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The Nursing Consortium of South Florida's next Education Conference, Expanding Nursing Roles to Enhance the Quality and Excellence of Care Delivery, will take place at the Signature Grand on September 25, 2015. Please click here to register at the Super-early bird rate. The day-long conference will feature three afternoon tracks; (1) Continuance of Care - Transitional Health - Population Care, (2) Barriers to Practice - Scope of Practice, and (3) Academic-Practice Partnerships - Innovative Degree Offerings. Our last two conferences have sold out well in advance. Don't be left out this time around. Reserve your spot by registering today! Sponsor/exhibitor opportunities have been selling fast, but a few remain. Please click here for details.
CMS updates electronic clinical quality measures for 2016 reporting
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted its annual update to the 2014 electronic clinical quality measures. Eligible hospitals and professionals will use the updated specifications to electronically report eCQMs for CMS quality reporting programs in calendar year 2016, including the Physician Quality Reporting System and the Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. CMS updates the specifications annually to incorporate changes in clinical guidelines and code systems.
ED physicians say visits continue to rise
Three-quarters of emergency physicians say the volume of emergency department visits has increased since January 2014, when the Affordable Care Act required all Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty, according to a new survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians. About 90% of respondents say the severity of illness or injury among emergency patients has either increased or remained the same. “The reliance on emergency care remains stronger than ever,” said ACEP President Michael Gerardi, M.D. “It’s the only place that’s open 24/7, and we never turn anyone away.” Asked what would happen if federal subsidies for health insurance coverage were eliminated in their state, 42% of respondents said they would expect emergency visits to increase and 65% said they would expect reimbursement for emergency care to decrease. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month or next in King v. Burwell, which asks whether subsidies are available for patients in the 34 states, like Florida, whose health insurance exchanges are federally facilitated.
NIH announces new director of minority health institute
The National Institutes of Health has named Eliseo Pérez-Stable, M.D., director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Pérez-Stable is expected to join the institute in September from the University of California San Francisco, where he directs the Center for Aging in Diverse Communities and Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations and serves as a professor of medicine and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine. Acting NIMHD Director Yvonne Maddox will become vice president for research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. NIMHD conducts and supports research to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities. Pérez-Stable’s personal research interests include improving the health of poor and minority patients, reducing health risks such as smoking in minority populations, and improving cross-cultural communication skills among health care professionals.
CDC: Nurses, assistants have highest occupational injury rates
An analysis of 10,680 occupational injuries at 112 health care facilities from January 2012 through September 2014 found that nurses and nurse assistants were at greatest risk of harm and that injury rates increased, CDC researchers wrote in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. "The most common injuries are due to patient handling; slips, trips, and falls; and workplace violence," according to the report. Researchers said the use of lifting systems and well as the systematic monitoring and tracking of injuries could improve safety.
IOM panel proposes framework for prioritizing U.S. measures of health, health care
An Institute of Medicine committee has recommended 15 core measures, or “vital signs,” and 32 related priority measures for tracking U.S. progress toward improved health and health care, citing the need to reduce the burden of unnecessary reporting and focus on “change that matters most.” According to the report, “Implementation of this measure set will depend on leadership at every level of the health system, but in particular on the leadership of the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who is the natural mainstay of the coordinated, multistakeholder process for refining and implementing the core measures that the committee envisions in its recommendations.” The 15 core measures are life expectancy, well-being, overweight and obesity, addictive behavior, unintended pregnancy, healthy communities, preventive services, care access, patient safety, evidence-based care, care match with patient goals, personal spending burden, population spending burden, individual engagement, and community engagement.
CDC issues report on Hispanic health risks, mortality
U.S. Hispanics (or Latinos) have a 24% lower overall death rate than whites, but are 50% more likely to die from diabetes or liver disease, according to a report on Hispanic health released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death for both Hispanics and whites, but the prevalence of these conditions is lower among Hispanics. Among other differences, Hispanics have a 23% higher obesity rate than whites and are 28% less likely to receive colorectal screening. Health risks also vary by country of birth and cultural heritage; for example, foreign-born Hispanics have about half as much heart disease and cancer as U.S.-born Hispanics. Immigration, lower overall smoking rates and higher levels of family support may partly explain the mortality advantage of some Hispanic origin groups, the report notes. U.S. Hispanics also are nearly 15 years younger on average than whites, “so early intervention might have a broader impact on Hispanics in preventing chronic diseases that can manifest decades later,” the report adds. For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/hispanic-health.
CMS: 11.7 million enroll in Medicaid/CHIP since October 2013
About 11.7 million people enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program between Oct. 1, 2013 and Feb. 28, 2015, increasing total enrollment in the programs by 20.3% since the start of the first open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace, according to a report released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The preliminary estimate is based on 48 states and the District of Columbia reporting both February enrollment data and baseline data from July through September 2013. More than 69.5 million people were enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP in those states as of Feb. 28, with Medicaid expansion states showing a 27% increase and non-expansion states showing an 8% increase. Nearly 562,000 people enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP in February. The second open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace ended Feb. 15. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year round.
AHRQ YouTube channel features CUSP, TeamSTEPPS training videos
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has launched a YouTube channel featuring videos on evidence-based training programs to improve hospital care through effective communications and teamwork. The channel includes about 50 videos on the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program toolkit, a protocol to reduce healthcare-acquired infections in intensive care units, and 50 videos on TeamSTEPPS, a protocol to lower the risk of adverse events through better communications and teamwork. Both training programs can be customized to the individual needs of hospitals, units and clinicians.