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Nursing Shortage Consortium of South FL
Consortium announces November conference, Call for Abstracts
The Nursing Consortium of South Florida's next education conference, Empowering Nurses to Lead Change and Advance Health, will take place at the Signature Grand on Friday, the 11th of November.  Abstracts will be accepted through August 15, 2016, for poster presentations. Research and scholarly projects that are contributing to education and practice improvements, enhancing bedside leadership and community nursing, and those that have established, expanded, or sustained nursing research are being solicited.  All will be reviewed by a volunteer committee.  To submit an abstract, please click here. Please click here for information on the limited number of program sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor tables available for this one-day conference.  The last three Consortium conferences sold-out in advance.  Don’t just save the date, register today and take advantage of the super early-bird rates now available.
CMS project seeks innovative hospital quality practices to share nationwide
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services invites hospitals to submit innovative quality improvement practices to its Strategic Innovation Engine, which will evaluate them for possible dissemination across the nation. Targeted improvements include managing patients with multiple chronic conditions; engaging patients and families as active members of the care team; coordinating care within and across settings; streamlining patient flow; and integrating behavioral health into care. Organizations whose practices are selected will be recognized and celebrated nationally. For more information, please contact 
ASPR issues Zika planning resources for health care providers, coalitions
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has issued resources to help health care providers and coalitions plan for a real or potential Zika virus outbreak. “A Zika outbreak is unlikely to result in large numbers of acutely ill patients needing simultaneous care, making surge planning for Zika unique from that of conventional disaster events, including those with an infectious disease component (e.g., pandemic influenza, Ebola),” the resource guide states. “In contrast, the known and suspected complications of Zika infection (including Guillain-Barré syndrome, microcephaly and other neurological disorders) are likely to disproportionately affect certain patient populations, most notably pregnant women and their developing fetuses. Treatment of these complications will likely require the participation of health care specialties and social services that may have limited experience with preparedness activities.” In addition to the guide, specific resources focus on planning for high-risk pregnancies and birth defects and supporting children with special health care needs.
SAMHSA issues mental health parity resource; task force accepting comments
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a resource to help consumers understand their rights under the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act. The brochure reviews the law’s parity protections, how consumers can find out more about their health plan’s benefits and coverage, and their right to appeal a claim if denied. The Department of Health and Human Services also has launched a web page for the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, established by the president in March to identify and promote best practices to better ensure compliance with parity requirements. Comments and recommendations for the task force may be submitted online.
CMS issues summary of findings from eCQM validation pilot
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should increase outreach, education and guidance to promote electronic clinical quality measures reporting and reduce the burden on hospitals, according to a summary of findings from a 2015 pilot assessing hospital readiness to submit eCQM data for the hospital inpatient quality reporting program. A CMS contractor could collect the required data via remote viewing sessions from the 29 participating hospitals, but many hospital electronic health records could not create complete and accurate files of patient-level data based on the 2014 eCQM specifications, the pilot found. CMS will invest in additional validation pilots to assist hospitals and vendors with the transition to eCQM reporting.
Administration, partners seek to reduce organ waiting list
The White House has announced research investments and other actions to increase organ donation and reduce the waiting list for transplants. They include public-private initiatives to research and develop techniques to bio-fabricate tissues, advance organ and tissue preservation, and create an alternative to dialysis as renal replacement therapy, among other actions. In addition, more than 20 organizations, including Donate Life America, will work to drive up donor registrations through social media and other campaigns
Date set for Day in the Life of a Nurse™ 2016
Day in the Life of a Nurse™ will take place on Friday, the 4th of November this year and all clinical sites and accredited nursing schools are encouraged to make plans to host students on that day.  “More than 1,500 students from fifty-four high schools and middle schools took part in the program last year visiting fifty-three South Florida hosting hospitals and schools of nursing from Tavernier to Fort Pierce; a record that we hope to break this year,” remarked Maggie Hansen, Chief Nursing Officer at Memorial Regional Hospital and Consortium President.  “The Consortium provides hosting facilities a best practices tool kit and participating schools a curriculum.  We also coordinate the program with area public school systems and schedule a series of calls leading up to the event where those organizing Day in the Life of a Nurse experiences can get their questions answered by experienced program hosts,” noted Program Chair Joanne Masella, Nursing School Dean at Palm Beach Atlantic University.  Clinical sites and accredited nursing schools wishing to participate should send an email to Consortium Executive Director, Ralph Egües.
MedPAC issues June report to Congress
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has released its June report to Congress, which annually looks at issues affecting the Medicare program and health care delivery and services. The report also recommends a prototype design for a unified prospective payment system for skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals, as required by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is expected to use the prototype to develop a PAC PPS by 2023. As previously proposed by MedPAC, the prototype would pay for post-acute care services based on a patient's clinical characteristics rather than the site of service. Also as previously proposed, the report recommends reducing dispensing and supplying fees for Medicare Part B drugs to rates similar to other payers, and giving isolated rural hospitals the option to convert to an outpatient-only model that would be sustainable in a community with declining inpatient volumes. The commission also recommends changes to the Part D program to lower program costs and protect beneficiaries with high costs. In addition, the report presents an analysis of Medicare telehealth services, including use of telehealth in Medicare Advantage, and recommends expanding the use of waivers in Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation programs to include a broader range of telehealth services.
AMA issues updated medical ethics code, guidance for ethical practice in telemedicine
The American Medical Association has adopted the first comprehensive update to its Code of Medical Ethics in more than 50 years, as well as separate ethical guidance for physicians who respond to individual health queries electronically or provide clinical services through telemedicine. The updated ethics code “keeps pace with emerging demands physicians face with new technologies, changing patient expectations and shifting health care priorities,” said AMA President Steven Stack, M.D. The telemedicine guidelines, to be published in coming months, include informing patients about the limitations of the relationship and services provided, and encouraging patients to inform their primary care physician about the encounter, among other recommendations.
Study: 15% of Medicare patients fill new opioid prescription within week of discharge
An estimated 15% of Medicare patients filled a new prescription for an opioid within a week of being discharged from thehospital in 2011, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Four in 10 beneficiaries who filled a prescription within a week of hospital discharge also filled an opioid prescription more than 90 days after discharge. “Although we identified substantial variation across hospitals in new post-discharge opioid use, it is unknown whether this variation reflects differences in appropriate or inappropriate prescribing across hospitals,” the authors said. Hospitals that ranked more highly on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems measure for quality of inpatient pain control had higher rates of new post-discharge opioid use. The American Hospital Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also have released a resource to help hospital patients who may be prescribed opioids before discharge discuss the risks and benefits of these medications with their health care provider.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 20:26:28 CDT


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Reading List

Florida Center for Nursing, "Fact Sheet: Florida RN, LPN, & NA Workforce Information January 2006"

Florida Hospital Association, "Nurse Staffing in Florida: The Challenges Continue"

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - "Wisdom at Work" The Importance of the Older and Experienced Nurse in the Workplace".

Center for Health Workforce Studies. The Impact of the Aging Population on the Health Workforce in the . Rensselaer, NY: Center for Health Workforce Studies, School of Public Health, SUNY Albany. December 2005. Summary (228 KB) Full Report (981 KB)

Association of Academic Health Centers, "Out of Order, Out of Time, The State of the Nation's Health Workforce July 2008"

Florida Center for Nursing, "Forecasting Supply, Demand, and Shortage of RNs and LPNs in Florida, 2007-2020 July 2008"

AARP, USDOL, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, "Blowing Open the Bottleneck: Designing New Approaches to Increase Nurse Education Capacity May 2008"

Florida Center for Nursing, "Addressing the Nursing Shortage in Florida: Strategies for Success December 2007"

Florida Center for Nursing, "2007 Nursing Education Program Annual Report and Workforce Survey January 2008"

Florida Center for Nursing, "Nursing Shortage Quick Facts" September 2008

Florida Center for Nursing, "The Economic Benefits of Resolving Florida's Nursing Shortage September 2008"

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