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Sensing Savvy

How the CMS Cardiac Bundle Could Affect Your Hospital

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Sep 28, 2016 6:30:00 AM

In late July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a bundled payment program for cardiac procedures involving heart attacks and bypass surgeries.

This is part of the agency’s initiative to shift payment from quantity to quality incentives, which means hospitals will be accountable for the quality of care a patient received during their stay and for 90 days after their discharge.

Hospitals will be paid a fixed price for each round of care they provide. If a hospital hits higher quality targets while providing that care, it will be qualify for a higher payment.

Here is how the proposed CMS cardiac bundle could affect your hospital.

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Topics: Hospital Administration

How Do You Rate the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? These Docs Gave it an F

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Sep 26, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Since its inception six years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received lots of feedback. Regardless of political opinions, physicians have voiced their thoughts on the law, praising it for improving access to healthcare but saying it has negatively affected their practices.

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Topics: Hospital Administration, Clinical Trends

CMS Star Ratings: 3 Things to Know

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Sep 21, 2016 6:30:00 AM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings and with it came a slew of questions and comments.

CMS says its ratings system is designed to help individuals, their family members and caregivers compare hospitals “in an easily understandable way.”

Here are three things you should know about the latest CMS Star Ratings.

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Topics: Hospital Administration

How Surgeon Specialization Impacts Patient Outcomes

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Sep 19, 2016 7:00:00 AM

The phrase “practice makes perfect” has never been more true than in surgery. Research shows that better outcomes are associated with an increased procedure volume. While practicing and completing procedures can affect patient outcomes, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that specializing in a specific procedure may be just as important as the number of times you perform it.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, Cardiothoracic

W.J. Kolff’s First Artificial Kidney Faces Opposition

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Sep 14, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Seventy years ago, renal failure meant certain death. The toxins that the kidney normally cleanses from the blood would build up and poison a person until they would fall into a coma and die. Hemodialysis to cleanse the blood did not exist. The artificial kidney invented by W.J. Kolff in Nazi-occupied Netherlands was in its infancy.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

First Artificial Kidney Built in War-Torn Netherlands by W.J. Kolff

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Sep 12, 2016 6:30:00 AM

Conditions were harsh. When the Netherlands was attacked and occupied by Nazi Germany in May, 1940, the lives of a young doctor, Willem Johann Kolff, and his family were to irrevocably change. Kolff was a resident at the University of Groningen. There, he had watched a young man slowly die of kidney failure. The 22-year-old’s agonizing death ignited a resolve in Kolff to do something to help patients with renal failure. He was going to build an artificial kidney.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Nephrologists Need Experience in Cardiac Care

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Sep 7, 2016 6:30:00 AM

In 1998, the American Journal of Kidney Disease sounded a clarion call with the following title on the cover of their journal, “Cardiovascular Disease, An ESRD Epidemic.” 1 Their call was well grounded because cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).1-2 It accounts for half of the deaths and a third of hospitalizations of dialysis patients.4

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Topics: Cardiac Function during Dialysis, Hemodialysis

How a Mother’s Grief Sparked Medical Safety Improvements

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Sep 5, 2016 7:00:00 AM

In January 2001, 18-month-old Josie King was rushed to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center with second-degree burns. She had inadvertently stepped into scalding bath water. The child’s mother, Sorrel King, stayed at her child’s bedside as doctors and nurses valiantly administered to the child. A couple of weeks later Josie seemed well enough to be sent home. A celebration was planned, but then everything went downhill. The toddler became acutely sick. Her mother suspected dehydration, but nobody seemed to listen. When they did, it was too late. Josie was battling two infections—one was from a central venous line that led to sepsis. It ultimately took her life.

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Topics: Hospital Administration, Clinical Trends

Nephrology News to Know for August

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Aug 31, 2016 6:30:00 AM

Compensation for Nephrologists Sees Above Average Increase in 2015

Nephrology and hypertension saw the biggest pay increase among medical specialties in 2015, according to the 2016 AMGA Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey. Nephrologists saw a 6.7 percent increase in salary.
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Topics: Hemodialysis

How the Affordable Care Act Affects Dialysis Patients

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Aug 29, 2016 7:00:00 AM

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), signed into law March 23, 2010, requires everyone—including children—to have health insurance or pay a penalty. The law aims to have health insurance cover the services people need so that they won’t suffer financial ruin if an unexpected medical event occurs.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, Hemodialysis