Today’s Top Story

Study: Transitioning Medicare program to track hospital-wide readmissions could increase penalties for hospitals

Findings from a study published in the Oct. 19 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine suggest that transitioning the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program from condition-specific readmission measures to a hospital-wide readmission measure would modestly increase the number of hospitals eligible for penalties and substantially increase the penalties for safety-net hospitals. The researchers reviewed Medicare claims from 2011 through 2013 and found that in changing to the hospital-wide measure, 76 more hospitals would have received penalties. Such a transition would also increase the disparity in penalties between safety-net hospitals and other hospitals.

Read the abstract…

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Other News

CMS: Less than 40 days left to submit informal review request to avoid 2018 payment penalty

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reminding providers that they have until Dec. 1, 2017, to submit an informal review request if they believe their 2016 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) results or 2018 Value Modifier calculations are inaccurate. The 2016 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) show how providers performed in 2016 on quality and cost measures and will be used to calculate the 2018 Value Modifier as well as their practice’s 2018 Value Modifier payment adjustment. It is important that providers access and review their 2016 PQRS feedback reports and 2016 annual QRURs to determine whether they are subject to 2018 Medicare payment penalties.

Learn more and obtain feedback reports…

Learn more about the informal review process (PDF)…

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FDA announces recall of SCA Pharmaceuticals injectable products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that SCA Pharmaceuticals LLC is voluntarily recalling various lots of injectable products to the hospital level due to a potential microbial contamination. The company states that it has not yet received any customer complaints or reports of adverse events related to the issue but is initiating the recall as a precautionary measure.

View the complete list of recalled products…

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Study: Percent of hip and knee arthroplasty patients prescribed opioids alone fell from 2006 to 2014

Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists suggests that opioid use among hip and knee arthroplasty patients decreased by one-third between 2006 and 2014. Members of the research team reviewed data on 377,657 hip arthroplasties and 779,338 knee arthroplasties conducted across 546 hospitals and compared the number of patients who received postsurgical opioids to those who received multimodal therapy. They found that, among hip arthroplasty patients, 27 percent received opioids alone to manage pain in 2006 compared to 10 percent in 2014. Among knee arthroplasty patients, 23 percent received opioids alone to manage pain in 2006 compared to 7 percent in 2014.

Read more…

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Study: Brief, psychosocial intervention may increase patient satisfaction with providers

According to a study published in the October issue of the journal Family Medicine, the use of a brief psychosocial intervention may help providers build a rapport with patients and increase their satisfaction with a hospitalization experience. The authors conducted a randomized study of 25 patients admitted to an inpatient service and received either usual care or a daily Background, Affect, Trouble, Handling, and Empathy (BATHE) intervention. They found that patients in the BATHE cohort were more likely than those in the traditional cohort to rate their medical care as excellent.

Read more…

Read the complete study…

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In the States

New Jersey

AMA Wire reports that a suit under consideration by the Supreme Court of New Jersey may determine whether scientific testimony expressing refuted theories not subjected to peer review and that do not follow the traditional hierarchy of scientific evidence should be admissible in court. At issue is a case in which plaintiffs argued that they developed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) after taking isotretinoin. Some physicians had previously reported that isotretinoin users were occasionally diagnosed with IBD, but high-quality evidence has found no link between isotretinoin and risk of IBD. An appeals court ruled that it is not the court’s role to predict whether a jury would find experts credible or persuasive.

Read more…

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Call for volunteers: Instructional Course Committees

Jan. 12, 2018, is the last day to submit your application for a position on an Instructional Course Committee. Members of Instructional Course Committees grade Instructional Course Lecture applications in May and evaluate courses at the AAOS Annual Meeting in March.

  • Adult Reconstruction Knee (one member opening)
  • Foot and Ankle (chair)
  • Hand and Wrist (chair)
  • Pediatrics (chair)
  • Practice Management (chair)
  • Shoulder and Elbow (chair, one member)
  • Spine (chair)
  • Tumor (chair)

Applicants for this position must be active fellows with a practice emphasis in the relevant topic.

Learn more and submit your application… (member login required)

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