Week of February 22-26, 2016


Health Care Leadership and Management
The key to improving and transforming the OR is cultural change. Finding the balance between the needs of the surgeon and the needs of the hospital will allow for the leadership and productivity required in a successful operating room.  This white paper will outline two key strategies that are crucial to culture change.   Improving and Transforming the OR for Value and Quality,

Two AHA committees, the 2015 Committee on Research and 2015 Committee on Performance Improvement, released a joint report, “Care and Payment Models to Achieve the Triple Aim,” which addresses how hospitals can develop new delivery systems and innovative payment models that best meet the needs of their organizations and communities.

Quality isn’t a choice for caregivers at Charleston (W.Va.) Area Medical Center Health System, it’s an unconditional necessity.  The winner of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the health care category, Charleston Area Medical Center is the largest nongovernmental employer in its region. The Baldrige framework gave us an opportunity to engage the entire organization. Baldrige Award Winner Uses Holistic Approach,

Engagement of physicians to help lead patient experience improvement efforts is critical. At the same time, many health care leaders seek a framework for understanding the types of interventions that are likely to promote meaningful physician engagement. This slide represents an action-priority matrix framework that can be utilized to promote consideration for a commitment to experience improvement efforts that go beyond analysis of regulatory CAHPS data. My Favorite Slide: A Framework for Promoting Meaningful Physician Engagement,

In this Harvard Business Review article, Drs. Cable and Vermeulen argue in favor of abolishing pay-for-performance for senior leaders altogether, proposing instead most firms should pay their top executives a fixed salary.   Research on incentives and motivation shows there is no material benefit to having variable executive compensation packages, largely because the nature of their work is not suited to performance-based pay.

ACA Implementation
Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the Zubik v. Burwell case, another challenge to the Affordable Care Act, this time to the contraceptive coverage requirement brought by nonprofit corporations.   Contraceptive Coverage at the Supreme Court Zubik v. Burwell: Does the Law Accommodate or Burden Nonprofits’ Religious Beliefs?,

new report issued Wednesday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that even with tens of billions of dollars in subsidies costs at stake, the Obama Administration has taken a “passive approach” to ferreting out potential fraud and often fails to act even when queries made through the hub turns up conflicting information – or no corroborative information at all.

The majorities of hospitals in the United States operate as nonprofit organizations and, as such, are exempt from most federal, state, and local taxes. This favored tax status is intended to be an acknowledgement of the “community benefit” provided by these institutions.  Public controversy over whether nonprofit hospitals provided community benefits sufficient to justify their favored tax status gave rise to congressional scrutiny during 2005-09 and culminated in the inclusion of new community benefit requirements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Nonprofit Hospitals’ Community Benefit Requirements,

People are having to return to the hospital less for costly readmissions because of an Affordable Care Act program, according to a new study by the Department of Health and Human Services. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that an Affordable Care Act program has helped prevent 565,000 hospital readmissions over five years.  Readmissions, Observation, and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, 

The Hill-Burton program accounted for a net increase of over 70,000 beds nationwide, which is roughly 17 percent of the total growth in hospital beds in the U.S. from 1948 to 1975. Differences between high and low income counties, rural and urban counties, and the South and the rest of the country fell substantially. NBER, 

More Americans are setting aside money in health-savings accounts for medical bills that their company plans no longer cover. Money managers are eyeing this new pool of assets as an opportunity.  WSJ, 

The U.S. government on Friday proposed raising payments by 1.35 percent on average next year to the health insurers who offer Medicare Advantage health benefits to elderly and disabled Americans.  Reuters,

Oscar Health Insurance Corp. CEO Mario Schlosser has found the strategy he says will build his startup into a million-customer player in the health insurance industry: use tight, exclusive networks with hospitals to sell competitively priced insurance in perhaps 30 U.S. markets.  Bloomberg, 

Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer MoonShot 2020 has launched a Pediatrics Consortium led by Phoenix Children’s Hospital to make combined immunotherapy the standard for pediatric cancer care.  The consortium will be launched by 10 hospitals and its aim centers on three main drivers.  Becker’s,

As drug makers race to develop cheaper versions of complicated biologic medicines, they are running studies designed to convince doctors and insurers that patients can be easily switched from expensive biologics to so-called biosimilars, which are almost identical variants.  STAT, 

In this JAMA publication, the authors found that intrinsic qualities of safety-net hospitals lead to inferior surgical outcomes and increased cost across 9 elective surgical procedures. These outcomes are likely owing to hospital resources and not necessarily patient factors.  JAMA, 

New York hospitals and physicians are scrambling to meet a state mandate to electronically prescribe all medications, with some institutions asking for extra time to comply with a 2012 law to curb prescription drug abuse, medical errors and fraud.  WSJ,

The regulatory path to health records sharing is now open—the rules are already on the books.  The Commonwealth Fund,

After cropping up all over Long Island, Northwell/GoHealth Urgent Care has arrived in Westchester. The blitz is far from over. Crain’s, 

One of the fastest-growing trends in health care is not happening on a hospital campus or a smartphone, but at your neighborhood shopping center, free-standing emergency departments (FSEDs).  NEJM Catalyst, 

To reduce infections patients acquire inside its hospitals, New York-Presbyterian Hospital conducted surveys of housekeeping staff and embedded researchers with them as they cleaned.  WSJ, 

Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital is publicly sharing stories about medical errors made at the hospital in a blog that officials hope will reduce the risk of future mistakes.  Becker’s, 

Published by the Harvard Business Review, “Speeding Up the Digitization of American Health Care,” reviews progress on electronic health records to date as well as the technical challenges and economic issues that have so far prevented digital data from realizing its health improvement potential.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is releasing two public data sets regarding the availability and use of services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by ground ambulance suppliers and home health agencies, as well as a list of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) providers and suppliers currently approved to bill Medicare.

An official with New York State’s office of mental health reached David Rivel at home on a Sunday with an urgent request: Could the Jewish Board immediately take on $75 million in social-services programs serving thousands of the states neediest? WSJ, 

Only a population health approach to diabetes will suffice because only population health takes into account health care, public health interventions, and the social and physical environments. National Academy of Medicine,

NIH said is it providing funding to Vanderbilt University for a pilot project to learn how best to attract volunteers, how to collect genomic data, and what findings about their own health participants want in return. Vanderbilt will work in collaboration with advisers from Verily, formerly Google Life Sciences.  Washington Post, 


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