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Sensing Savvy

What Physicians Should Know About MACRA in 2019

Posted by Tim Callahan on May 8, 2019

If you’re feeling burned out by the arduous, time-consuming requirements set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) governing physician payments, you’ll be happy to know the agency has made several changes to simplify and improve the Quality Payment Program (QPP) process.After considering extensive feedback from the medical community, CMS released its final rule for its Medicare Quality Payment Program in 2019, under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

You can read the full CY 2019 Quality Payment Program final rule text here, but we’ve broken down five key MACRA 2019 changes physicians need to know:

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Are Surgery Students Losing the Dexterity to Stitch?

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on May 6, 2019

From shrinking attention spans to lost sleep, there’s no shortage of claims spending too much time in front of screens can negatively impact our health. But a professor of surgery at Imperial College in London warns of another unexpected implication, specifically for surgery students: loss of the dexterity to stitch.

While today’s surgical students may score high grades, they’re spending too much time interacting with computers and mobile devices, and too little time using their hands, according to Professor Kneebone. Which means sewing up patients (something once considered routine) has become much more challenging.

So why are screens the culprit, and what can surgical students do to regain this critical skill?

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Do Nicer Doctors Have Better Treatment Outcomes?

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on May 1, 2019

Which factors have the greatest impact on patient outcomes? If you’re like most physicians, you’d probably answer this question by listing things like care team efficiency, access to advanced technology and equipment and a physician’s experience and education.

But there’s one more important element you may have overlooked: a doctor’s personality.

As it turns out, your bedside manner and ability to connect with patients may have a more significant impact on health care outcomes than you might assume.

Here’s some background about why friendly, empathetic doctors perform better and a few tips on how you can improve your outcomes by showing greater empathy.

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What You Should Know if You Have a Hemodialysis Catheter

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Apr 29, 2019

A Central Venous Catheter (CVC) is a soft flexible tube that is placed into a large vein, usually in the chest. It has two openings or ports. During hemodialysis, the ports are connected to the hemodialysis machine; one to take blood from your body to be cleaned, and the other to return blood cleaned of its impurities back to the body. A CVC is often used while a patient is awaiting surgery to have an arteriovenous fistula or graft placed to be used as a permanent vascular access. Although not optimal, a CVC can also be used as a permanent vascular access.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Kidney Care News to Know

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Apr 24, 2019

National Dialysis Accreditation Commission Gets Approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

The National Dialysis Accreditation Commission (NDAC) has been approved by CMS to conduct dialysis facility surveys. It is the first independent company approved by CMS to do so. According to Nephrology News & Issues, “Dialysis providers successfully completing NDAC’s accreditation process may now be awarded Medicare certification from CMS based on their accreditation with recommendation for deemed status by NDAC.” Accreditation services will be offered in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Source: Nephrology News & Issues

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5 Statistics to Know About Home Hemodialysis

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Apr 22, 2019

Home hemodialysis has several benefits for patients. Despite this, the modality remains underused among patients receiving hemodialysis. Here’s a look at some of the latest stats on home hemodialysis.

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Hospital Cleanliness: How Clean is Your Environment?

Posted by Tim Callahan on Apr 17, 2019

Medscape and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America surveyed 183 acute care hospitals. Here’s what they found:

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U.S. Spending on Healthcare: What’s Changed Over the Past Year

Posted by Tim Callahan on Apr 15, 2019

The growth in healthcare spending slowed over the past two years, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released at the end of 2018.

Total U.S. spending on healthcare grew 3.9 percent in 2017 and 4.8 percent in 2016. This decline comes on the heels of two years of relatively fast growth of 5.3 percent in 2014 and 5.8 percent in 2015.

Although the declining growth rate has some analysts ringing the alarm bells and others celebrating, it’s important to consider some key factors impacting this change.

Here are three reasons the growth in U.S. spending on healthcare has slowed:

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Physician Burnout: What to Know About this Growing Public Health Crisis

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Apr 10, 2019

Here’s a startling statistic: More than one doctor per day commits suicide. This is a rate higher than in any other profession, and double the rate within the general population, according to Medscape.

In fact, physician burnout and depression have become so widespread, the Boston Globe recently referred to it as a public health crisis.

To most people outside the occupation, this is inconceivable. After all, working in medicine allows you the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives, and physicians are generally very well-compensated for their efforts. What’s there to be depressed about?

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What to Know About CMS' Final Payment Rule for Dialysis Clinics

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Apr 8, 2019

Did you know Medicare reimbursement for dialysis treatments has increased?

This past November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released its final rule for dialysis clinics, and the new stipulations, including the composite rate increase, went into effect Jan. 1. As a dialysis clinic professional, you’ll be responsible for managing these changes and updates in the year ahead.

To help you navigate the CMS final payment rule for 2019, here’s a breakdown of the three most significant changes.

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