CMS Shuts Down Sunshine Act Database -- Again
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is again taking the Open Payments database, which details payments made to physicians by drug and device companies, offline for maintenance, the agency has announced.
The database, which was developed as a result of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, has had various troubles of late. First, CMS took the site offline from Aug. 3 until Aug. 14 to resolve a problem in which records for physicians with similar names were getting mixed up. As a result of the problem, CMS said it would be excluding about a third of its records from the database until the issue is fully resolved.Continue reading...
PCI: Concerns Mount About Appropriateness
Three new studies show that too many patients with stable angina are still persuaded by cardiologists to undergo unnecessary elective angiography with subsequent percutaneous coronary intervention.
It's been more than three years since Paul Chan, MD, and colleagues shook the cardiosphere with their finding that 11.6% of non-acute stent procedures cardiologists performed in more than 1,000 U.S. hospitals were "inappropriate" and another 38% were of "uncertain" appropriateness, making about half of them questionable.Continue reading...
CVS announces affiliation with MedStar Health
CVS Caremark announced Wednesday morning that it will enter into a clinical affiliation with the 10-hospital system MedStar Health, based in Washington, D.C. In addition to offering MedStar patients access to clinical support, medication counseling, disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinics, the pharmacy retailer will also integrate its EMR system with MedStar's, providing prescription and visit information to the affiliated provider.Continue reading...
Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update
Despite concerns that payment changes enacted in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) would lead to reductions in Medicare Advantage enrollment, the number and share of Medicare beneficiaries enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans has continued to climb. Since the enactment of the ACA, Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased by 4.6 million, or by 41 percent. Reductions in payments enacted in the ACA aimed to reduce historical overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans and to create more equity between Medicare payments made for beneficiaries in the traditional Medicare program and those joining Medicare Advantage plans. As of March of 2014, almost one in three (30 percent) people on Medicare (15.7 million beneficiaries) were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, a 10 percent increase since March 2013. During the past year, Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased in virtually all states. Most of the enrollment growth since 2013 has been in the individual market, but group enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans accounted for almost one-third (32%) of the enrollment growth in 2014 and has been a major factor in the experience of some firms.Continue reading...
Underage Binge Alcohol Use Varies within and across States
Alcohol use constitutes one of the most serious public health issues for young people in the United States, creating negative health, social, and economic consequences for adolescents, their families, and communities, and for the nation as a whole.1 The prevention of underage alcohol consumption is particularly important to the states, which have had authority for alcohol control since 1933. All 50 states and the District of Columbia currently prohibit possession of alcoholic beverages by persons younger than 21, and most prohibit underage consumption of alcoholic beverages.2 Nevertheless, underage drinking is not distributed equally across all states. Within each state, there are different patterns of substance use problems in different regions. Data on small geographic areas provide insight into the nature and scope of underage drinking and help state and local public health authorities to better understand and address the needs in their communities.Continue reading...
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).Continue reading...
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.Continue reading...
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.Source
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.Continue reading...