AHA issues revised readmissions penalty calculator    10/08/2012
The AHA has revised its readmissions penalty calculator to incorporate corrections to the hospital readmissions adjustment factors announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Oct. 3. CMS inadvertently included claims from the fiscal year 2008 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) file that had discharge dates prior to July 1, 2008, and has published the corrected readmissions adjustment factors in a revised impact file for the fiscal year 2013 inpatient prospective payment system final rule. Under the final rule, hospitals with higher-than-expected readmission rates will see reductions in their Medicare payments effective Oct. 1. The AHA calculator, issued to members in August, helps hospital leaders estimate the dollar amount of their readmissions penalty under the policy.
CDC issues update on contaminated steroid drug   10/08/2012
About 75 health care facilities in 23 states received potentially contaminated epidural steroid medication prepared by New England Compounding Center in Framingham, MA, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update. As of today, 105 cases of fungal meningitis, including eight deaths and some strokes, have been associated with three lots of the medication that were recalled on Sept. 26. Physicians should contact patients who received injections from the lots to see if they have any symptoms, inform their state health department of any patients undergoing evaluation for infection, and report any suspected adverse events to FDA's MedWatch program, CDC said. As a precaution, NECC expanded the recall Saturday to include all compounded products distributed from the facility. There is currently no evidence of infection related to the other products. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/HAI/outbreaks/meningitis.html.
AON/ASHRM study looks at trends in health care risk management   10/08/2012
The latest benchmarking report from Aon and the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, released today, looks at the top issues for hospital risk managers, such as trends in liability coverage for employed physicians and changes in state legislation that influence professional liability costs. ASHRM is an AHA personal membership group representing clinical care, insurance, law and other related professions.