Most recent posts

  • 09/14/16
    In 1989, the National Weather Service retired its coastal warning display system in favor of electronic communication and other technological advances. For more than 100 years prior, colored pennants, flags and lights were used to warn mariners of impending storms. In the 19th century, those warnings often came as the result of sailors having beaten a path to port ahead of storms they had seen with their own eyes.more...
  • 09/12/16
    Continuing with the effort to build on value-based payments, the recent announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the new Episode Payment Models (EPM) for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) reinforces the their long-held belief that physician alignment is the key component for the transition to value-based care.more...
  • 09/02/16
    One of the areas of greatest concern for pharmacy practice, in terms of both cost and impact on patient care, is the increasing development of pharmaceuticals that could be classified as “specialty.” While there is no universally accepted definition of a specialty drug, most characterizations include attributes such as: • High cost • Limited extent of use • Technical complexity of delivery and/or administration • Treatment of complex and/or...more...
  • Sg2, a Vizient company
    09/01/16
    It is no secret that CMS intends to keep pushing the health care industry toward value-based reimbursement through its evolving payment models. The proposed rule for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) offers a new method of paying clinicians for the value of care they provide. It proposes implementing this change through a framework consisting of two paths: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or advanced Alternative Payment Models (aAPMs).more...
  • 08/23/16
    A recent article in Modern Healthcare reported on the enthusiasm over outpatient joint replacement surgery for younger and healthier patients. The arguments in favor of the shift for a subset of carefully selected patients are compelling. Quicker recoveries, faster return to normal activities, and reduced exposure to infections and other risks associated with hospitalization make a strong case for the change of venue.more...
  • 08/12/16
    Spurred on by the overwhelming participation rates in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative (BPCI) as well as their uncontested ability to impose a mandate on hospitals in selected areas through the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program (CJR), CMS last week announced plans for a more extensive foray into the bundled payments arena. more...
  • 08/02/16
    In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s intrepid sleuth observes that “the world is full of obvious things which nobody by chance ever observes.” Many of us who have spent our professional lives in health care have an intuitive belief that genuine multispecialty medical groups deliver care more efficiently than when physician services are fragmented among multiple, largely independent medical groups.more...
  • Sg2, a Vizient company
    07/14/16
    Rather than any early knockout in one of his epic matches, eulogies last month for boxing legend Muhammad Ali memorialized his three-decade, very public fight against Parkinson’s disease. The once fleet-footed heavyweight champion’s chronic condition, in the words of former president Bill Clinton, “made his life bigger, not smaller” as he championed greater awareness and resources for the condition.more...
  • 06/29/16
    Acting Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Andy Slavitt said earlier this year that CMS often can be viewed as a “black box with opaque regulations and limited back and forth about our policy reasoning or our implementation constraints.” That feeling is commonly held by hospitals across the country, as well as policymakers in Washington. The agency is seeking to shed that reputation and engage more openly with stakeholders, but trying to forecast the...more...
  • 06/22/16
    A little more than two years ago, separated by three months, my wife and I were blessed with the arrival of two grandsons. They have enriched our lives immeasurably, and as I watched one of them playing recently, I found myself thinking about the second law of thermodynamics and the concept of entropy. Simply defined, entropy is nature’s inexorable march toward chaos.more...