AHA, state groups seek additional relief for hurricane-affected hospitals   05/20/2013
In a joint letter today, the AHA and hospital associations in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to give hospitals affected by Hurricane Sandy additional relief from federal quality reporting and payment requirements. They also urged CMS to “develop fair and consistent waiver mechanisms” for use in future natural disasters and extraordinary circumstances, based on recommendations in the letter. CMS earlier provided a reporting waiver to Sandy-affected hospitals in the Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. The letter describes the need for additional waiver relief in programs such as the Value-Based Purchasing Program, Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, Hospital Acquired Condition Payment Reduction Program, and Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.
Study: More hospital patients being admitted through the ED   05/20/2013
Hospital admissions from the emergency department increased 17% between 2003 and 2009, while admissions from doctors’ offices and other outpatient settings declined 10%, according to a report released today by Rand Corp. EDs are disproportionately used by low-income and uninsured patients who cannot reliably get care in other settings, according to the report. For example, physicians who staff hospital EDs provide two-thirds of all acute care provided to the uninsured, and about 55% of emergency services are uncompensated. Although the number of non-elective ED admissions increased substantially over the past decade, inpatient admissions of ED patients with “potentially preventable admissions” remained flat over the period, suggesting that EDs may play a constructive role in constraining the growth of inpatient admissions, the authors said.
AHA extends ICD-10, EHR meaningful use survey deadline   05/20/2013
The AHA is surveying community hospital CEOs through May 24 to learn how best to help and advocate for members as they transition to the ICD-10 coding system for patient diagnoses and procedures, and to meaningful use of electronic health records. Details on the ICD-10 and Meaningful Use Readiness Survey were emailed May 1 to CEOs at all community hospitals. Individual data from the survey will not be released publicly, but will be shared with state hospital associations to assist in joint readiness efforts. For more information, contact AHA’s George Arges at (312) 422-3398 or garges@aha.org.