The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a new plan to restructure state-based Medicare Quality Improvement Organization program into regional service areas. Primaris believes that health care solutions are best served locally, tailoring quality improvement programs to each state’s unique circumstances and needs.
Primaris Chief Executive Officer Richard Royer recently spoke with The Missourinet about the issue, pointing both to the success that state-based QIOs have had across the country in reducing hospital readmissions and the need for a thorough review of the plan by Congress.
“Half of our delegation has signed on to co-sponsor legislation so that CMS would bring this entire plan into hearings so Congress has a say in it,” he said. “They’re very concerned that this is unilateral and not on good financial plans. There is a bill in the House, HR 805, and four Missouri Congressmen have signed on as co-sponsors. That’s more than any other state.”
Access the full interview or read the article at the link below.
Public health advocates who want to work with businesses in their area to promote preventative health have a new tool at their disposal.
The Prevention Institute recently published a 17-page guide for advocates to work with the business community on health matters. As health insurance and medical care costs continue to rise, companies' ability to stay competitive hinges more on workers' health.
A dedicated daily cleaning crew who adequately clean and disinfect hospital rooms contaminated by Clostridium difficile (C. diff) using a standardized process can be more effective than other disinfection interventions, according to a study published in the May edition of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.
The study examined various infection-control procedures through three intervention sequences:
the use of fluorescent markers applied to high-touch surfaces in patient rooms to provide monitoring and feedback on thoroughness of cleaning
utilization of an automated ultraviolet (UV) radiation device as a complementary disinfection strategy used after cleaning
an enhanced disinfection process composed of a dedicated daily disinfection team and a process requiring supervisory assessment and clearance of terminally-cleaned C. diff-infected rooms
Researchers found the fluorescent marker intervention improved the disinfection of high-touch surfaces over traditional cleaning practices, 57 percent versus 67 percent. The use of the UV device further reduced the number of positive cultures, but C. diff was still in 35 percent of rooms. Disinfection dramatically improved with the addition of enhanced standard disinfection intervention, reducing positive cultures to seven percent.
Original article published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology (hosted by JSTOR / Chicago Journals. While the full text is now available, a subscription will likely be required after May 2013)
Synopsis of the article in Infection Control Today
Healthcare providers and community stakeholders working together can save a million lives from heart disease by 2017, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in an online video posted this week. If successful, Million Hearts will save about 20,000 Missourians -- enough to fill up the Scottrade Center in St. Louis or the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
Sebelius promoted the Million Hearts initiative, which brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.
The promotional video, posted Feb. 4, features a shot of Primaris board member and physician James T. Rogers at 1:26.
You can view the video here (link goes to YouTube), or watch the embedded version below:
The article referred to a final report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which described progress made in hospitals using the national quality-improvement initiative, On the CUSP:Stop BSI. Primaris and its sister organization, the Missouri Center for Patient Safety, have used this initiative to help hospital providers reduce bloodstream infections.
Forty-four states (including Missouri) participated in the CUSP program in from 2009-2011 and reduced infections by 41 percent, according to Becker's. An estimated 290 to 605 deaths were prevented.
Medicare’s quality-improvement organizations, or QIOs, have been proven to help hospitals reduce costly readmissions, according to a study in today’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Roughly 20 percent of people on Medicare admitted to a hospital will be readmitted 30 or fewer days after being discharged – costing the federal healthcare system an estimated $15 billion annually, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The JAMA study shows how 14 state-based QIOs, funded by the Medicare program, worked with hospitals to avoid readmissions and generally improve healthcare quality for patients moving from one place to another. Rehospitalizations declined nearly twice as much in the 14 states, according to the study.
At the time of the study, only 14 QIOs were involved in helping hospitals reduce readmissions. Currently, all QIOs – including Primaris -- are involved in this effort. Primaris has teamed up with the Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium (KCQIC) to assist hospitals in the Kansas City area.
Abstract of the JAMA article (membership required for full text)
Press release about the article from the American Health Quality Association
The Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium (KCQIC) -- a nonprofit group which has worked with Primaris for years -- has been selected to participate in the federal Community-based Care Transitions Program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week.
KCQIC will work with participating hospitals to identify patients at a high risk for being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. Such readmissions cost Medicare up to $15 billion annually, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Care-transition coaches -- trained through KCQIC using an evidence-based model called the Coleman Care Transitions Intervention -- will work with these identified patients to help them stay out of the hospital.
CMS' care transitions program was created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010. KCQIC's agreement with the federal agency will span two years. The Kansas City organization will be paid a flat fee per beneficiary to coordinate coaches and other services to assist patients.
Nationally, the CMS care transitions program may spend up to $500 million over five years.
Hospital providers can learn about official Medicare notices of non-coverage and the discharge appeal process at a free teleconference hosted by WPS Medicare in early February.
Qualified providers may earn Medical Coding CEUs at the teleconference, which will be at 1 p.m. Feb. 6.
Medicare's noncoverage rules apply to all acute care hospitals who treat people on Medicare. The teleconference may help experienced hospital staff refresh their knowledge of Medicare rules and provide a helpful introduction to the rules for new providers.
Registration is not required for the teleconference. However, on the day of the call, providers will need to tell the operator their facility name, provider or facility Medicare number (PTAN/OSCA/Legacy Number), their first and last names and the number of participants in the room. Providers who wish to earn CEUs will need to provide their names and email Tanya Hardiman of the WPS after the call.
The dial-in number, according to the WPS website, will be 1-866-246-6880. The Conference ID is 77658314.
Two Primaris employees were national bloggers at the 2012 QualityNet Conference in Baltimore, MD. Rita Ketterlin and Sandra Pogones, both Program Managers at Primaris, featured near real-time accounts of session takeaways during the three-day conference.
The event was structured to break down “silos” within the healthcare delivery system, promote collaborative learning and hasten the spread of innovations that produce significant, widespread increases in quality. Participants left with a commitment to immediately apply what they learned to improve patient care, improve population health, or decrease health care costs through improvement.
Highlights from this year’s conference include the launch of a Patient and Family Engagement Campaign and a Nursing Home Quality of Care Collaborative.