Hospital leaders brief Congress on concerns with two-midnight policy   01/28/2014
At an AHA-sponsored briefing today on Capitol Hill, hospital leaders shared with congressional staff their deep concerns with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ two-midnight policy on inpatient admission and review criteria, and urged support for the Two Midnight Rule Delay Act (H.R. 3698). “We find this rule to be arbitrary, difficult to implement and confusing to all of our staff,” said David Bronson, M.D., president of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals, who spoke on a panel with hospital leaders from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Introduced last month by Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY), the AHA-supported legislation would extend CMS’ enforcement moratorium through Sept. 30 while CMS develops a new payment methodology for short inpatient stays. As part of AHA Advocacy Day, hospital leaders were also updated on the latest two-midnight policy developments and visited their congressional representatives to urge support for the legislation.  
ACGME issues guidance for assessing U.S. residency programs   01/28/2014
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education yesterday released guidance for assessing the clinical learning environment at U.S. teaching hospitals in conjunction with the rollout of its updated accreditation system. According to ACGME, the document lays out a “Pathways to Excellence” framework for teaching hospitals, medical centers and clinics to monitor and improve resident and fellow physician engagement in six core areas: patient safety; health care quality; care transitions; supervision; duty hours, fatigue management and mitigation; and professionalism. It also will be used to provide structured feedback from site visits. ACGME began rolling out the updated accreditation system in 2012. According to the council, the Clinical Learning Environment Review Pathways to Excellence framework is based on observations from the first 100 site visits, focus groups and published literature.
Webcast on 2014 AHA Environmental Scan available   01/28/2014
AHA members and others can access a webcast on the association's 2014 Environmental Scan, which identifies emerging trends to help hospital and health care leaders plan strategically. The annual Scan serves as the foundation of the AHA’s rolling three-year strategic plan. Topics include consumers and demographics; economy and finance; human resources; information technology and e-health; insurance and coverage; political issues; provider organizations and physicians; quality and patient safety; and science and technology. To view the webcast, presented by AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock and Vice President of Strategic and Business Planning Gene O'Dell, click here.
HSR theme issue focuses on health IT research   01/28/2014
A special February issue of Health Services Research, available online, focuses on health information technology. Studies in the theme issue look at health IT trends among physicians and eligible professionals in the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; physician perceptions of EHR clinical benefits; and information exchange challenges for public health departments. The issue also examines the effect of EHRs on care coordination in an integrated delivery system and on workflow and expenses in primary care practices; EHR adoption among one state’s nursing homes; and the Department of Health and Human Service’s Regional Extension Center program. HSR journal is the flagship publication of AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust. HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology sponsored the special theme issue.
Webcast to review HIPAA enforcement, policy developments   01/28/2014
A representative from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights will discuss recent enforcement and policy developments related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s privacy, security and breach notification rules during a Feb. 3 webcast hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Network for Public Health Law. For more information or to register for the webcast, from 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, click here.