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Thursday, Nov 20, 2014
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  • We are located in the BioTech One building of the VA Bio•Technology Research Park.

    SMA Informatics
    800 E. Leigh Street
    Suite 206-14 Building One
    Richmond, VA 23219

    Phone: (804) 344-8111
    FAX: (804) 344-8113

    Contact Form: Web Contact Form
Last Modified: March 25, 2014
News Item - 11/20/2014
All Over the Map: Medical Procedure Rates in California Vary Widely
For patients considering elective surgery or tests, geography matters. In 2011, the California HealthCare Foundation created an interactive map to highlight variation across the state for a host of conditions. Today, it releases an update to the "All Over the Map" tool, which features the ability to make comparisons across communities and time periods.

Continue reading for the map, reports, and video.
News Item - 11/19/2014
Is the physician shortage real? 5 things to consider
Despite widespread claims in the medical community that the United States is facing a serious physician shortage, more health economists and analysts are refuting the idea, according to NPR.

Here are five things to know about the physician shortage, or lack thereof:

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News Item - 11/13/2014
Even with Health Insurance, Many Americans Find It Hard to Pay for Health Care
One of five U.S. adults with health insurance spent 5 percent or more of their income on out-of-pocket health care costs, excluding premiums, over the past year, and one of eight spent 10 percent or more, according to a new Commonwealth Fund survey. The findings are reported in the issue brief Too High a Price: Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs in the United States.

The majority of those responding to the survey—part of a new series tracking how well health insurance plans are protecting their enrollees from high health care costs—had employer-sponsored health insurance. But the sample also included people with Affordable Care Act marketplace plans, individual health insurance, Medicaid, or some other coverage.

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News Item - 11/11/2014
MedPAC proposes DRGs for short-stay hospital admissions
Admitting that payment policies regarding short-term hospital stays are "ambiguous and open to interpretation" and could place a large financial burden on patients, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has suggested creating specific diagnosis related groups (DRGs) that would focus on one-day admissions to inpatient care facilities. MedPAC made the proposal last week at its November public meeting.

Short patient stays have been a sore point for hospitals. Hospitals have complained that such stays are an overt focus of recovery audit contractors, or RACs. MedPAC has observed that the large number of appeals by hospitals of short-stay payment clawbacks has overwhemled the system. And patients held in observation care who are transferred to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) are not covered by Medicare for their nursing home stay. About 11,000 patients a year who were transferred to SNFs do not qualify for Medicare coverage, MedPAC said.

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News Item - 11/10/2014
Quality of Care: Signals of Change
Over the last few years, the quality of health care delivered in California has improved on a number of measures, including care for heart attack and heart failure patients. However, significant racial and ethnic disparities persist, particularly for maternal and infant mortality.

Quality of Care: Signals of Change looks at a variety of measures, including maternal health and childbirth, children's health, and management of chronic conditions. Data on patient safety, nursing homes, home health, and end-of life measures are also included.

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News Item - 06/02/2014
CMS Releases Medicare Hospital Payment Data, New Online Tools
On June 2, CMS released Medicare hospital pricing data for 2012 in an effort to increase transparency, lower costs and improve the quality of care, The Hill reports (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 6/2).

About the Data

The information, which was revealed at the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C.,  is the agency's first annual update to Medicare hospital charge, which compare the average amount a hospital charges for services provided with a similar inpatient stay or outpatient visit (HHS release, 6/2).

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News Item - 04/04/2014
CMS releases PQRS, eRx progress report
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a new report on two of its pay-for-reporting incentive programs for eligible professionals (EPs): the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and electronic prescribing (eRx).

The 90 page report on 2012 participation results and trends in the programs demonstrates "exciting progress," according to CMS officials.

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News Item - 01/21/2014
MedPAC Recommends No ASC Pay Increase for 2015; 3.25-5.25% Increase for HOPDs
On Friday, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission approved a final recommendation for Medicare pay rates in 2015, recommending that ambulatory surgery centers get 0 percent pay raise, according to an AHA News report.

At the same time, MedPAC recommended increasing hospital inpatient and outpatient prospective payment systems by 3.25 percent in the absence of sequestration cuts and 5.25 percent if spending cuts continue. The sequestration that begun last April enacted automatic 2 percent Medicare payment cuts for the next 10 years.

However, MedPAC did suggest reducing or eliminating pay differences between hospital outpatient departments and physician offices for some procedures, as currently hospital outpatient departments are paid significantly more.

News Item - 11/08/2013
NHA is one of the 20 Most Promising Data Analytics Companies
Companies today recognize that they have opportunities to use data and analytics to raise productivity, improve decision-making, and gain competitive advantage. CIOs understand that analytics will define the difference between the losers and winners going forward. As the market evolves a vast array of data analytics technology and solution vendors are positioning themselves for leadership. A large number of venture-backed startups are battling against established BI and enterprise software providers.

While there are plenty to choose from, organizations that succeed with Big Data analytics will be those that understand the possibilities, see through the vendor hype and choose the right deployment model. In the last few months, we have looked at hundreds of data analytics companies and shortlisted the ones that are at the forefront of tackling the real analytics challenges. We present to you CIOReview's 20 Most Promising Data Analytics Companies. A distinguished panel comprising of CEOs, CIOs, VCs, industry analysts and the editorial board of CIOReview selected the Final 20.

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