Healthcare News March 9, 2013

  • Rubio presses HHS to soften Medicare Advantage cuts

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pushed the federal Medicare agency on Friday to scale back its proposed cuts to private Medicare Advantage plans.

    The insurance industry is aggressively fighting the cuts, and has been looking for lawmakers to take up their case with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

    Rubio urged CMS Friday to use different assumptions about how Medicare will pay doctors next year — a change that would almost certainly lead the agency to scale back its proposed 2.2 percent cut.

    “On behalf of my constituents in Florida who rely on Medicare Advantage to receive their Medicare benefits, I am deeply concerned that if CMS fails to reverse its preliminary decision on this critically important issue, many MA enrollees may experience disruptions in their health care benefits and choices,” Rubio wrote.

  • Health Catalyst Systems Brings Accountable Care to New Jersey’s Largest Health System

    Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Created by Hackensack University Medical Center and Its Affiliated Physicians Selects Health Catalyst Systems to Support Participation in Medicare Shared Savings Program

    HACKENSACK, NJ–(Marketwire – March 04, 2013) –   Health Catalyst Systems, LLC today announced that the Hackensack Alliance Accountable Care Organization (ACO), an accountable care organization created by the combination of HackensackUMC and its affiliated physicians, has selected its Technology Enabled Active Management (TEAM) of Care model to proactively manage care coordination across the ACO. By implementing the TEAM of Care Solution, the Hackensack Alliance ACO will be able to provide hospital and community clinicians, care coordinators, and patients a coordinated and unified view of the patient’s clinical, financial and administrative data from electronic health records, claims systems, and other data sources. To assure the Hackensack Alliance ACO fully realizes its goals, Health Catalyst will provide advisory consulting, care coordination technology, and it’s TEAM of Care workflow algorithms for best practice care coordination. Providers in the ACO will have an integrated view of patient records, shared care plans, a status tracking system for care plan adherence, and a secure messaging system for communications. Primary care providers, medical specialists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, care coordinators, and home health aides can use the system to designate multidisciplinary care teams that actively manage their patients across multiple EHR platforms in multiple settings and locations.

    Morey Menacker, D.O., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hackensack Alliance ACO, stated that “Health Catalyst provides us with one platform to manage and coordinate the care activities inside and outside our organization, across the entire continuum of care.” “This Active Management of Care model is critical to how the ACO will achieve our goals for improved patient care and reduced costs of care,” said Peter Gross, M.D., Chairman of the Hackensack Alliance ACO Board of Managers. Edward Gold, M.D., Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of the Hackensack Alliance ACO Board of Managers stated that “Because the TEAM of Care model automates our visibility into care coordination activities, our physicians, nurses, care coordinators and patients can take immediate actions that will improve outcomes.” According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, failure to coordinate care delivery cost the U.S. Health System between $102 and $154 Billion Dollars in 2011. (Source: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

    HackensackUMC has remained committed to remaining at the forefront of technology to achieve better patient results. In fact, Dr. Shafiq Rab, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, HackensackUMC, was recently listed among Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Hospital and Health System CIOs to Know” based upon his commitment to the pursuit of innovative health technology and IT programs as a means to achieving high-quality coordinated care delivery for HackensackUMC. Dr. Rab’s evangelism is based on his unique clinical, IT and public health experience and this background has enabled his to improve the meaningful use of technology and the clinical delivery of care at the lowest cost at every institution that he has worked. Dr. Rab stated “After an exhaustive search of technology and consulting ACO vendors, Health Catalyst and its Technology Enabled Active Management of Care allows us to leverage the existing hospital and ambulatory technology Electronic Health Record platforms we already have invested in to be able to share community wide agreed up care plans across multiple technology platforms.”

    “The most complex patients in our healthcare system are also the highest cost,” said Alan Gilbert, MPA, FHIMSS, Managing Partner at Health Catalyst Systems. “A larger percentage of patients with chronic diseases — diabetes, COPD, CHF, obesity, and cancers — have multiple conditions and require care from a wide variety of providers in a wide variety of settings. Our TEAM of Care approach enables healthcare providers to more effectively monitor and manage a patient’s care. For patients with chronic disease, this process leads to reduced hospitalizations, reduced lengths of stay, fewer readmissions, avoided redundant tests, and improved adherence to treatment therapies.”

    About Hackensack University Medical Center

    HackensackUMC, a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, New Jersey, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. This 775-bed facility has created an entire campus of care, including: the Heart & Vascular Hospital, the John Theurer Cancer Center, the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, and the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey and one of the top four New York metro area hospitals by the U.S. News & World Report, and has received nine national rankings in: Cancer; Cardiology & Heart Surgery; Ear, Nose & Throat; Gastroenterology; Geriatrics; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Orthopedics; Urology; and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital ranked as one of the Top 25 Best Children’s Hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery in the 2012-13 Best Children’s Hospitals list. HackensackUMC is among Healthgrades® America’s Best 100 Hospitals in 10 different areas — more than any other hospital in the nation, and received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 11 years in a row. The medical center has also been named one of the Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals®, a Leapfrog Top Hospital, and one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades® for seven years in a row. HackensackUMC received 19 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission — more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls, and remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more about one of the nation’s 50 best hospitals, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.

    About The Hackensack Alliance Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

    The Hackensack Alliance Accountable Care Organization (ACO) was established to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), which is designed to reduce the growth in Medicare expenditures through the development of a patient centered care model that focuses on providing high quality services and medical care. Our mission is to provide patients with high quality service and medical care while reducing the growth in care expenditures through enhanced care coordination, preventive care, patient empowerment and best practices supported by medical research. In order for our patients to receive quality care that makes a positive difference, Hackensack Physician-Hospital Alliance ACO physicians must work closely with patients, family members and other providers to coordinate care across medical specialties and care settings. Patient centered care requires Hackensack physicians to transform and improve all aspects of the healthcare experience for the individual patient as well as the population. In the interest of our patients, HackensackUMC physicians are dedicated to providing patients with quality medical care that includes: patient and family education, better access to care, efficient processes, and evidence based care management. To learn more about The Hackensack Physician-Hospital Alliance Accountable Care Organization, visit www.hackensackumc.org/our-services/medical-services/aco/about-us/

    About Health Catalyst Systems, LLC 

    Health Catalyst Systems, LLC has developed a unique and innovative care coordination solution called Technology Enabled Active Management (TEAM) of Care. This solution creates proactive care management activities through plans of care, work flow rules, and triggers for active follow up. Health Catalyst automates this process by configuring these rules into care coordination software that includes a work flow decision engine, Health Information Exchange, communication platform, and analytics tools. The TEAM of Care model converts data into action through work lists, phase dashboards, secure messages, and reports for immediate care follow up and active management. Health Catalyst assures delivery and value realization from every project by combining best practices for care coordination with world-class consulting and implementation expertise. Our combined solutions deliver an unmatched foundation for clinical integration, care coordination, and associated reimbursement models tied to quality outcomes. To learn more about the TEAM of Care, please visit www.teamofcare.com

  • Manufacturers warned about ‘latex free’ labels

    Federal regulators are warning manufacturers to stop labeling products as “latex free,” calling the claims “scientifically inaccurate.”

  • Rep. Lynch defends vote against healthcare law

    Rep. Stephen Lynch’s (D-Mass.) vote against President Obama’s signature healthcare law has him on the defensive in a hotly contested Senate primary.

    Lynch is facing Rep. Ed Markey in a primary battle for the seat vacated by John Kerry. And the Boston Globe reported Friday that some Massachusetts Democrats are still unhappy with Lynch for changing his vote and opposing the Affordable Care Act in the House.

    “It was a profile in both moral and political cowardice,” Richard Kirsch, a prominent supporter of the healthcare push, told the Globe.

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