Week of January 11-15, 2016


Health Care Leadership and Management
Frederick Taylor, a son of Philadelphia aristocrats who lived at the turn of the last century, became known as the “father of scientific management” — the original “efficiency expert.” . Meanwhile, the electronic health record (EHR) — introduced with the laudable goals of making patient information readily available and improving safety by identifying dangerous drug–drug interactions — has become a key instrument for measuring the duration and standardizing the content of patient–doctor interactions in pursuit of “the one best way.”  Medical Taylorism,

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” is an often-quoted admonition commonly attributed to the late W. Edwards Deming, a leader in the field of quality improvement. Some well-respected health policy experts have adopted as a truism a popular variation of the Deming quote—“if something cannot be measured, it cannot be improved”.  Deming consistently cautioned against requiring measurement to guide management decisions, observing that the most important data needed to manage often are unknown and unknowable.  JAMA Forum: If You Can’t Measure Performance, Can You Improve It?, 

In order to decrease rapid turnover of healthcare employees and increase employee engagement, hospitals and other healthcare institutions must commit to three key strategies, according to a white paper published this week by Press Ganey. “To build a high-performing organization, healthcare leaders need a focused understanding of where to drive change in order to create and sustain an engaged, patient-centered culture that reduces stress for caregivers and suffering for patients.”,  Building A High-Performing Workforce, 

ACA Implementation
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today unveiled the first round of participants in its Next Generation accountable care organization model, which is designed for ACOs with greater experience in coordinating care.  CMS aims to test whether stronger financial incentives than those found in existing Medicare ACO models, coupled with tools for better patient engagement and care management, can improve outcomes and lower spending for fee-for-service.  HHS.gov, beneficiaries.

Partly to contain costs, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) encourages workers with access to employer-provided coverage to retain that coverage by restricting their eligibility for marketplace subsidies.  In this Commonwealth Fund blog post the authors explain that a family is ineligible for marketplace subsidies if at least one member has access to affordable employer-provided insurance—defined as a plan in which the contribution for a single premium is less than 9.56 percent of household income. In contrast, families that are eligible for subsidies in the marketplaces pay no more than 9.56 percent of their income for a family premium, if they enroll in benchmark coverage.  Modifying the ACA’s Family Subsidy Rules to Help Ensure Affordability, 

For the first time, the leader of the CMS has said publicly that the agency “has the opportunity” to sunset the meaningful use program in 2016.  Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of CMS, made his remarks Tuesday at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Comments of CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt at the J.P. Morgan Annual Health Care Conference, Jan. 11, 2016, 

With full federal funding for expanding Medicaid set to expire at the end this year, President Barack Obama is proposing to indefinitely extend the health law provision for any of the 19 states that have not yet adopted the enhanced eligibility.  Obama Seeks To Offer New Incentive For States To Expand Medicaid,

Despite the significant drop in uninsured rates over the last two years, more than 30 million Americans remain without coverage. In a new blog post, Harvard University’s Adrian Garcia Mosqueira and Benjamin Sommers point out one obstacle to higher enrollment is a lack of awareness of coverage options among uninsured individuals. Better Outreach Critical to ACA Enrollment, Particularly for Latinos,

The rate of Hispanic children without health insurance fell to a historic low in 2014, the first year that key parts of Obamacare took effect, but they still represent a disproportionate share of the nation’s uninsured youth, according to a new study.  Hispanic Children’s Uninsured Rate Hits Record Low, Study Finds,


With special tax suspended, medical device firms reap big savings, Minnesota Public Radio,
FDA Took 17 Months to Notify Doctors on Scopes’ ‘Superbug’ Dangers, Wall Street Journal 
Insurers Say Costs Are Climbing as More Enroll Past Health Act Deadline, The New York Times,
Why MedStar Health just teamed up with Uber, Biz Journals,
How Denmark Dumped Medical Malpractice and Improved Patient Safety, ProPublica,
Drug Companies to Try a Unified Front Against Cancer, The New York Times,
Certifiably Needless Health-Care Meddling, WSJ,
Moody’s: 3 challenges facing the healthcare industry in 2016, Becker’s, 
Doctors Unionize to Resist the Medical Machine, The New York Times,
At the Hospital, Better Responses to Those Beeping Alarms, WSJ,
Power To The Patients: How To Increase Consumerism In Healthcare, Forbes,
5 Epic updates in the New Year, Becker’s, 
Transparency in Clinical Research, Health Affairs
Top 10 trends from the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, Becker’s,



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