Star Rating Concerns, MACRA & the Opioid Epidemic Top Hospital Medicine News

SHM & Hospital Medicine in the News: July 7 – 21, 2016

The following are among the top hospital medicine and SHM-related topics in mainstream and healthcare-centric news coverage. For the full stories, click on the hyperlinks below:

 

Hospital Groups Demand CMS Postpone Star Ratings… Again
Hospital groups are criticizing the CMS’ plans to publish star ratings of hospitals, claiming the agency calculated those ratings in a way that could inaccurately reflect a hospital’s quality. The American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, America’s Essential Hospitals and the Federation of American Hospitals penned a joint letter (PDF) Thursday to Acting Principal Deputy Administrator Dr. Patrick Conway that highlighted “significant underlying methodological problems with its star ratings” and raised concerns that the CMS had not validated its methodology. 

July 8, 2016
Modern Healthcare
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Slavitt Suggests MACRA Could Be Delayed
CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt told lawmakers Wednesday that the agency is considering delaying the start date for Medicare payment reform, which is set to go into effect Jan 1. Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, Slavitt said the CMS is concerned that some physicians, particularly at small practices, may not be ready for the changes under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act that replaced the much-maligned sustainable growth-rate formula.

July 13, 2016
Modern Healthcare
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Opioid Bill Overwhelmingly Approved by Senate
Late Wednesday, the Senate broke a months-long stalemate with a 92-2 vote passing a bill that targets the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic. “This is a bipartisan bill to reform important programs and give a substantial boost to those fighting on the front lines of the opioid epidemic — which in my state is taking more lives annually than gun shots or car wrecks,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R- Tenn.), one of the Senate conferees to negotiate the bill, in a press statement.

July 14, 2016
MedPage Today
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Dr. Paid Less: An Old Title Still Fits Female Physicians
Female physicians at some of the nation’s most prominent public medical schools earn nearly $20,000 less a year on average than their male colleagues, according to an analysis published on Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Dr. Vineet M. Arora, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, wrote an editorial accompanying the study. “This paper is going to make women academic physicians start a conversation with their institutions to promote transparency and gender equality, because at the end of the day, it’s not fair,” she said in an interview.

July 11, 2016
The New York Times
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Second US Case of E coli Resistant to Last-Resort Antibiotic
Bacteria resistant to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort, have been found in a second patient in the United States, according to a study published today. The finding raises concerns about the possible emergence of bacteria resistant to all existing antibiotics. The newly identified case is from a patient who had surgery in a New York hospital in 2015 and was identified as part of the most comprehensive surveillance project for the colistin-resistance gene, mcr-1, to date.

July 11, 2016
Medscape
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Jefferson Health Merger Model Stresses Community-Based Care
Traditional hospital mergers and acquisitions create a hub-and-spoke model. The hub hospital, usually a large urban acute care or academic medical center, picks up surrounding community hospitals, often financially stressed, to build a regional referral network and—often left unsaid— to create a larger footprint to improve leverage with payers. Stephen Klasko, MD, president and CEO of Jefferson Health, says the Philadelphia-based health system is turning that model upside down and creating a delivery system that aims to treat patients in the communities where they live.

July 13, 2016
HealthLeaders Media
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Brett Radler

Brett Radler is the Marketing Communications Manager at the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) and has been with the organization since May 2015. He is responsible for managing SHM’s blog, The Hospital Leader. In addition, Brett develops content for SHM’s monthly newsmagazine, The Hospitalist, develops and refines SHM-branded content for multiple communications channels and oversees SHM's online communities.

Brett holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and also serves as on-air talent at a New Jersey radio station in his spare time.

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