Monograph looks at role of chief diversity officer   11/12/2012
A new monograph from the Association of American Medical Colleges, in partnership with the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, examines the role of the chief diversity officer in academic health centers. The report discusses complexities and challenges associated with the chief diversity officer role; key competencies that successful chief diversity officers should possess; and a checklist for designing the role. The monograph grew out of a meeting held earlier this year with chief diversity officers and higher education leaders organized by AAMC and the Institute. The monograph is available for download from the Institute's Resource Center. The Institute is an AHA affiliate. 
AHA report examines hospital progress in quality improvement   11/12/2012
The latest AHA Trendwatch report takes a look at the gains hospitals have made in improving quality and patient safety, including reductions in healthcare-associated infections and adherence to accepted treatment protocols. In addition, the report highlights various strategies hospitals are employing to improve quality and patient safety. According to the report, hospitals use a variety of tested quality improvement approaches that generally involve five steps: identifying areas for improvement; determining what process can be modified to improve outcomes; developing and executing effective improvement strategies; tracking performance and outcomes; and disseminating results to spur broad quality improvement. Click here to view the full report.
HHS extends some deadlines for health insurance exchanges    11/12/2012
The Department of Health and Human Services Friday extended to Dec. 14 the deadline for states to submit a blueprint for their state-based health insurance exchange. However, states that intend to run their own exchange must submit a letter to HHS by Nov. 16 notifying the agency of their intention, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote Friday in a letter to governors. In addition, HHS extended to Feb. 15, 2013 the deadline for states to submit their plans to the agency if they elect to participate in a partnership exchange with the federal government. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires states to establish exchanges to facilitate the purchase of qualified health plans in the individual and small group markets beginning in 2014. For states that do not create an exchange, HHS will create and operate a federally facilitated exchange.
CMS posts supplemental wage data file    11/12/2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Friday posted a supplemental file containing hospital wage and occupational mix data that were omitted from the agency's October public use file. Although the supplemental file contains additional providers' data, which will be used to develop the proposed fiscal year 2014 wage index, CMS acknowledged that it was still unable to include the data of some providers due to technical difficulties. The agency also extended to Dec. 10 the deadline for hospitals to request revisions to their Worksheet S-3 wage and occupational mix data. Hospitals can view the supplemental file and other FY 2014 wage index information on CMS' website.