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February 2014

 

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NAMSS Members – Thanks to all of you that have already renewed for 2014! Your commitment to an association of over 5,000 members allows us to continue to produce educational content, provide nation-wide certification opportunities, and host incredible networking events for you, our members. If you have not renewed your NAMSS dues yet, there is still time! Log in today to renew quickly and securely online. Need to send a check? Email info@namss.org to request an invoice.

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News From NAMSS
Prepare for the Spring Certification Exam with NAMSS Online Prep Courses
NAMSS PASS Training Webinar: Gain valuable insight on NAMSS PASS and how it works
Coming Soon - NAMSS Website Changes

Industry News
"4 Nonprofit Hospital Trends to Watch This Year"
"Lawsuit Claims Baylor Let Cocaine-Using Surgeon Botch Operations"
"Bill Would Require Doctors to Complete More Training to Get License"
"How Qualified Is Your Doctor?"
"ABMS Approves New Standards for Physician Certification Program With Goal of Improving Quality of Care"
"Conflict-of-Interest Charges Pose Challenge to Safety Movement"
"Florida Lawmakers to Explore Telemedicine"
"Medicare ACOs See Shared Savings Top $380 Million"
"Patient Safety Groups, Hospitals Await Decision on Delay in ACA Standards"
"Managed Care Plans Will Account for 75 Percent of Medicaid Beneficiaries by 2015, Analysts Estimate"
"Hospital Stocks Should See Gains in 2014, Analysts Predict"


 

News From NAMSS


Prepare for the Spring Certification Exam with NAMSS Online Prep Courses

NAMSS Online certification prep courses can be completed at your schedule, in the comfort of your home or office. They are designed to help you assess your knowledge of CPCS or CPMSM exam content and identify areas where additional study is necessary before you take the exam. In addition, these prep courses have been approved for CE credits – 3.5 for CPCS and 5.0 for CPMSM! If you’re looking for a convenient, low-cost certification preparation tool, these are the products for you.

Visit the NAMSS website for full pricing and details.
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NAMSS PASS Training Webinar: Gain valuable insight on NAMSS PASS and how it works

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST

This webinar will provide you with the information you need to get started with the service. We will cover how to get started with the NAMSS PASS system for both hospitals that will contribute data and other healthcare organizations that will only query the database. Register today to hear important details about the format / uploading of the Excel data file, creating your custom logo letter with signature, and how to set up multiple facilities and users. We will also review the subscription fee structure and answer any questions.



All attendees will receive 1.0 NAMSS CE Credits for participating. Certificates will be received via email after the webinar.
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Coming Soon - NAMSS Website Changes

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Industry News


4 Nonprofit Hospital Trends to Watch This Year
Fierce Healthcare (02/10/2014) Sullivan, Katie

Michael Wyland, who boasts more than a quarter-century of experience in corporate and government public policy, management, and administration, has identified four emerging nonprofit hospital trends for 2014. The first is behavioral health integration. As providers receive reimbursement for outcomes rather than volume of services, nonprofits can start to integrate behavioral health into their services while treating such chronic conditions as diabetes and obesity. Shifting demographics is the second trend, especially with the Baby Boomer generation aging. Third, there will be workforce development challenges to deal with. Many healthcare professionals are nearing retirement age, and hospitals will have to entice professionals from a smaller pool of applicants. Finally, traditional hospital development and construction means money. Consequently, hospitals will have to diversify not only their fundraising base, but also their expansion plans.
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Lawsuit Claims Baylor Let Cocaine-Using Surgeon Botch Operations
Dallas Business Journal (02/03/14) Hethcock, Bill

In Texas, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano and the Baylor Health Care System are the targets of a lawsuit in which former patient Kenneth Fennell claims the system knowingly allowed neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Duntsch to repeatedly botch spinal surgeries and other procedures, then wrote the surgeon a reference letter that allowed him to practice at other Texas facilities. The lawsuit charges Duntsch had a history of cocaine use when Baylor recruited him three years ago. Spokeswoman Nikki Mitchell issued a statement on behalf of the Baylor Health Care System, denying the "material allegations" in the suit. Fennell claims in the suit that Duntsch harmed him and other patients over a nine-month stretch starting in 2011. Specifically, the suit claims, Duntsch performed an "unnecessary surgery" on Fennell and operated on the wrong body part. Another patient reportedly bled to death, and another was rendered a quadriplegic, the suit states. Finally, the lawsuit claims Duntsch's alleged drug use dates back to his residency at the University of Tennessee.
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Bill Would Require Doctors to Complete More Training to Get License
Wisconsin State Journal (02/10/14) Wahlberg, David

Under a bill recently introduced in Wisconsin, doctors would be required to complete two years of training after medical school, instead of one year, to qualify for a regular medical license. By accepting just one year, Wisconsin has become a "dumping ground for a lot of bad physicians who want to get their foot in the American medical system," said Dr. Sheldon Wasserman, former chairman of the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board. The bill, introduced by Rep. Erik Severson (R-Star Prairie) and Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), would also require graduates of foreign medical schools to complete two years of training. The most recent year would have to be in a single program. In addition, the bill would change requirements for visiting physician licenses and create an administrative physician license for doctors not practicing medicine.
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How Qualified Is Your Doctor?
Wall Street Journal (01/20/14) Landro, Laura

To stay certified by medical boards, doctors are facing new requirements to keep up-to-date in their knowledge and care for patients. Called maintenance of certification, the new requirements reflect growing proof that physicians -- who are now re-certified every 10 years -- need to be more regularly assessed for competence in a rapidly changing medical world. Starting this year, for example, the American Board of Internal Medicine is requiring doctors it certifies to select from an array of activities at intervals of two and five years to maintain their certification. Doctors are able to earn points toward maintenance of certification in several ways, ranging from open-book tests to show they are keeping up with new developments in their field to undertaking projects to improve care, such as evaluating how well their practice treats patients with chronic conditions. Some doctors are resisting the new board requirements, arguing they can keep up-to-date via the continuous-medical-education courses they are required to take to meet state-licensing requirements.
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ABMS Approves New Standards for Physician Certification Program With Goal of Improving Quality of Care
Fort Mill Times (02/04/14)

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recently announced the adoption of new standards that outline continuing professional development for Board Certified physicians. At its Jan. 15 meeting, the ABMS board of directors approved the Standards for the ABMS Program for Maintenance of Certification (Program for MOC). The program focuses on key physician skills and knowledge critical for improving health care. The standards provide a framework for Member Boards to use in developing their own Programs for MOC. The standards adopt a patient-centric perspective with a primary emphasis on professionalism, patient safety, and performance improvement.
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Conflict-of-Interest Charges Pose Challenge to Safety Movement
Modern Healthcare (01/25/14) Carlson, Joe

Patient safety advocates are concerned that a recent settlement between the Justice Department and CareFusion over allegations of conflict of interest could damage the public's trust in the patient safety field. CareFusion had been accused of paying millions of dollars to Dr. Charles Denham, chairman of the Leapfrog Group's safe practices committee, to influence the panel's national quality-of-care standards. Leapfrog Group's safe practices committee ultimately recommended the use of CareFusion's skin-sterilization product ChloraPrep. Additionally, Denham's Texas Medical Institute of Technology allegedly awarded grants to NQF to develop the quality-of-care guidelines and identify some of the "safe practices" considered by the Leapfrog Group committee. Dr. Peter Pronovost, senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, says the allegations are troubling because the patient safety field's image could be tainted in the public's eye if it starts to seem as if quality and safety efforts are being guided by people with financial interests instead of science.
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Florida Lawmakers to Explore Telemedicine
Tampa Bay Times (02/09/14) McGrory, Kathleen

Over the next few weeks, Florida lawmakers will consider creating statewide standards for telemedicine. In addition, they will debate establishing reimbursement requirements, as well as a system for registering out-of-state telemedicine providers. State Rep. Jose Oliva (R-Miami), who chairs the House Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation, remarks, "Our goal is to create fertile ground for this kind of technology to be used." The discussion is taking place as the Legislature shifts its focus from Medicaid expansion to less controversial health care issues like addressing a shortage of primary care physicians. Telemedicine is hardly a new concept and is already in use in some Florida hospitals. At Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, for instance, doctors provide round-the-clock consultation services to five clinics serving U.S. contractors in Iraq.
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Medicare ACOs See Shared Savings Top $380 Million
EHR Intelligence (01/31/2014) Bresnick, Jennifer

Medicare's Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have gotten off to a fine start with more than $380 million in shared savings over the past year. Nearly half of the ACOs that started in 2012 have achieved measurable reductions in expenditures and have generated a total of $128 million for the Medicare Trust Funds. Fifty-four of the 114 ACOs that started in 2012 have seen lower-than-projected spending, and 29 of those have produced shared savings of $126 million. While the final performance numbers will not be released until later this year, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services believes that ACOs will continue to help providers coordinate care, exchange health information, and create an integrated care delivery model to support the needs of a complex patient population.
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Patient Safety Groups, Hospitals Await Decision on Delay in ACA Standards
Modern Healthcare (02/04/14) Rice, Sabriya

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services still has not decided whether to delay new patient safety standards for hospitals with more than 50 beds that want to contract with qualified health plans sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The patient safety standards—which include the use of patient safety evaluation systems and comprehensive hospital discharge programs—are slated for implementation on Jan. 1, 2015. Among other things, hospitals with high readmission rates would have to develop a process to improve performance and reduce readmission rates with the help of federally designated patient safety organizations. The public comment period on a CMS proposal to implement the rules over a two-year period ended Dec. 26, 2013, but a timeline for a final rule has not been provided. CMS had said a shortage of qualified hospitals and providers available for contracting could result if all of the requirements were rolled out early next year.
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Managed Care Plans Will Account for 75 Percent of Medicaid Beneficiaries by 2015, Analysts Estimate
McKnight's Long Term Care News (01/16/14) Mullaney, Tim

According to a new Avalere Health report, 75 percent of Medicaid enrollees will receive their benefits via a managed care organization (MCO) as of 2015. States increasingly have opted to administer Medicaid benefits through MCOs that contract with a network of providers. For instance, Maryland's Medicaid managed care program offers a choice of seven MCOs, including the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. States gain greater budget certainty by providing capitated payments to these plans than if they were paying out Medicaid claims on a fee-for-service basis. Presently, 38 states and Washington, D.C., contract with MCOs, according to the Avalere study. Some of the most populous states, most notably California and Florida, have indicated they will expand MCOs to new regions or new types of beneficiaries in the near future.
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Hospital Stocks Should See Gains in 2014, Analysts Predict
Modern Healthcare (01/22/14)

RBC Capital Markets analyst Frank Morgan confirms that healthcare provider stocks gained an average of 44 percent last year, outperforming the Standard & Poor's 500. Morgan is projecting another strong year for 2014, but he cautioned there could be volatility in share prices that parallels the highs and lows of enrollment numbers in insurance exchanges. He adds that the outlook is best for hospitals in states that expand Medicaid. Morgan is also optimistic that more states will follow suit in order to gain the federal match dollars they are leaving on the table. Cuts to Medicare Advantage rates may give some investors pause in the short term. "[But] after that," Morgan stated, "it becomes one of the most interesting sectors in healthcare. The growth story is just so compelling."
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