Home     About    Sign Up      H2RWebinars    Vendor Solutions     Sponsorship    Contact Us

Industry News
The Supreme Court is considering several important health care cases, and Scalia's death could have an impact on the outcomes. Among the cases: the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, a data-sharing case with potential implications for insurers and state health care reform efforts, and a case with implications for False Claims Act lawsuits against providers. Roll Call offers analysis of several. It points out that, in the event of a tie, the lower court ruling stands, but SCOTUS can revisit the case because "a 4-4 vote is treated as if the court never ruled." (Modern Healthcare via Crain's Detroit Business; Roll Call)

Hospitals with more registered nurses and doctors per bed can reduce patient deaths by as much as 20 percent, according to research out of England published in BMJ Open. The researchers found death rates are 20 percent lower when nurses are responsible for six or fewer patients, as compared to when they are responsible for 10 or more. On surgical wards, deaths rates were 17 percent lower with the lower nurse-patient ratio. Researchers emphasize the need for skilled RNs; simply substituting health care support staff could have the opposite effect: Having more unregistered nurses increased the death rate at hospitals. (United Press International; BMJ Open)

Most health insurers saw financial losses on Affordable Care Act plans in 2014, and many companies' results for last year worsened. This has created pressure to improve performance, the Wall Street Journal reports. Case in point: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina paid out more for health care in the first three quarters of 2015 than they took in from premiums on their individual plans. It's the latest insurer to say it's considering leaving the ACA marketplace in 2017. (FierceHealthPayer; WSJ via Kaiser Health News)
Innovation & Transformation 
Health care homes outperformed other primary care clinics and saved Minnesota more than $1 billion over five years, according to analysis from the University of Minnesota. Health care homes manage patients' overall care and provide extra support to chronically ill patients. A patient receiving primary care from a health care home was less likely to need a lengthy hospital stay between 2010 and 2014, and had $7,216 in medical expenses annually--9 percent less than a patient receiving traditional primary care. (Star Tribune)
The new Patient Placement Operations Center (PPOC) at the Columbia campus of New York-Presbyterian Hospital helps the organization track patients--and improve efficiency. PPOC measures established metrics for moving patients through the hospital by time-stamping emergency department throughput. A decision to admit creates a bed request from the ED; the system can record when a bed is assigned and when one is occupied, and how long nursing takes to move a patient to an inpatient bed. (HealthDataManagement)

Nashville-based Jumpstart Foundry has launched a new health care innovation fund. Calling business accelerators "boring," the company is taking another approach. Instead of getting pitched by entrepreneurs to fund the projects they want to work on, Jumpstart is taking pitches from would-be clients such as HCA and Walgreens, then matching them with the developers that can turn those ideas into reality. The new format will let Jumpstart invest in 20 early-stage companies in the next year, more than twice its reach via the accelerator model, the Tennessean reports. (Modern Healthcare; Tennessean)
Consumers & Providers
"Automating empathy," a new health care buzzword, relates to helping doctors stay in touch with patients before and after procedures. California startup HealthLoop uses automated empathy emails to help doctors check on patients daily. It and other similar startups say their technologies will help patients stick to their care plan, avoid readmission and be more satisfied. This sort of automation isn't bad, says Michael Millenson, a health industry consultant. "The real question is whether this kind of automated messaging is in conjunction with a cultural change in how doctors think about their patients." (Kaiser Health News via MedPageToday)
In the last two days before dying, many hospice patients at home or in a nursing home were not seen by a doctor, nurse or social worker--especially if they were black, dying on a Sunday or were in a nursing home. The findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, led the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to change its hospice care payment policy for 2016, according to study lead author Dr. Joan Teno of the University of Washington. (Consumer Health Day; JAMA Internal Medicine)
Having to justify an antibiotics prescription for acute respiratory tract infections, or being compared with their peers for number of prescriptions written, lowered rates of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing practices, according to research published in JAMA. After an educational intervention, participants received either a suggestion prompt for a non-antibiotic, a justification prompt or an email showing how they ranked against their colleagues. In the cases of accountable justification and peer comparison, study participants were less likely to prescribe antibiotics against guideline recommendation.(MedPageTodayJAMA)
   Follow us on Twitter   Like us on Facebook 
New & Noted   
Time to start saving--or smoking? The healthier you are, the more money you need to save for health care in retirement, according to new research by the Empower Institute, which is sponsored by Empower Retirement, a division of Great-West Financial. The reason: Healthier people generally live longer. (Wall Street Journal)  

Indy/Cincy HIE now bidirectional: Indianapolis-based Indiana Health Information Exchange and Cincinnati-based Health Bridge, two of the biggest and longest-standing health information exchanges in the United States, have begun sharing data bi-directionally across state lines. (Healthcare IT News)
Overpayment rule: CMS has released a final rule on Medicare overpayments. Among the changes: The look-back period is reduced from 10 years in the proposed rule to six years in the final. The final rule also clarifies what "identification" of an overpayment means. (Becker's Hospital Review)

Dementia incidence fell about 20 percent per decade since 1977, driven by declines in vascular dementia, according to a recent research. In this five-minute video, experts discuss the implications. The data comes from the Framingham Heart Study. (MedPageToday) 
MarketVoices...quotes worth reading
"When you have your provider calling, saying 'I'm really concerned,' that really gets the attention of other providers."-- Lisa Hoffman Wojcik of Mankato, Minn., on how being part of health care home helps her get specialists to pay attention to her sick son, quoted in the Star Tribune

Subscriber Tools
Editorial Team
Roxanna Guilford-Blake
Sandy Mau




Copyright 2009-2016, H2RMinutes

Wednesday, February 17, 2016