News

New Research of Note: Winter 2014 Journal of Rural Health

January 3rd, 2014

JRH coverThe Winter 2014 issue of The Journal of Rural Health has been released.  Articles relevant to the Flex Monitoring Team’s core areas of CAH quality, finance, and community engagement include the following:

 

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Federal Register Notice: CAH Ownership Disclosures

December 13th, 2013

Dec 13, 2013 — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is seeking public comments on the following:

  • Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Application Form and Supporting Regulations
  • Disclosures Required of Certain Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals Regarding Physician Ownership

(via RAC News)

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Pink Offers Guidance for CAH Policy Changes

December 13th, 2013

Dec 13, 2013 — NRHA Today article tells of a series of three briefs, authored by 2013 NRHA Outstanding Researcher award winner George Pink, Ph.D., that provide information for policymakers and stakeholders as policy changes for critical access hospitals (CAHs) are considered relating to potential increases in beneficiary travel distance if financially-vulnerable CAHs close; the projected financial impact that a reduction in Medicare payments might have on CAHs; and on the rural-urban differences in inpatient costs and use among Medicare beneficiaries.

To view the briefs, visit the Rural Health Research Gateway at: http://www.ruralhealthresearch.org/alerts/update/120513.php

(via RAC News)

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How Does Stage 2 Meaningful Use Challenge Rural Providers?

December 10th, 2013

Dec 10, 2013 — EHR Intelligence article reports that even with the proposed extension of the timeline for eligible professionals and hospitals to complete Stage 2 Meaningful Use and begin Stage 3, eligible providers still face the challenge of meeting the thresholds for patient engagement required by next phases of the EHR Incentive Programs. This challenge is particularly more pronounced for healthcare organizations and providers working in rural areas where limited access and capability create significant obstacles.

(via RAC News)

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Federal Register Notice: CMS Outpatient Quality Reporting and Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Programs

December 10th, 2013

Dec 10, 2013 — Posted in the Federal Register:  This final rule with comment period from CMS revises the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and the Medicare ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system for CY 2014. In addition, this final rule with comment period updates and refines the requirements for the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program, the ASC Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program, and the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program. In the final rules in this document, they are finalizing changes to the conditions for coverage (CfCs) for organ procurement organizations (OPOs); revisions to the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) regulations; changes to the Medicare fee-for-service Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program; and changes relating to provider reimbursement determinations and appeals.

(via RAC News)

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Federal Register Notice: CMS Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request

December 7th, 2013

Dec 6, 2013 — Federal Register:  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is seeking public comments on the following:

  • Application for Hospital Insurance and Supporting Regulations
  • State Plan Amendment Template, State Plan Requirements, and Supporting Regulations
  • Appeals of Quality Bonus Payment Determinations

(via RAC News)

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Use of Telehealth Network Can Boost Care

December 7th, 2013

Dec 6, 2013 — USA Today article reports that according to a newly released study, using a remote expert to oversee intensive-care units decreases mortality and decreases the amount of time people spend in hospitals, thus saving money. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services just last week changed its 2014 fee schedule so more people in rural areas would qualify for telehealth services, and so that those services could include home-based telehealth services.

(via RAC News)

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Rural Hospitals Rule on Leapfrog List

December 4th, 2013

Dec 4, 2013 — Healthcare IT News article reports that for the second consecutive year, rural hospitals stood out, with 22 hospitals making the Leapfrog Group’s 2013 Top Hospitals list – a 69 percent increase from last year. To qualify for the award, eligible hospitals must also earn an “A” from Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score, which grades hospitals based on infections, injuries and medical errors.

(via RAC News)

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Remote doctors, one answer to physician shortage in rural Minnesota

July 25th, 2013

Minnesota Public Radio blog reports that many rural hospitals in Minnesota are small, remote and understaffed, but through the use of technology they are filling the gaps by bringing services where they are lacking.

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