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April 2016
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A Word from the President


Welcome to the April issue of NAMSS Gateway! Spring has officially sprung, and NAMSS is moving right along in keeping with the theme of what this season represents – renewal and change. As you are aware, the composition of the NAMSS Board changes every year with several members ending their terms. This change all begins with a Call for Nominations. Our association is comprised of an incredible number of highly talented and motivated MSPs, and serving your peers as a volunteer leader is a remarkable opportunity.

This month, we are accepting self-nominations for the next generation of NAMSS leaders. If you are interested in taking your involvement with NAMSS to the next level, be sure to apply within the next week. Or, if you believe you know of another NAMSS member who would excel in this role, please take the time to share your confidence in them and ensure that they are aware of this opportunity. The deadline for nominations closes April 22nd. Visit the NAMSS website for more information.

Bonnie Gutierrez, BHA, CPCS, CPMSM
NAMSS President
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Headlines


News From NAMSS
2017 Call for Nominations
Spring Live Webinars
NAMSS Leadership Certificate Program
Scholarship Applications Now Available
Social Corner

Industry News
"Three More Hospitals That Employed Rocky Allen Face Patient Lawsuits"
"New Report Sheds Doubt on Whether Hospital Mergers Save Money"
"The ER On Its Own: How R.I.'s First Standalone Emergency Room Is Being Born"
"When a Surgeon Should Just Say 'I'm Sorry'"
"Hospitals' Digital Drug Ordering Boosts Safety but Can Lead to Fatal Errors"
"State Anticipation High for Osteopathic Campus"


News From NAMSS


2017 Call for Nominations

Are you interested in taking your involvement with NAMSS to the next level? This spring, NAMSS is looking for talented and driven individuals to comprise the next generation of NAMSS leaders. Apply now for one of the open Board positions – the deadline to apply is April 22, 2016!

Open Board Positions
  • Secretary – Treasurer: Term is January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. This position may succeed to the positions of President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President in subsequent years.
  • Director at Large (3 positions available): Term is three years, from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019.
Click here to review the position descriptions, Nomination of Board Members Policy, or to apply now!
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Spring Live Webinars

Colliding Worlds: Medical Necessity vs. Medical Staff Review
Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET (1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CT)
Speakers: Catherine Ballard and Stephen Kleinman - Bricker & Eckler
Cost: Member: $55; Non-member: $75
CE Credit: 1.5

The world of medical staff peer review and hospital compliance review are beginning to intersect. The purpose of this webinar is to identify the differences between the two processes in order to help everyone better understand what needs to be shared, and when, to ensure that both sides can do their job effectively.

Click here to register now!

How to Interpret Problematic Conditions of Participation and Accreditation
Date: Thursday, May 5, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET (1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CT)
Speaker: Jonathan Burroughs, MD, MBA, FACHE, FAAPL
Cost: Member: $55; Non-member: $75
CE Credit: 1.0

Accreditation standards provide an opportunity to adopt 'best practices' that benefit optimum patient outcomes. Unfortunately, many get overly proscriptive in their interpretation of accreditation standard intent and so inadvertently create scenarios that add complexity, cost, and confusion. There are an infinite number of ways to interpret accreditation standards; however, the ideal way for each organization will reduce operating cost, reduce complexity, and support optimal patient outcomes. This program covers the most problematic accreditation standards - past, present, and future and demonstrates how they can be looked at with fresh eyes to improve quality outcomes and reduce costs.

Click here to register now!
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NAMSS Leadership Certificate Program

NAMSS is gearing up for the launch of its newest education offering – the NAMSS Leadership Certificate Program! This dual-platform curriculum, comprised of online modules and a live course, is designed for certified MSPs who are ready to take the next step towards leadership.

Online modules will include: Introduction to the NAMSS Leadership Certificate Program, Project Management and Leadership, Corporate Responsibility and Compliance, Cultivating Leaders from Within, Financial Leadership & Decision Making, Becoming a More Effective Negotiator (part 1 of 2), Leading a Team: Core Concepts for Success (part 1 of 2), and Leadership in the Current Healthcare Environment.

The live course, which takes place at the NAMSS 40th Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition, will include: Team Leadership Skills (Part 2 of 2), Negotiation Skills (Part 2 of 2), Critical Thinking, and Communication Skills.

Stay tuned, more information on the NAMSS Leadership Certificate Program will be available in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, be sure to reserve your spot by signing up here or sending an email to education@namss.org!
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Scholarship Applications Now Available

NAMSS is now accepting applications for the following scholarships:

  • Charlotte Cochrane Scholarship – provides financial assistance to an active member of NAMSS and is to be applied toward an accredited program of study
  • Aspire Higher Scholarship - provides financial assistance to an active member of NAMSS and is to be applied toward an accredited program of study
  • The NAMSS Scholarship Fund – includes opportunities for NAMSS members to attend the National Conference and Exhibition and state/local conference or to participate in other continuing education
Applications for all scholarships are due by June 15, 2016 (or December 15, 2016 for state/local events taking place January 16, 2017 – July 15, 2016). Click here for more information or to download the application!
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Social Corner

LinkedIn is a great online resource for expanding your professional connections. Use the advanced search function on the platform to find other MSPs in your area using keywords, such as job title, company name, and location. Start expanding your network today!

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Industry News


Three More Hospitals That Employed Rocky Allen Face Patient Lawsuits
Denver Post (03/28/16) Olinger, David

Three additional hospitals that employed former surgical technologist Rocky Allen face lawsuits alleging they failed to safeguard patients from a fentanyl addict with a blood disease. In Arizona, attorney James Avery filed suit last week against two hospitals that employed Allen in 2014 -- Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale and HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center in Phoenix. He also notified the state of Washington of an intent to sue Northwest Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle on behalf of surgery patients during Allen's stint there. Karen Peck, a Northwest Hospital spokeswoman, denied that the hospital acted negligently in hiring Allen. His U.S. Navy references checked out, she said, and nobody mentioned that the 28-year-old had been court-martialed for stealing fentanyl at an Army base aboard. Allen has been charged in Colorado with stealing fentanyl from Swedish Medical Center in Englewood and replacing it with a syringe containing none of the powerful narcotic painkiller. To date, no hospital has confirmed that Allen infected anyone.
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New Report Sheds Doubt on Whether Hospital Mergers Save Money
Healthcare Finance News (03/29/16) Morse, Susan

A new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report found mergers and consolidations should save hospitals money from having benefits of scale, but they are not overall. PwC Principal Anil Kaul and Director K.R. Prabha determined consolidating systems and processes could enable health systems to cut costs by 15 percent to 20 percent. However, they found system mergers are mostly done to capture market share and wield bargaining power with health plans instead of reducing costs and boosting quality. Kaul and Prabha analyzed 5,600 individual facilities and 525 health systems using data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They learned for individual facilities, larger hospitals have a lower cost per encounter than smaller hospitals. But no relationship between size and cost was observed for systems with multiple hospitals. Kaul and Prabha report the merged systems are frequently still run as individual hospitals. They also note when health systems consider saving money, they generally begin with administration and the supply chain.
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The ER On Its Own: How R.I.'s First Standalone Emergency Room Is Being Born
Providence Journal (04/09/16) Salit, Richard

Neighbors Emergency Center is among several companies nationwide that have been opening so-called "freestanding emergency departments." These facilities are open 24/7, but are not connected to a hospital. They are staffed and equipped to handle more critical cases than urgent-care facilities, but transfer the most critical patients to traditional ERs. Having opened 21 centers, mostly in Texas where the company is headquartered, Neighbors is expanding into Rhode Island. Earlier this month, state health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott approved Neighbors' proposals to open freestanding ERs in West Warwick and Bristol. Neighbors was drawn to Rhode Island because it has some of the country's lowest regulatory hurdles for opening freestanding emergency departments. The majority of states require a "certificate of need," which have to be obtained when hospitals offer such new services as cardiac catheterization. Regulators seek to ensure that the services are not an unnecessary duplication of what's already available at existing medical facilities. In Rhode Island, however, officials long ago exempted freestanding ERs from those standards.
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When a Surgeon Should Just Say 'I'm Sorry'
CNN (03/24/16) Cohen, Elizabeth

Medical malpractice payouts reached $3.9 billion in 2014, but experts say that a simple "I'm sorry" can say volumes and reduce the financial hit. "I'm sorry" laws are difficult because it is generally recommended that physicians or surgeons do not say it in a tough situation. It could be construed as admission of guilt, which could play to the victim's favor in court. But many hospitals are encouraging doctors to use the "acknowledge and apologize" approach in the hope that admitting a mistake will mean more to the patient than denying it ever happened. In many cases, experts say, patients do not want to sue even if something horrible has happened. If a hospital is apologetic and offers to help a distraught patient, it could tempt the patient to stay away from court. Stanford University introduced a resolution program for these situations in 2015 and says the amount of money paid to compensate patients decreased by 27 percent and the amount of money spent defending lawsuits decreased by 24 percent.
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Hospitals' Digital Drug Ordering Boosts Safety but Can Lead to Fatal Errors
USA Today (04/07/16) O'Donnell, Jayne

Most U.S. hospitals, 97 percent, have greatly curtailed medication mistakes through computerized physician order entry (CPOE). But new findings show that digital drug ordering still misses potentially fatal errors. For the report, hospital rating organization Leapfrog Group and data analytics firm Castlight Health had hospitals fill "dummy" drug orders for make-believe patients. Roughly one-third of hospitals that participated in the test fell short of "fully implemented" status, meaning their CPOE systems failed to warn doctors about harmful drug errors. Perhaps the bigger issue, according to Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder, is that more than 50 percent of hospitals do not take part in the survey. Several that do, meanwhile, decline to take the "dummy" test. "It's not a priority to them to make sure their system works, which is a problem from the patient's point of view," Binder says.
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State Anticipation High for Osteopathic Campus
Arkansas Online (04/10/16) Musa, Aziza

Shelby Armstrong spent hours shadowing her osteopathic neurosurgeon dad when she was younger. The Fayetteville native took a liking to the field and will be part of the inaugural class of the estimated 115 students in the New York Institute of Technology's College of Osteopathic Medicine's newest campus at Arkansas State University (ASU) this fall. The new branch is opening in August and will hold the distinction of being the first osteopathic medical school in Arkansas. A second one will open in Fort Smith in the coming years. The new campus will join the ranks of at least 35 others nationwide, reports Dr. Shane Speights, the associate dean of clinical affairs for the New York Institute of Technology in Jonesboro. He remarks, "We've got new schools kind of popping up all over the nation, trying to meet the demands and the needs of the physician workforce shortage." According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, Arkansas is ranked 46th in the country in the number of physicians per 100,000 people. The dearth of physicians could grow worse in the coming years with demand outpacing the supply, the association said. The new branch is a result of discussions starting in 2012 between ASU and the New York school. A feasibility study in 2014 later found that an osteopathic school would help meet the state's demand for more primary-care physicians.
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