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ICU patients' outcomes improve when hospital staff also pay attention to families of the sick Print E-mail
Written by Meredith Cohn | The Baltimore Sun   
Monday, 06 February 2017 00:00

When her sister was in and out of intensive care last year, Theodora Peters noticed she no longer had to push so hard for information about her sister's condition and treatment, or to stay by her bedside after visiting hours.

"There seemed to finally be recognition that we were part of the team," Peters said about the way the medical staff treated her and her sibling. "There was recognition we all needed to work together to get the best outcomes."

For decades, hospital intensive-care units focused on facilitating the care provided by doctors and nurses to the gravely ill, while access was limited for patients' families, partly so they wouldn't get in the way. That's beginning to change under a new approach known in medical circles as "family-centered care" that's gaining traction in ICUs as hospitals look for ways to improve care and cut costs.

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Medicare establishes 5 percent incentive for practices in the advance payment model under MACRA Print E-mail
Written by Accountable Care Options, LLP   
Thursday, 26 January 2017 00:00

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized rules for its payment program on Nov. 2. They affect practices in advanced alternative payment models, including accountable care organizations, or ACOs.

Practices can earn annual incentives up to 5 percent if they are in ACOs that accept a financial risk for excessive costs in return for a greater percentage of the savings generated. That category includes Medicare Shared Savings Tracks 2 and 3, Next Generation ACO models, Comprehensive ESRD Care Model, Comprehensive Primary Care Plus model and Oncology Care Model.

Practices that receive 25 percent of Medicare payments or see 20 percent of Medicare patients in 2017 through an advanced payment model are eligible to receive a 5 percent incentive payment in 2019.

The good news is that practices in those ACOs have most of the reporting work done for them. Physicians can focus their time and attention on delivering effective, efficient care. They will still need to attest what's called Advancing Care Information measures; they replace meaningful use.

The best way to score well in this area is to perform a security risk analysis - a HIPAA analysis of electronic health records. Evaluate the integrity of your system and the structures that house them. If you discover a security risk, then establish a plan and act on it.

To do well overall, a practice should align itself with an ACO that ranks in the 90th percentile or higher in quality and had a positive 2015 adjustment in the value modifier; the latter was based on measures of quality of care and cost containment.

Practices in the advanced payment model that efficiently treat specific cases and diseases and have also generated shared savings will also earn a positive adjustment. The incentive payment will be delivered directly to the practitioner.
 
This might be how stress and heart attacks are linked Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 16 January 2017 19:28

Jacqueline Howard, in a CNN post dated January 11, 2017, reports:

Scientists have long known that stress can influence your heart health, but exactly how this relationship takes place has been something of a mystery -- until now.

Activity in the amygdala, a region of the brain associated with fear and stress, can predict your risk for heart disease and stroke, according to a study published in the journal The Lancet on Wednesday.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2jrUOpY

Last Updated on Monday, 16 January 2017 19:31
 
Cleveland Clinic under fire after doc's anti-vaccine rant Print E-mail
Written by Ilene MacDonald | Fierce Healthcare   
Tuesday, 10 January 2017 00:00

Cleveland Clinic is taking a hard line against one of its physicians, who published a column laced with anti-vaccine rhetoric, creating a media firestorm and backlash from the medical community.

The prestigious hospital system promised disciplinary action against Daniel Neides, MD, who implied in a column last week, published by Cleveland.com, that dangerous preservatives and ingredients in vaccines may be linked to an increase in cases of autism.

That theory is based on a fraudulent study that has been discredited by researchers and was retracted by a leading medical journal, but still is used by anti-vaccine proponents to discourage parents from allowing physicians to administer the Mumps, Measles and Rubella vaccine to their children,

"We have to wake up out of our trance and stop following bad advice," he wrote in the column, which was briefly taken down Sunday but has since been restored on the site.

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See the Cleveland Clinic press release HERE>>
 
For daring to study a discredited therapy, this doctor earned scorn - and a $37 million grant Print E-mail
Written by Karen Weintraub | STAT   
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 20:09

MIAMI BEACH, FL - The new heart patient asked Dr. Gervasio Lamas if he thought chelation therapy was worth a try. "Of course not!" the cardiologist replied emphatically. His Harvard training had taught him that alternative therapies were a waste of time and money, and potentially risky to boot. "I told him it was quackery."

But Lamas went home that night unsure if he had given his patient the best medical advice. He looked up research on chelation therapy, which removes heavy metals from the body, and found very little data either supporting or contradicting the procedure.

Lamas was troubled by the idea that he had offered this man a medical opinion that wasn't supported by science. And he decided to conduct a study himself. He had no idea what he was getting into.

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Last Updated on Friday, 20 January 2017 18:39
 
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