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Sunday, Apr 26, 2015
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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 - 04/24/2015
EHR Vendors Reported by Hospitals Demonstrating Meaningful Use
Market Share and Rank of EHR Vendors among all Vendors Used by Hospitals Demonstrating Meaningful Use through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act initiated the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to broaden adoption of EHRs to improve care quality, efficiency, and cost. Since the programs' inception, adoption has increased, but not all adoption has occurred through participation in the Incentive Programs. EHRs are of various types and functionalities, and participation in the Incentive Programs requires the adoption and use of EHR technology certified by HHS to meet the health care objectives of the Meaningful Use Program.

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News Item - 04/24/2015
A study from Vanderbilt University finds the proportion of people surviving years after a cancer diagnosis is improving.
For men and women ages 50 to 64, who were diagnosed in 2005 to 2009 with a variety of cancer types, the risk of dying from those cancers within five years of diagnosis was 39 to 68 percent lower than it was for people of the same age diagnosed in 1990 to 1994, researchers found.

As reported in JAMA Oncology, he and his colleagues analyzed data from a national sample of more than 1 million people who were diagnosed with cancer of the colon or rectum, breast, prostate, lung, liver, pancreas or ovary between 1990 and 2010.

Among people ages 50 to 64 diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer in 1990 to 1994, about 58 percent were alive five years later. Five-year survival rates were about 83 percent for breast cancer, about 7 percent for liver cancer, about 13 percent for lung cancer, about 5 percent for pancreas cancer, about 91 percent for prostate cancer and about 47 percent for ovarian cancer.

Among people in the same age range diagnosed between 2005 and 2009, a larger proportion survived each of the cancers except ovarian cancer. Risk of death at five years fell by 43 percent for colon or rectum cancers, 52 percent for breast cancer, 39 percent for liver cancer, 68 percent for prostate cancer, 25 percent for lung cancer and 27 percent for pancreas cancer, compared to the early 1990s.

The better odds of survival did not apply equally to all age groups, however, and tended to favor younger patients. And while there was a small improvement in ovarian cancer survival among white women during the study period, survival among black women with ovarian cancer got worse.

Advances in treatments and better cancer screenings and diagnoses are likely responsible for the overall increases in survival. The researchers speculate that older people may not benefit equally from medical advances, because doctors may avoid aggressive care for them for fear they couldn't tolerate treatments like surgery or chemotherapy.
News Item - 04/23/2015
Summary Data of Sentinel Events Reviewed by The Joint Commission
Data Limitations:  The reporting of most sentinel events to The Joint Commission is voluntary and represents only a small proportion of actual events. Therefore, these data are not an epidemiologic data set and no conclusions should be drawn about the actual relative frequency of events or trends in events over time.

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News Item - 04/23/2015
Officials Weigh Options To Hold Down Medicare Costs For Hospice
Medicare officials are considering changes in the hospice benefit to stop the federal government from paying twice for care given to dying patients. But patient advocates and hospice providers fear a new policy could make the often difficult decision to move into hospice care even tougher.

Patients are eligible for hospice care when doctors determine they have no more than six months to live. They agree to forgo curative treatment for their terminal illness and instead receive palliative or comfort care. However, they are also still allowed Medicare coverage for health problems not related to their terminal illness, including chronic health conditions, or for accidental injuries.

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News Item - 04/22/2015
How retail clinics can bridge healthcare gaps
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report: Clinics could handle 27 percent of emergency visits, creating $4B in savings

Retail clinics could play a vital role in addressing sociodemographic aspects of healthcare, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Retail clinics' convenience and lower costs appeal to consumers, but their expanded presence in the market could also benefit the healthcare sector as well, the report, "Building a Culture of Health: The Value Proposition of Retail Clinics," noted. The report found that retail or urgent care clinics could handle up to 27 percent of emergency room visits, generating annual savings of up to $4.4 billion. Moreover, retail clinics and traditional health systems have already formed more than 100 partnerships, according to the report.

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News Item - 01/26/2015
HHS seeks to have 85 percent of Medicare fee-for-service payments in value-based purchasing categories 2 through 4 by 2016 and 90 percent by 2018
Improving the quality and affordability of care for all Americans has always been a pillar of the Affordable Care Act, alongside expanding access to such care. The law gives us the opportunity to shape the way health care is delivered to patients and to improve the quality of care system-wide while helping to reduce the growth of health care costs.

When it comes to improving the way providers are paid, we want to reward value and care coordination – rather than volume and care duplication.  In partnership with the private sector, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is testing and expanding new health care payment models that can improve health care quality and reduce its cost.

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