Interventions for Accelerating Improvements in the Ambulatory Space

Providing the right care in the right setting has long been advocated to improve health care quality, patient experience and cost. Often that setting is the ambulatory environment with a strong foundation of primary care and collaboration with specialty care. More

Uncovering Care Strategies for Patients With COPD

On a recent visit to see his elderly mother, a son finds her struggling to breathe. She lives on the second floor of her apartment building and while she is able to walk, she can’t navigate the stairs and he’s unable to carry her.  More

Making Tough Conversations Easier When Facing Serious Illness

Historically, health care organizations in the United States have struggled with helping patients navigate their care choices when facing serious illnesses. More

The Road to Payment Reform: A Guide to PAMA Compliance for Advanced Imaging

Overuse of advanced imaging modalities has been scrutinized by policymakers as a factor contributing to unsustainable levels of health care spending in our nation. That scrutiny was the driving force behind the passage of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA). This federal law includes a CMS mandate that ordering physicians consult Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) using a qualified Clinical Decision Support Mechanism (CDSM) when ordering advanced imaging procedures such as CT, MRI... More

Avoiding a Hospital Fire: Driving Home the ‘Why’ Behind the Regulations

In my career I’ve heard many facilities and non-facilities personnel question the value of all the regulations that hospitals have to comply with. I’ve actually heard staff say, “We’ve never had a fire, so our safety systems are working.” I’m sure Jazan General Hospital in Saudi Arabia, which burned in December 2015, generally felt the same way prior to their fire.   The loss More

Fighting Sepsis and Winning

Elizabeth, or Libby as her friends and family call her, has been a fighter her entire life. Born with kidney and lung problems, her battle began very early. Doctors in the neonatal intensive care unit didn’t expect Libby to go home but eventually she did. After several months of home dialysis, special food preparation and challenging care, Libby was strong enough to receive one of her mother’s kidneys. More

The Tragedy of Sepsis and the Collaborative Work to Combat It

Maybe you’ve heard of blood poisoning, which is a common lay term for sepsis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) answers the question “What is sepsis?” in simple and easy-to-understand language: More

Keeping Up With CMS: Timeline Guides for New and Evolving Alternative Payment Models

There’s a lot happening in traditional Medicare alternative payment model (APM) development and evolution. Because we recently passed the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) application deadline on June 24 and the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) notice of intent to apply (NOIA) deadline on June 28, I want to remind organizations of the various programs and their associated deadlines, as well as the opportunity (or lack thereof) for entry. Let’s... More

Sorting Out a Governance Process for Clinical Decision-Making: The 7 Truths

Whether an organization calls it governance or refers to it as oversight, leaves it to a steering committee or keeps it within a traditional value analysis structure, the goal is the same: create an informed, clinically driven process at the physician level for patient-centric decisions that are implemented at the organizational level. Or in some cases not implemented. More

Stopping Health Care-Associated Violence: We Can Do It If We Work Together

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of current events in our country is the increase in mass violence. And unfortunately, the health care environment is not immune to societal trends. More