with the bill's ambiguity regarding critical issues such as jurisdiction and the ability to sanction providers. While we appreciate that this is not the intent, NAMSS is concerned that these issues could undermine patient safety.

Credentialing, as you know, goes much further than licensure and could benefit from the government evaluating the current process. Assessing the significant resources that the current process requires could help MSPs better focus on ensuring that medical staffs are qualified to provide high quality services. The data-exchange idea contained in the Senator’s draft bill is a good start.

We have discussed this with Senator Udall’s staff over the past several months and will continue to work with his office on these efforts.

HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator
We also recently met with Jodi Daniel, Director of Policy and Planning, as well as other members of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), to discuss our mutual goal to update and modernize the healthcare system. We shared our vision for improving the credentialing process and provided insight into the system’s current inefficiencies. We certainly put credentialing on ONC’s radar and we look forward to continuing to make strides in improving the system.

Monday, April 9, 2012 Data bank information needs careful interpretation

April 9, 2012.

How transparent should the National Practitioner Data Bank be?

Scenario: How transparent should the National Practitioner Data Bank be?
The National Practitioner Data Bank recently has been through a shutdown and restart. Some of the physician data can lead to mistaken conclusions. Some physicians worry about government reach into their practice matters and the media’s instinct to use any available data for a physician “gotcha” story.

In September 2011, the Dept. of Health and Human Services blocked access to the public use data file of the National Practitioner Data Bank, which contains information on malpractice payments and disciplinary actions of health care professionals. HHS’ action raised debate about whether such information should be kept from the public. Some medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, argue against release of data bank information on grounds of known inaccuracies and likely misinterpretation by the public. Patient advocacy groups, among others, stress that NPDB transparency is essential for advancing safety and quality.

For the rest of the story:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ABMS Establishes Time Limits for Achieving Board Certification A new policy defines a limited period for "Board Eligibility"

February 2012 - For the first time, a new policy of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), effective on January 1, 2012, establishes limits to the time that can elapse between a physician's completion of residency training and achievement of Board Certification.

The policy establishes a window of no fewer than three years and no more than seven years between training and certification. Within that timeframe, the maximum time allowed will depend on the specialty.

Click here for the full press release: