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June Healthcare News Update

Posted on: 06.02.16 by Digirad

The Latest CMS Proposed Rule and its Impact on Hospitals’ Cardiovascular Business

CMS recently released the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) Proposed Inpatient Rule, which outlines the proposed requirements and payment changes that will go into effect October 1, 2016. Cardiovascular related services continue to play a significant role in terms of inpatient volumes. Additionally, these services represent an area of important focus as clinical quality and outcome requirements impacting payment penalties continue to grow. Read more…

Will Medicare’s Physician Payment Overhaul Drive More Docs to Hospitals?

The CMS began to answer some of the many questions about how physicians will get paid under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. But some stakeholders were immediately dissatisfied with what they saw, and the 963-page rule may have raised as many questions as it answered. The rule did provide more clarity around the CMS’ proposed Quality Payment Program. Read more…

ASNC Imaging Guidelines for SPECT

New guidelines published by ASNC provide nuclear cardiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, radiologists, physicians-in-training, nuclear technologists and other clinicians who perform nuclear cardiology SPECT procedures with a comprehensive resource detailing the latest imaging technology developments, stress modality advances, updated radiotracer dosing recommendations and, for the first time, recommendations for I123 MIBG imaging. Published online ahead of print in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology (JNC), the new guideline, “ASNC Imaging guidelines for SPECT nuclear cardiology procedures: Stress, protocols, and tracers,” features more than 20 detailed illustrations and tables ideal for posting in nuclear cardiology laboratories. View and download all of our guidelines.

Joint Commission Ends Text Messaging Ban for Clinicians

The Joint Commission is ending its five-year-old ban on text messaging. Effective immediately, “licensed independent practitioners or other practitioners in accordance with professional standards of practice, law and regulation and policies and procedures may text orders as long as a secure text messaging platform is used and the required components of an order are included,” the commission announced in its May 2016 Perspectives newsletter. Read more…

Comparing Advancing Care Information to Meaningful Use

In a recent fact sheet, CMS details the Advancing Care Information program and how it could be used to assess value-based care for office-based physicians and other clinicians in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Under the notice of proposed rulemaking for MACRA implementation, the Advancing Care Information program would replace meaningful use in efforts to realign Medicare payments with patient-centered, quality care. It is designed to provide more flexibility for physicians when it comes to reporting quality care and certified EHR use. Read more…

Cardiologist Details Potential Benefits of MACRA

Since the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) passed last spring, cardiologists and other providers have wondered how the legislation would change their reimbursement for treating Medicare patients. Matthew Phillips, MD, FACC, the governor the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC’s) Texas chapter from 2013 to 2016, is one renowned cardiologist who is embracing the change. He wrote an editorial online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology expressing his optimism about MACRA. Read more…

Hopkins: ‘Cascading Accountability’ Boosts Ambulatory Quality, Safety

“Hopkins has always had an emphasis on quality and safety that was really borne from our inpatient experiences,” says Steven Kravet, MD, president of Baltimore, MD-based Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. Yet how will they ensure that the quality of care remains high, even as the organization grows? JHM recognized the need for better ambulatory quality and safety processes to maintain the high-level of care that’s become the inpatient standard. So it developed a model to coordinate high-quality care across its ambulatory care centers. Read more…

New CMS Primary-care Payment Model Would Affect 20K Doctors

The CMS wants to pay practices a monthly fee to manage care for as many as 25 million patients in the agency’s largest-ever plan to transform and improve how primary care is delivered and reimbursed. The Comprehensive Primary Care Plus initiative will be implemented in up to 20 regions and include up to 5,000 practices, which would encompass more than 20,000 doctors and clinicians. The program would collaborate with commercial, state, and other federal insurance plans. Read more…

ACC.16: FDA Commissioner Discusses Evidence-based Medicine, Changing Healthcare Industry

FDA commissioner Robert M. Califf, MD, stressed the importance of relying on data and evidence when approving medications and creating guidelines during a session at the ACC scientific session on April 4, 2016. Califf defined evidence-based practice as the integration of clinical expertise, patient values and the best research evidence into the decision making for patient care. He said FDA labels and ACC/American Heart Association (AHA) clinical practice guidelines should serve as the foundations for evidence-based medicine. Read more…



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