Archive for May of 2008

New Report Highlights State’s Health Care for Kids

May 28, 2008
A Commonwealth Fund report released today, "US Variations in Child Health System Performance: A State Scorecard," found that states vary widely in the quality of health care that children receive. The State Scorecard is the first report to assess how the health care system is performing for children in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It includes 13 indicators grouped into 5 dimensions of performance: access, quality, cost, equity, and the potential to lead long, healthy lives. Top ranked states include Iowa, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The report is available online.

CMS Provides PQRI Information and Resources

May 27, 2008
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) is hosting the third in a series of national provider conference calls on 5/28/08 regarding the 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). This call will provide an overview of the alternative reporting periods and alternative criteria under which DOs can successfully report to the PQRI. Also, qualifying physicians can earn a 1.5%bonus payment based on PQRI data submitted via these mechanisms. A PowerPoint slide presentation will be posted to the PQRI Web site.

FDA Releases White Paper on Product Safety

May 27, 2008
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released this week a “White Paper” entitled the "The Sentinel Initiative - A National Strategy for Monitoring Medical Product Safety". The Initiative includes development of an electronic system that will enable the FDA to monitor the use of medical products on the market, which will help them to identify potential post-market adverse events. The white paper can be accessed online.

AHRQ Endorses “Fit for Life” Guideline

May 13, 2008
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in keeping with AOA President Peter B. Ajluni’s, DO, “Fit for Life” Initiative, has announced its support of the new US Public Health Service’s Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. This new guideline identifies new counseling and medication treatments that are effective for helping people quit smoking. It was developed by a 24-member, private-sector panel of national tobacco treatment experts who reviewed more than 8,700 research articles published between 1975 and 2007.

CMS Requests Comments on Proposed Rule

May 09, 2008
Thomas Valuck, MD, of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, gave a briefing last week regarding the Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) payment provision in the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System’s proposed rule, which states that CMS will no longer pay for some HACs. The HAC payment provision aims to move CMS toward value-based purchasing for hospitals as called for in the CMS Quality Improvement Roadmap. The public is invited to comment on this rule by 6/13/08.

IOM Report Addresses Health Care Work Force Training

May 06, 2008
The Institute of Medicine has released its report on the health care workforce, “Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Healthcare Workforce.” The IOM reports calls for initiatives to train all health care providers in the basics of geriatric care and prepare family members and other caregivers to care for their loved ones, with the year 2030 as the target date for all reforms to take place. In addition, the report finds that the definition of the health care workforce must be expanded to include everyone who is involved in a patient’s care, including health care professionals, direct-care workers, informal caregivers (family or friends), and patients themselves. All of these individuals must have the essential data, knowledge, and tools to provide high-quality health care.