Today’s Top Story
House legislation would limit medical liability damages for patients insured through federal programs.
The New York Times reports that a bill under consideration in the U.S House of Representatives would, if enacted, impose new limits on lawsuits involving care covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance subsidized by the Affordable Care Act. The bill would set a $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages, although states would be permitted to set different limits. Supporters of the bill say that it would reduce the incidence of frivolous lawsuits, and the U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill would reduce federal budget deficits by almost $50 billion over a decade. Critics of the bill argue that it would negatively affect the rights of people covered under federal health programs. Read more…(registration may be required)
Study: Many TJA patients may not receive adequate vancomycin prophylaxis.
Data from a study published online in the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research suggest that many patients may not be adequately dosed with vancomycin prophylaxis prior to total joint arthroplasty (TJA). The research team notes that patients are often given a fixed 1 gram dose instead of the recommended dosing of 15 mg/kg The authors conducted a retrospective study of 7,638 primary TJA patients at a single center, 1,828 of whom resceived vancomycin prophylaxis and 5,810 of whom received cefazolin monotherapy. They found that 2 percent (n = 32) of patients receiving vancomycin experienced periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), compared to 1 percent (n = 62) of cefazolin patients. Overall, 94 percent (1,726 of 1,828) of patients received a fixed 1 g dose of vancomycin, of whom 64 percent (1,105 of 1,726) were considered underdosed. No patients with adequate dosing or overdosing of vancomycin developed PJI with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Read the abstract…
CMS posts new information for physicians to QPP website.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted new resources to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website to help clinicians successfully participate in the first year of the program. The agency encourages participants in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to visit the website to review the following new materials:
- MIPS Participation Fact Sheet
- MIPS Improvement Activities Fact Sheet
- List of 2017 CMS-Approved Qualified Registries
CMS releases annual proposed rule for upcoming Medicare payment policies.
CMS has issued a proposed rule that to update 2018 Medicare payment and policies pertaining to when patients are admitted into hospitals. The proposed rule is designed to relieve regulatory burdens for providers and promote transparency, flexibility, and innovation in delivery of care. Among other things, the proposed rule includes:
- Changes to the FY 2017 and FY 2018 reporting periods for Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs).
- Alignment of specific CQMs available to eligible professionals participating in the Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program with those available to professionals participating in the MIPS.
- No payment adjustments to eligible professionals who furnish “substantially all” of their services in an ambulatory surgical center (ASC).
HIMSS recommends delaying certification criteria under EHR Incentive Programs and QPP.
In a letter to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has recommended delaying by 6 months—to July 1, 2018—the start date for using the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria under the EHR Incentive Programs and QPP. The organization states that doing so would increase the likelihood that providers, vendors, and consultants have the necessary time to fully test and implement the criteria to ensure their safe, effective, and efficient implementation. Read more…
Read the HIMSS statement, with link to the letter…
Is increased transparency an alternative to CON laws?
An article in Modern Healthcare looks at the issue of certificate of need (CON) laws, which allow states to determine if new healthcare facilities can open or if new services can be offered. Overall, 15 states have eliminated such laws, and two more have introduced bills to do so. Some experts argue that a move toward increased pricing transparency and rules that require ASCs to care for the uninsured help level the playing field for existing facilities and reduce costs, without requiring CONs. Read more…(registration may be required)
Vote now! AAOS 2018 Nominating Committee, two resolutions and three bylaw amendments.
Voting has begun to elect the six members of the 2018 Nominating Committee and to determine action on two AAOS resolutions and three bylaw amendments. Online voting is quick, secure, and confidential For the resolutions and bylaw amendments, at least five percent of the total fellowship must cast ballots for the voting to be valid. Ballots must be submitted by Wednesday, May 17, 2017. If you have questions, please contact the AAOS Voting Hotline, at 800-999-2939. An AAOS member ID is required to vote. Learn more and cast your ballot…(member login required)