Don't miss the next Consortium Conference!
Keynote Dr. Marilyn Hravnak, will lead a strong line up of speakers including three CNOs, two Associate Deans for Research, and numerous nurse scientists conducting research in academic and clinical settings throughout South Florida at the Consortium's next educational conference which will take place at the Signature Grand on October 31. More than half of the available tickets have already been sold! Registration for Generating Evidence for Education and Clinical Practice is open and more than a hundred nurses have taken advantage of the early-bird registration rates available now. "Dr. Hravnak is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and an NIH funded researcher whose research work is clinical setting focused. She is also a very dynamic speaker who has addressed a number of national conferences. Miami Children’s Hospital CNO Jackie Gonzalez, Ellie Smith the CNO at UM’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the new CNO at Holy Cross Taren Ruggiero, and the new associate deans for research at the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University will also be among those speaking. With such a strong program, I'm not surprised that so many have already purchased tickets," remarked Donna Lee Armaignac, Director of Best Practices, Baptist Health South Florida and the Consortium's Conference Committee Chair. To view the conference brochure, please click here.
AHRQ seeks studies to include in HIE evidence review
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is accepting submissions through Sept. 29 to inform a review of the evidence related to health information exchange outcomes, level of use, facilitators/barriers and sustainability. The review is being conducted by the agency’s Effective Health Care Program Evidence-Based Practice Centers. Pertinent scientific information may be submitted online or by email to SIPS@epc-src.org. For more information, see the AHRQ notice.
PBAU announces new DNP program launch
Palm Beach Atlantic University will begin offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in the Spring 2015. Graduates of Palm Beach Atlantic’s DNP program, upon receipt of state licensure, will be equipped to work as nurse practitioners providing primary healthcare to patients including prescribing a range of medications. They also will be prepared to work in private practice, serve in hospital administration, teach nursing at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and lead a variety of health-related organizations. “Our DNP students will have the opportunity to gain knowledge necessary to become more actively involved in policy at all levels. This is vital to assist in restructuring the healthcare system in order to impact safety and quality improvement outcomes,” stated Donna Murray, DNP, Director of PBAU DNP/FNP Program. The Quantum Foundation awarded Palm Beach Atlantic University School of Nursing a grant for $250,000 in support the new DNP program, and the Palm Healthcare Foundation has awarded a grant totaling $75,000 with shared goals of advancing the nursing profession and improving Palm Beach County residents’ access to health care. More information please send an e-mail to email@example.com/DNP.
Joint Commission warns providers to be alert to tubing misconnection risks
The Joint Commission recently issued an alert containing updated recommendations and strategies to prevent tubing misconnections as the health care field transitions to new manufacturing standards for medical tubing connectors. Developed by the International Organization for Standards, the new standards are expected to make tubing misconnections nearly impossible, but old connectors will remain in the market until they are sold out, leading to potential confusion, according to the Sentinel Event Alert. It urges hospitals, long-term care facilities, home health providers and others that use medical tubing to begin planning for the October transition to the new connectors and remain alert for possible misconnections. “Tubing misconnections are the root cause of too many episodes of patient harm, and The Joint Commission is committed to helping health care organizations prevent them,” said Mark Chassin, M.D., Joint Commission president and CEO. “Organizational leadership is the first line of defense in this transition to the new connectors. Leaders must assume the responsibility for ensuring the safe adoption of the new standards and they must empower their employees to not be afraid to speak up if they discover a problem.”
Moody’s: Hospitals face continued, unsustainable revenue trend
Operating revenue growth for nonprofit hospitals dropped to an all-time low of 3.9% in fiscal year 2013 and was outpaced by expense growth for a second consecutive year, a trend that is “unsustainable,” according to a report released last week by Moody's Investors Service. "We expect revenue growth will remain under pressure in 2014 as many of the trends in 2013 continue and accelerate," the credit rating agency said. According to the report, factors that continue to challenge revenue growth include low rate increases from commercial payers; Medicare disproportionate share reductions; an increase in high-deductible health plans and associated bad debt; and a shift from inpatient admissions to lower reimbursed outpatient visits and observation stays.
DEA rule imposes strictest controls on hydrocondone combination products
The Drug Enforcement Administration has issued a final rule imposing stricter regulatory controls and sanctions on people who handle or propose to handle hydrocodone combination products, drugs that contain hydrocodone and specified amounts of other substances. Effective in 45 days, the rule moves HCPs from Schedule III to Schedule II, as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services and supported by its own evaluation, DEA said. The Controlled Substances Act places substances with accepted medical uses into one of four schedules; schedule II is for substances with the highest potential for harm and abuse. According to an analysis by HHS and the DEA, HCPs have a high potential for abuse, which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee also recommended the schedule change last year.
Consortium sets November 7 as Day in the Life of a Nurse™
The Nursing Consortium of South Florida will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Day in the Life of a Nurse™ program on Friday, the 7th of November. The program provides visiting high school and middle school students the opportunity to spend a day with nurses and learn about the nursing profession. For 2014, the Consortium is inviting all area nursing schools accredited by either CCNE or ACEN and all hospitals in Monroe, Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Glades, Hendry, and Martin counties to participate and welcome cohorts of high school or middle school students to their. To learn more about the Day in the Life of a Nurse™ please click here. To express interest in being a hosting facility, please click here.
CMS seeks comments on potential patient engagement initiatives
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is accepting comments through Sept. 15 on potential initiatives to test innovative models to engage Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries more actively in their health and health care. The agency is especially interested in models that use evidence-based social and behavioral insights and methods from behavioral economics, social psychology and incentive design to encourage enrollment in the models and motivate continued engagement. It plans to solicit ideas for engaging beneficiaries in Medicare Parts C and D, Medigap organizations, Medicaid and CHIP managed care, and value-based insurance design in a future request for information.
PCORI announces $90 million to study treatment alternatives
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute has announced up to $90 million in funding to study practical comparative questions faced by patients, clinicians and other health care decision makers. Any research organization, including university/college hospital and health care systems, may submit a letter of intent to apply for up to $10 million in funding to support large clinical or observational studies that compare alternatives to prevent, diagnosis, treat or manage a disease or symptom; improve health care system-level approaches to managing care; or eliminate health or health care disparities. Proposed studies must address clinical choices faced by patients, their caregivers, clinicians or delivery systems and include patient, professional, payer or purchaser organizations as partners. Letters of intent are due Oct. 1.
CMS: Health spending to grow average 5.7% annually through 2023
National health spending is expected to grow an average 5.7% annually through 2023, due to coverage expansions under the Affordable Care Act, anticipated economic growth and an aging population, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported in Health Affairs. That’s up from an anticipated 3.6% growth rate in 2013, but down from an average 7.2% between 1990 and 2008, the agency said. Health care spending is expected grow an average of 1.1 percentage points faster than the economy between 2013 and 2023, raising the health care share of gross domestic product from 17.2% to 19.3%. CMS expects spending growth for hospital care to slow from 4.9% in 2012 to 4.1% in 2013, then increase to 4.5% in 2014 and 5.1% in 2015 as the ACA’s coverage expansions increase use of services. Medicare spending on hospital care is expected to slow from 4.5% in 2012 to 2.5% in 2013 due to the effects of sequestration and slower growth in utilization.
Socioeconomic factors impact readmissions, studies find
Adjusting for patients’ socioeconomic status reduced the variation in 30-day readmission rates across hospitals in Missouri, according to a study published in Health Affairs. The study compared hospital performance on 30-day readmissions for Medicare heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia patients discharged between June 2009 and 2012 with results using a model enriched with patient socioeconomic data. Although average risk-adjusted readmissions rates did not change significantly, the range of hospital performance decreased by nearly 5 percentage points for heart attack, 7 percentage points for heart failure, and 4 percentage points for pneumonia. Missouri Hospital Association President and CEO Herb Kuhn said the study “illustrates the challenges faced by patients and hospitals as individuals are discharged into communities with few economic, health and social assets.” Another study in the journal by researchers at Henry Ford Health System found that patients living in high-poverty neighborhoods were 24% more likely than others to be readmitted within 30 days. Married patients also were less likely than unmarried to be readmitted, suggesting they have more social supports. The American Hospital Association last month urged the National Quality Forum and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to adopt an expert panel’s recommendations for adjusting quality measures to account for sociodemographic risk factors such as Medicaid status, income, education and homelessness.