Newsletter of the American College of Medical Quality
On behalf of the ACMQ Board of Trustees and staff, we wish you a happy holiday season and hope that 2015 will be a year of good health and success for you.
Please note our holiday office schedule changes:
Dec. 24th- Closed at 3pm
Dec. 25th- Closed
Dec. 26th- Closed
Dec. 31st-Closed at 3pm
Jan. 2nd- Closed
We look forward to seeing you in Alexandria, VA, March 26-28 for Medical Quality 2015: Together, We Will!
CMS announces new 5-star rating system for kidney dialysis providers beginning January 1, 2015
Similar to what has been done for physicians and nursing homes, CMS will use ratings on the dialysis facility compare website to help Medicare beneficiaries assess the quality of care. Using nine publicly available quality measures such as transfusions, mortality, and hospitalizations, the program has met with criticism that the analysis lacks rigor. CMS intends to extend the quality assessments to home care agencies and hospitals.
Controversy developed between healthcare consultants who opined that wellness programs cost employers more than they produce in healthcare savings and are money losers. Tens of millions of employees are encouraged to participate due to the perceived benefit. Truven recently published a study stating just the opposite with data from Johnson and Johnson claiming that every dollar invested saved $1.88 and $4 in healthcare expenditures that otherwise would have been spent. RAND researchers found in a study involving seven employers and 600,000 employees and dependents, that there was no immediate reduction in what employers spent on healthcare coverage.
Scandal in the Patient Safety movement
The editors of the Journal of Patient Safety found five of the 10 articles authored by the disgraced former editor. Dr. Charles Denham, failed to disclose relevant financial conflicts of interest. Dr. Denham admitted that CareFusion paid his private consulting company more than $11 million while he chaired a NQF committee reviewing sterilization standards. The Department of Justice is investigating.
Truven Health Analytics annually publishes the list of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the United States. The 20 performance measures include mortality and complication rates, extended-outcome measures as well as efficiency measures. Keys to success are working in teams, reviewing every admission, standardizing procedures across systems, deploying cardiac specialty nurses and monitoring data in real time. Six of the hospitals had more than one of their system hospitals making the list, indicating that standardization is having success. Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas (now part of Baylor) has been recognized the most frequently having been included in the top 50 twelve times since 1999.
Women not being screened for cervical cancer
The CDC recently reported that eight million women in the US have skipped cervical cancer screening in the past five years. Lack of screening is particularly high in the South. Factors associated with lack of screening were lack of health insurance and women who did not have a regular health care provider. Ilene Arias, the CDC;s deputy director, said that no woman should die from cervical cancer.
Berkeley, CA first city to impose sugar tax
The penny-per-ounce tax on most sugar-sweetened drinks will raise more than $1 million per year with over 75% of the voters approving the measure. Similar measures have failed in more than 30 other cities and states in recent years. Proponents argue that making people think twice would help curb a host of diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Opponents claim that the tax smacked of a nanny state and would raise the cost of groceries for all.
Although there are concerns regarding accuracy and high false positive tests, CMS has agreed to pay for Cologuard once every three years for beneficiaries ages 50-85 who are asymptomatic but at risk for developing colon cancer. The test retails for $600. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has not endorsed DNA screening for colorectal cancer.
Medicare Pioneer ACO program down to 19 after three organizations exit
Three more organizations have dropped out of Medicare's Pioneer ACO program, leaving the program down to 19. The implication is that some of the most sophisticated systems may be unwilling to take losses under the new payment and delivery models. ACO programs have produced inconsistent results. Although Medicare announced that through 2013, Medicare saved $817 million, three-quarters of the ACOs shared nothing after failing to perform sufficiently well against the financial benchmarks.
We are happy to announce that the 2015 Scientific Program Committee has developed a comprehensive, dynamic and interactive program designed to provide healthcare professionals like you, interested in quality, with an effective, efficient and high value educational event.
Our agenda promises three exciting days of thought provoking speakers and sessions from the best and brightest in our field. Highlights include: two optional pre-conference workshops, one on the fundamentals of quality improvement, and the other on advanced techniques; an opening session on the Politics of Quality; expanded oral presentation sessions drawn from accepted abstracts and a gala dinner Friday night to support the Quality Scholars Program.
Throughout the conference, our expert faculty will share their experience and insight on the latest advances in Medical Quality, allowing you to implement the most current initiatives when you return home.
We will again gather at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, Virginia, just across the Potomac from our Nation's Capital. The 2014 conference was a big success at this venue, and we look forward to a repeat in 2015.
Join us, Register today!
Henry Johnson, Jr., MD, MPH
Chair, MQ 2015 Scientific Program
Vice President and Medical Director, MidasPlus, Inc.,
A Xerox Company
Paul Nagy, PhD
Co-Chair, MQ 2015 Scientific Program Committee
Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Greg Wise, MD
VPMA and CMO, Kettering Medical Center System
Perhaps the two most significant news items this recent quarter have been the Ebola epidemic reaching the United States and the fall election victories for the Republican party. Although the two are not related, there may be similarities in context.
The Ebola 'crisis' was the consuming topic of the news with fear-mongering and hyperbole dominating the media in its continuing attempt to capture market share and ratings. As physicians, we were well aware of how unlikely a true epidemic would develop in the United States. Despite pleas for reason and restraint by Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at NIH, the public was far too consumed by the irrational fear of wide-scale infection while public officials often overreacted in attempts to impose overly restrictive quarantines and other measures that would actually discourage healthcare workers from assisting in fighting the epidemic in Africa.
Spread the Word about ACMQ!
As an active member of ACMQ, you know the valuable features the College offers to its members. We hope you will help us spread the word and encourage your colleagues to join! In appreciation for your help, we have developed the following incentives for bringing in new members:
- ACMQ members will receive a $100 credit on their MQ 2015 meeting registration for each new member* who joins as a result of their efforts. For example, if you successfully recruit three members, you will receive a $300 discount on your MQ 2015 meeting registration.
- The ACMQ member who brings in the most new members* will be invited to participate in an executive level strategy meeting with 2015 Founders' Award recipient, Peter Pronovost, from Johns Hopkins University. The meeting will take place following Dr. Pronovost's keynote address at MQ 2015**. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to serve on ACMQ's Membership Committee. This is your chance to help shape the college.
To participate simply ask your colleagues to put your name in the "recruiter field" if they join online, or they can use this ACMQ membership brochure.
*Recruited individuals must qualify for full ACMQ Membership or Affiliate Membership.
**Recipient must be an active member of ACMQ, must attend MQ 2015 and must be available at the time scheduled for the meeting.
It is Time to Renew Your ACMQ Membership!
Deadline to renew and avoid cancellation:
January 31, 2015
ACMQ's 2014 membership year ends on December 31! Renewal notices have gone out by mail and email. Please contact us if you did not receive a renewal notice. Don't risk losing any of your member benefits and renew today!
Planning to attend MQ 2015, ACMQ's Annual Meeting?
Renew when you register and save $100 on your 2015 membership dues*! Click here to register for MQ 2015: Together, We Will
*Discount not available for student, resident or affiliate members
|A Successful Gathering of Future Leaders in Quality and Safety in Philadelphia
Diana Huang, Medical Student
This past Saturday, December 6, about 50 students, residents, and faculty interested in quality were joined by over 15 outstanding experts in Medical Quality in Philadelphia for ACMQ's 5th National Workshop on Quality for Medical Education, Future Leaders in Quality and Safety. This annual conference serves as the College's Mid-Year Conference, and is targeted primarily towards students and residents. However, even those who have been in the field for many years were able to learn something new at this year's event.
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