Healthcare Quicklinks: Value based care, new ACC accreditation, patient collection mistakes, and more

Healthcare is ever changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on advancements and issues that may impact the development, operation, maintenance, and growth of your services. Here are some important developments:

Physician practices seek help in transition to value-based care

Physicians not affiliated with hospitals are increasingly turning to consulting firms to help them move into value-based care and accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to a new Black Book Research report. A survey of nearly 900 physician organizations showed that 68% of group practices of 10 or more doctors said they will seek “external advisement on financially and clinically transforming their operations” within the next year. Continue reading…

ACC launches new quality accreditation program for excellence in cardiovascular care

The American College of Cardiology (ACC)’s new accreditation program, HeartCARE Center: National Distinction of Excellence, will be designated “forward thinking” hospitals and healthcare systems that demonstrate excellence in cardiovascular care and also “advance the cause of sustainable quality improvement.” The HeartCARE Center designation is now the highest a hospital or healthcare system can receive from the ACC. Continue reading

Here is how all 50 states, DC rank in patient access

The Mercatus Center within Fairfax, Va.-based George Mason University released its June 2018 update report on patient access to healthcare. The Healthcare Openness and Access Project reviewed state health data to draw comparisons on states’ healthcare flexibility. The ranking leverages the overall HOAP index, which averages 10 equally weighted subindexes that “measure the discretion patients and providers have over broad areas of healthcare, such as public health and telemedicine,” the report states. Here’s how all 50 states and Washington, D.C., stacked up. Continue reading…

CMS seeks input on Stark Law changes amid value-based care shift

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently asked stakeholders for input on how to change the Stark Law to allow for better care coordination and new alternative payment models or other novel financial arrangements. The agency specifically is requesting input on what new exemptions to the Stark Law are needed to protect accountable care organization models, bundled payment models and other payment models, including how to allow coordination care outside of an alternative payment model. It also asks for help examining definitions for terminology such as risk-sharing, enrollee, gain-sharing and other terms. Continue reading…

5 common patient collections mistakes

It wasn’t long ago when patient collections were viewed as a minor concern in ASCs. Reimbursement was strong, and what patients owed for their care was relatively low. Then reimbursement started tightening while patient financial responsibility rapidly increased. Since 2015, patients experienced a nearly 30 percent increase in deductible and out-of-pocket maximum costs. It won’t be surprising to see that figure rise even further when Black Book releases its 2018 revenue cycle management surveys. Continue reading…

Deep learning, SPECT-MPI forecast obstructive CAD

SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) and deep learning have proven to be a powerful pair in predicting obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) and improving the interpretation of upright and supine images, according to research published Sept. 27 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. The study analyzed stress MPI images from 1,160 patients (64 percent males) from the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Registry of Fast Myocardial Perfusion Imaging with Next generation SPECT (REFINE-SPECT) who underwent upright and supine SPECT MPI in four U.S. nuclear cardiology centers between 2008 and 2015. Continue reading…

SNMMI comments on 2019 proposed hospital outpatient rule

SNMMI and the American College of Nuclear Medicine recently responded to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ 2019 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) Proposed Rule. In brief, SNMMI and ACNM objected to CMS’ proposal to remove three radiopharmaceuticals from the pass-through list for 2019. They also noted that removing two Alzheimer’s drugs from pass-through, while putting another back on pass-through, will make it difficult to obtain coverage for any of the three. Lastly, SNMMI and ACNM asked CMS to clarify that it will continue to provide additional payments for low-enriched uranium. Read thefull letter here.

Brain MR-PET reveals widespread inflammation in fibromyalgia patients

Using MR/PET imaging, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have revealed that elevated glial activation—widespread neuroinflammation—correlates with fatigue levels in patients with fibromyalgia, and may enhance the development of treatment. The research was published online Sept. 14 in Brain, Behavior and Immunity. Continue reading…


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