CMS recommends health home quality measures   01/15/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released to state Medicaid programs a core set of recommended quality measures for assessing the health home service delivery model, which it plans to promulgate through the rulemaking process. CMS said the measures, for Medicaid-eligible children and adults, reflect key priority areas such as behavioral health and preventive care. It said the measures also align with the initial core set of health care quality measures for Medicaid-eligible adults, the electronic health record incentive program's "meaningful use" measures, and the National Quality Strategy. CMS said the core measures will be used to evaluate care across state health home programs, but that it also intends to allow state-specific measures. Once regulations are promulgated, health home providers will be required to report on the quality measures to receive payment. Section 2703 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act established a health home program for Medicaid enrollees who have at least two chronic conditions.
HRET receives contracts to improve surgical, primary care   01/15/2013
The AHA's Health Research & Educational Trust affiliate will help implement a national surgical safety program and develop training to strengthen primary care teamwork under two new contracts awarded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The first project will implement a proven surgical safety checklist, and adapt and implement cultural changes to improve ambulatory surgery safety. The second project will develop a national training kit for implementing Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) in the primary care setting based on the recently developed TeamSTEPPS primary care office module. "These contracts are further demonstration of the continued work and success of HRET and AHA to advance patient care and promote best care practices," said Maulik Joshi, HRET president and AHA senior vice president for research.
FDA working to address liquid Tamiflu shortage; flu vaccine available   01/15/2013
The Food and Drug Administration anticipates intermittent, temporary shortages of the oral suspension form of Tamiflu - the liquid version often prescribed for children - for the remainder of the flu season, according to the latest blog post by FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. "However, FDA is working with the manufacturer to increase supply and reminding health care professionals that FDA-approved instructions on the label provide directions for pharmacists on how to compound a liquid form of Tamiflu from Tamiflu capsules," Hamburg said. Any Tamiflu shortages should be reported to FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at drugshortages@fda.hhs.gov. While some spot shortages of flu vaccine have been reported, consumers can locate available flu vaccine in their area using the "flu vaccine finder" at www.flu.gov, Hamburg notes.
AHA to host panel discussion on quality improvement efforts   01/15/2013
Join the AHA, Health Research & Educational Trust, and quality experts from across the country for a panel discussion Jan. 24 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Panelists including Carolyn Clancy, M.D., director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Jonathan Perlin, M.D., chief medical officer for the Hospital Corporation of America, will demonstrate how hospitals are leading the way to enhance patient care through cutting-edge initiatives to improve overall quality and safety. To attend the event in person, RSVP to Jennifer Schleman at jschleman@aha.org. The event also will be webcast live for those outside of the D.C area. To register for the webcast, visit www.visualwebcaster.com/ahaquality.