Friday, June 28, 2013

HealthLeadersMedia: Why Vendor Credentialing is a Strategic Issue

Philip Betbeze, June 28, 2013
Intermountain Healthcare has become a big believer in automated vendor credentialing programs, not only as a patient safety and compliance issue, but as a way to make sure that vendors are meeting their business agreements.

Before 2006, nurses and frontline staff at Intermountain Healthcare's flagship LDS Hospital recognized it had a problem with vendor representatives going in and out of the hospital to service accounts and physicians. 

There was no way to know whether these folks had the required immunizations and background checks to allow them into sensitive patient care areas. So Intermountain cooked up a solution.

Read the rest at

Monday, June 24, 2013

AMA MedEd Update: AMA awards $11 million to transform the way future physicians are trained

On Friday, the AMA announced that 11 medical schools will receive funding as part of its $11 million Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative, which is aimed at transforming the way future physicians are trained.

View the full list of medical school recipients and read the rest of the article at

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 Ruling jeopardizes authority of state medical boards

The AMA and others in organized medicine are concerned that a decision against a dental board will mean unfair antitrust scrutiny for regulatory agencies.

Alicia Gallegos, June 17, 2013

Physician leaders say a ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could prove a significant impediment to the ability of state licensing boards to regulate the practice of medicine.

On May 31, the court ruled that a North Carolina dental board exceeded its authority when it attempted to stop nondentists from providing teeth-whitening services. In siding with the Federal Trade Commission, judges said the board is not shielded from antitrust scrutiny because it is not actively supervised by the state and its members are private market participants.

Read the rest at

Monday, June 17, 2013

H&HN Daily: Putting the Focus of Medical Education on Competency

Med school ideas target competency, population health.

By Paul Barr, June 17, 2013

When Susan Skochelak, M.D., recently sat down to talk about the American Medical Association's $10 million effort to kickstart the the transformation of medical education, she offered a good account of why it was needed.

Skochelak, AMA group vice president of medical education and director of the association's Center for Transforming Medical Education, described how the world of health care is changing drastically in areas such as reimbursement and technology, and medical education needs to change with it.

Read the rest at

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 AHA backs emergency care liability bill

June 10, 2013

AHA today voiced support for the Health Care Safety Net Enhancement Act (S. 961/H.R. 36), legislation that would provide medical liability protections under the Federal Tort Claims Act to hospitals and physicians providing emergency care. Specifically, the bill would extend to hospitals, emergency departments and physicians who provide services pursuant to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act the same medical liability protections given to employees of Community Health Centers.

Read more about it at

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Part Two: HCAHPS -- What is this and where did it come from?

For this week's guest feature, Nancy English returns to provide information on the HCAHPS survey.  Welcome back, Nancy!

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is performed after patients have received inpatient care.  One might think that this would only impact hospitals when, actually, questions on the survey relate also to the physicians we credential and work with every day. 

There are 18 questions on the HCAHPS survey questionnaire that cover 8 areas relating to the patient’s healthcare experience:

1.    physician communication
2.    nursing communication
3.    cleanliness and quietness of facility
4.    management of pain
5.    communication about medications
6.    discharge information
7.    staff responsiveness 
8.    overall perception of the experience/facility

The survey also includes a question about the patient’s willingness to recommend that facility to others. 

I listed “physician communication” first for a reason.  Do you have physicians who do not seem to communicate well with patients….or anyone else?  We all probably have one or two whom we could name right off the top of our head.  How is that physician affecting your HCAHP scores?  What kind of rating would you give him/her if you were his/her patient?  In a true patient-centered environment, we would want to find out!

You may still wonder what this means to each of us as MSPs.  The answer ties directly to...yes, you may have already guessed...reimbursement.  Scores are calculated and compared to other facilities for percentile ranking.  Reimbursement from CMS is based upon the facility’s ranking.  As we move further into the unknown future of healthcare, it will be important for each of us to understand our role, whether great or small, in helping our facilities improve HCAHP scores.

More to come next time.  Learn more about HCAHP here.  

If you are interested in becoming a guest blogger, let us know!  We'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Data Bank: The Top 5 Continuous Query Questions Information Answered

Before organizations decide to enroll their practitioners in Continuous Query, they often have basic questions about the service. The Data Bank answers the top five questions that may persuade your organization to switch from One-Time Query to Continuous Query.

Many organizations consider Continuous Query to be a "best practice" because subscribers receive an initial query response for each enrolled practitioner and continue to receive ongoing monitoring for one year. When a report of a medical malpractice payment or other adverse action (such as a licensure or privileging action, Medicare/Medicaid exclusion, or health care-related conviction or judgment), is filed with the NPDB on an enrolled practitioner, your organization receives immediate notification.

Read the rest at The Data Bank.