Coding News

Custodial agent for updating VA's VistA to launch in August PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 13:50

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected The Informatics Applications Group to design and establish the custodial agent that will act as the open-source community's central governing body updating the use of VistA (Veterans Integrated System Technology Architecture), the VA's electronic health record (EHR). The VA said it expects the custodial agent to launch in August and begin full operation in the fall.

The VA announced in April that it wanted a custodial agent to provide communication, organizational and administrative functions to help the open source community share information and software. Moving to an open source model will promote innovative ideas from the public and private sectors, according to the VA's Secretary, Eric K. Shinseki.

In addition, a major opportunity exists "to create the next generation of EHRs, which is so important to our EHR collaboration with [the Department of Defense] and to many current and future users of electronic health records...

Hospital files for bankruptcy as it prepares for sale PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 12:53

With a $56 million debt, Quincy Medical Center filed for bankruptcy on Friday in preparation for sale, according to The Boston Globe. Steward Health Care will buy Quincy Medical Center and make $34 million worth of investments, as the hospital board decided to sell last Monday, according to the Taunton Daily Gazette.

Burdened with debt from renovations, Quincy Medical Center elected to sell the organization, notes the Globe.

"Given the size of our debt, there has to be some negotiations as to how much of the debt is paid down," said Quincy Medical Center's interim CEO John Kastanis in the Gazette article. "The liabilities of the hospital right now exceed assets, and the size of our debt is such that we needed to (file for bankruptcy)."

The bankruptcy and deal are not expected to affect services, according to Kastanis.

"We shouldn't be skipping a beat here at all," he said. "We will be continuing to compete and attracting more patients and doctors here. There should be no disruption ...

AMA opposes burdensome physician certification and licensure PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 12:14

Despite the trend of increased physician licensure and board certification, the American Medical Association (AMA) at its annual meeting adopted new policies stating that it will request the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) not require physicians to take numerous specialty certification exams, according to an AMA News article yesterday.

"It is a critical issue to a lot of physicians," said Gregory Threatte, MD, an alternate delegate for the Medical Society of the State of New York and an anatomic/clinical pathologist. "There is widespread concern about these multiple certifications and licensure examinations that are starting to chew up more and more expense."

Many physicians in recent years have complained of increasing costs and time commitments required of certification. However, hospitals and healthcare organizations have argued that certification and licensure ensure current physician competency and, therefore, patient safety.

The AMA says it also opposes public rep...

Joint Commission releases new method to prevent wrong-site surgery PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 11:44

The Joint Commission on Friday announced a Robust Process Improvement methodology to assess risk points and contributing factors of wrong-site, wrong-side, and wrong patient surgery as part of a previously launched collaboration to eliminate these never events.

Initially launched in July 2009, Rhode Island Hospital, Newport Hospital, and the Lifespan system partnered to improve safeguards.

The prevention method combines Lean Six Sigma and change management strategies. For example, the Center for Transforming Healthcare says one solution is for the surgeon to mark the site in the pre-op/holding area, and if he or she does not, document the reason why.

"Simply stated, wrong-site surgery should never happen," states a Joint Commission news brief.

Although rare, these never events occur up to 40 times a week, according to the accrediting body.

For more:
- read the Joint Commission new...

Health care called the new "gold rush" PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 08:11
A study says opportunities in the industry abound, especially in collecting and managing information, but warns that success is not guaranteed.
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Page 9 of 226

ICD-10 Corner

9 benefits of ICD-10

1. Measuring the quality, safety and efficacy of care
2. Designing payment systems and processing claims for reimbursement
3. Conducting research, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials
4. Setting health policy
5. Operational and strategic planning and designing healthcare delivery systems
6. Monitoring resource utilization
7. Improving clinical, financial, and administrative performance
8. Preventing and detecting healthcare fraud and abuse
9. Tracking public concerns and assessing risks of adverse public health events

More details..

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