CMS to grant blanket hurricane-related quality reporting waiver   11/28/2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services intends to waive certain quality data submission and validation requirements for hospitals in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island counties designated "major disaster" areas for Hurricane Sandy by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, CMS announced yesterday in a memorandum to quality improvement organizations. The blanket waiver currently applies only to the hospital inpatient and outpatient quality reporting programs, CMS said. Hospitals outside the designated counties may request an individual waiver using a process described in the memo, the agency said.
Hospital project reduces colorectal surgical site infections   11/28/2012
Seven hospitals participating in a Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare project reduced colorectal surgical site infections by 32%, avoiding an estimated 135 infections and more than $3.7 million in associated costs, the center announced today. Infections for superficial incisional SSIs, one type of colorectal SSI, fell by 45%. Using the Robust Process Improvement problem-solving methodology and SSI outcomes data from the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, the hospitals identified 34 variables that increased the risk of colorectal SSIs and targeted solutions to each cause. The solutions will be pilot tested in other health care organizations and added next year to the center's Targeted Solutions Tool, a free web-based tool that helps Joint Commission-accredited organizations implement the center's quality improvement solutions. AHA is a sponsor of the Joint Commission center.
Medicaid expansion would create jobs, grow economy in MO   11/28/2012
Participating in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion could add more than 24,000 jobs and $9.6 billion in value-added output to Missouri's economy in 2014, according to report released today by the Missouri Hospital Association and Missouri Foundation for Health. "Medicaid expansion will improve the health of the state and significantly boost the state's economy," said MHA President and CEO Herb Kuhn. "It is a win-win for Missouri." In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the ACA's individual mandate and Medicaid expansion constitutional, but struck down a provision that allowed Congress to take all Medicaid funds from a state that refuses to participate in the Medicaid expansion. States that participate in the Medicaid expansion would receive the federal financial support included in the ACA.