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Late last week, the U.S. House of Representatives decided to halt further pursuit of legislation - the American Health Care Act (AHCA) - that would have repealed and replaced large portions of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as "Obamacare."After several weeks of intense debate between Republicans and Democrats - and concerns from the conservative House Freedom Caucus that the AHCA did not go far enough - House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump pulled the bill from being voted on by the House of Representatives once it became clear that it would not garner enough "Yes" votes to pass.Becker's Hospital Review provides a good overview of this decision and the course of events that led to it. For now, the Affordable Care Act will remain in place - as the path forward for a repeal and replace by Republicans in Congress is uncertain at this time.So what would the AHCA have done to change American healthcare? The Kaiser Family Foundation has made available a point-by-point tool to compare provisions in this legislation with current law under the Affordable Care Act. Some of the main provisions in the GOP bill were a repeal of the individual mandate for health insurance coverage, an end to Medicaid expansion and a cap on future federal funding for Medicaid, a repeal of tax subsidies to help cover the cost of health insurance, and a repeal of multiple taxes included in the Affordable Care Act - such as the medical device tax.
NAMSS is proud to announce that our membership has grown to over 6,000 members! This continued growth is the result of countless hours of work from devoted volunteer MSPs all across the nation to make NAMSS a leader in advancing patient safety and ensuring the efficient and effective credentialing of healthcare providers.Thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to even greater growth in 2017 and beyond!
According to the Boston Globe, a 42-year-old former surgical resident utilized a common courtesy - individuals holding the door for those following behind them - to infiltrate restricted operating room suites at Brigham and Women's Hospital:."As is the practice at many hospitals, Brigham operating room staff hold their identification badges in front of an electronic card reader to gain access to surgery suites. According to video surveillance and staff accounts, the woman tagged along behind employees during shift changes, slipping in as groups of operating room staff held the door for one another."Fortunately, no harm to either patients or hospital occurred as a result of these incidents. This does, however, highlight the need for hospitals - particular those with large patient and staff populations - to be vigilant. Martin Green, president of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety, stated that such acts - known as "tailgating" - are a common security issue for hospitals across the country.Implementing extra security measures such as security cameras, electronic identification, additional security personnel and restricted areas, and stricter vetting of physician-sponsored visitors are effective ways to curb the problem of tailgating. Of course, educating physicians and staff to remain aware of who accesses operating rooms is vital, as well.Read the full story here
Brooke Murphy of Becker's Hospital Review has compiled a helpful and informative list of the "50 Things to Know About the Hospital Industry | 2017." Touching on basic demographics (number of hospitals, number of beds, etc.), mergers & acquisitions, quality and satisfaction rankings, industry trends, and compensation, this article is a useful and quick snapshot of the current hospital industry landscape. Read the full list here.
In an article for Becker's Hospital Review, Sarah Pelletier - advisory consultant and chief credentialing officer at the Greeley Company - outlined the seven essential steps to achieving an efficient and effective centralized credentialing department. These seven steps are as follows:
The National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS), in partnership with the American Hospital Association, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and the Organization of Program Director Associations, released a new Verification of Graduate Medical Education Training Form in April 2016. This form, developed over the past several years, seeks to standardize the process for the verification of a practitioner’s internship, residency and fellowship experience in compliance with healthcare accreditation organizations’ standards. Over time, each hospital, managed care organization and other healthcare entities developed their own unique forms for obtaining verification of training. This created an inefficient system in which training programs received multiple variations on requests for the same information, slowing the credentialing and onboarding of practitioners and creating extra work for all involved. This new verification form eliminates these inefficiencies through standardization. Since its release, the form has already been downloaded over 6,000 times and is being implemented in hospitals and other healthcare organizations across the country.The Verification of Graduate Medical Education Training Form is available for download HERE.
In a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) last week, eleven of the nation's largest health insurance carriers offered to make available data on the value of telemedicine as Congress considers expanded coverage under Medicare for telemedicine services.The letter states, "We view telemedicine as an important tool in increasing consumer access to high quality, affordable healthcare, improving patient satisfaction and reducing costs," and, "We believe our experience in the commercial market can inform estimates of the impact of policy changes in Medicare."For the full story from HealthLeaders Media, please click here. For the full text of the letter, please click here.
As the NAMSS 40th Educational Conference & Exhibition quickly approaches, we are excited to highlight some new and fun features for attendees this year. To mark this important milestone, NAMSS is introducing a Memory Wall and a Where is NAMSS Wall where previous conferences will be remembered. These features will be interactive, allowing attendees to indicate which conferences they have attended, where they are from, and share in the memories of 40 successful events.
Becker's Hospital Review interviewed Scott Friesen, CEO of Newport Credentialing Solutions, and Jacqueline Lam, Director of Medical Staff Services at Winthrop University Hospital (Mineola, NY), about ways of improving and streamlining the credentialing process. Here are the 5 suggestions they offered:
According to Kaiser Health News, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the University of Michigan "pledged that they will require their surgeons and 20 affiliated hospitals to meet minimum annual thresholds for 10 high-risk procedures."This is the latest development in the longstanding debate over surgery volume and outcomes.As KHN states, "A groundbreaking 1979 Stanford study found that patients who underwent operations at hospitals that did more... surgeries had significantly lower death rates than those treated at hospitals where they were done infrequently. That finding has since been replicated repeatedly across many specialties and found to apply to surgeons as well as hospitals. Last month, a large study found that the risk of complications was far higher among surgeons who performed only one thyroid removal annually than among those who did 25 or more of the tricky procedures per year."Groups such as the American College of Surgeons and The Joint Commission have expressed concerns about the implementation of these new standards. Mark Chassin, president of The Joint Commission, states, "Volume should never be used by an accrediting organization as a measure of quality."For the full story from KHN, click here.
NAMSS, in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and the Organization of Program Director Associations (OPDA) and others, developed a workgroup that has been meeting over the past year to discuss options to standardize the training verification process and alleviate these burdens placed on hospitals, medical services professionals, and program directors. This group has also been working with the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) to address the needs for licensure within the form and will continue that collaboration into the future.In an effort to streamline the credentialing process, NAMSS and our partners have collaborated to create a standardized “Verification of Graduate Medical Education Training” (VGMET) form. To access this form, please click here.The VGMET form consists of three sections:1. Verification of Graduate Medical Education Training2. Additional comments as needed3. AttestationFor 2016 and future graduates:The form would be completed once by the program director at the time of completion of the internship, residency or fellowship, with a separate form for each training program completed. The signed form would be placed in the trainee’s file. The form would be photocopied and sent with a standard cover letter to hospitals or other organizations requesting verification of training. For pre-2016 graduates:The form would be completed once – if and when a program receives a request for verification of training. The current program director would review the file and complete the form based on information contained therein, sign and date the form and send to the requesting hospital. Thereafter, that form would be used in response to all requests for training verification – a photocopy of the form, and a signed dated cover letter attesting that the form accurately reflects information about the trainee in the file.NAMSS is proud of this group’s work to create this new form as it is a significant step toward greater efficiency and will ease the burdens placed on Medical Staff and Credentialing Services Professionals, hospitals, program directors, and other stakeholders. It is a prime example of the type of reforms that are possible when those within the industry identify a problem and work together to achieve a creative solution.
From the Arkansas State Medical Board:Licensure and CCVS Policy ChangeIn response to requests from the Legislative Branch and other organizations in the state, the Arkansas State Medical Board (ASMB) has approved several changes for licensing and Centralized Credentials Verification Service (CCVS). It is believed these changes may be a factor in helping to reduce the amount of time it takes to license practitioners in this state. These changes are:- Authorized the use (Not Mandate) of the Federation of State Medical Board’s FCVS credentials program.- Authorized the utilization (Not Mandate) of the Federation of State Medical Board’s uniform application.- Reduced the requirement to collect the Work History, including Hospital Privilege History, to only the last 10 years unless circumstances call for the additional information.- Accept assignments by Locum, Contract or Telemedicine companies for verification of Work History provided by company assignment rather than from collecting verifications from the individual facilities.*The ASMB/CCVS staff has requested and received approval from NCQA for the use of the FCVS by the CCVS.
Based upon data available through the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School have found that lack of standardization across state lines results in wide variation in rates of disciplinary actions and malpractice claims."'In one state the punishment for a particular violation could be a fine, while in another state you could lose your license for doing the same thing,' says Dr. Elena Byhoff [one of the study's authors]. 'It has implications for the ability of physicians to move from state to state,' if their punishment in one state is not enough to keep a hospital or practice in another state from hiring them."For the full story, click here.
In an article released on January 27, Gene Emery of Reuters writes that a large portion of the malpractice claims that result in payments to patients are caused by a small fraction of doctors in the United States.Key Facts:
For the first time in the association's history, NAMSS has surpassed 5,500 members in 2015, representing a nearly 15% increase in membership since 2011! The continued growth and success of our organization is due to the tireless efforts of our dedicated staff, as well as the unparalleled commitment of our members across the country. Not only do the Medical Service Professionals who comprise the NAMSS membership serve as the gatekeepers for patient safety at their hospitals, health systems, and other medical organizations nationwide, they also serve as critical and irreplaceable ambassadors for NAMSS.A great debt of gratitude is also owed to our current president, Linda Waldorf, for her steady and competent leadership over this past year. Growth-oriented and ever strategic, we will continue to rely on her expertise and passion in the future.Thank you to all who have contributed to NAMSS's success in 2015. We look forward to an exciting 2016! Happy New Year!
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