Hospitals urged to participate in AHA RACTrac survey   04/02/2013
The AHA encourages all hospitals to submit data by April 12 to its quarterly RACTrac survey. The free web-based survey helps AHA gauge the impact of Medicare's Recovery Audit Contractor program on hospitals and advocate for needed changes. To register for the survey or for technical assistance, participants should contact RACTrac support at (888) 722-8712 or For more on the survey, including the latest results, visit
CMS issues CY 2014 rate announcement for MA plans   04/02/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday issued a rate announcement and final call letter for Medicare Advantage health plans and prescription drug plans in calendar year 2014 that would increase MA payments by 3.3%. CMS had proposed a 2.3% cut in February but changed its estimate to incorporate an assumption that Congress will act to prevent the scheduled 25% reduction in Medicare physician payment rates in 2014, CMS said. The guidance also contains revisions to payment methodologies and other policy and operational process updates for MA plan sponsors.
CDC releases National Healthcare Safety Network annual report    04/02/2013
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday released its annual report summarizing device-associated data reported to the agency’s National Healthcare Safety Network in 2011. Among the improvements in quality, the report cites a 41% reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections since 2008, up from 32% in 2010; a 17% reduction in surgical site infections since 2008, up from 7% in 2010; and a 7% reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infections since 2009. The report was published in the Journal of Infection Control.  The data, which were collected by participating hospitals from January through December 2011 and reported to CDC by Aug. 1, 2012, are used for the 2011 National and State Healthcare-associated Infections Standardized Infection Ratio Report.