Perspectives on the Acute Care Continuum

The Acute Care Continuum is the integration of urgent, emergent, inpatient and post-discharge care of patients with acute medical conditions.

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Back in Part 1 of our ICD-10 series on Perspectives, I mentioned that I would dedicate my final post to discussing the ICD-10 "implementation controversy." I didn't guess at the time that it would take an act of Congress to halt that implementation! (I did expect a delay, but of the more top-down sort from HHS or the executive branch.)

HR43-02 delays ICD-10 until "after" Oct. 1, 2015, leaving its arrival date open-ended. To me, this does not bode well for implementation. A Congress that can put a Band-Aid on the sustainable growth rate fix for 17 years can also delay ICD-10 indefinitely.

4/29/2014 7:19:48 PM | 1 comments

There are many options for hospitals looking to improve operational performance and physician engagement. Employment models, locums and outsourcing are among the many options available to hospital administrators today.

For those looking to partner with a physician-owned practice to staff an emergency department or hospitalist program, there are many benefits but also many things to consider. One plus is the physician-owners of such groups have a strong incentive to maintain high quality standards that can help hospitals meet the challenges of healthcare reform.

4/23/2014 7:31:25 PM | 1 comments

No one plans to spend Saturday afternoon in the ED. This reality hit home when our laughter from lunch with old friends was pierced by the sound of glass shattering. We heard a scream and realized my daughter had just run through a sliding plate-glass door. During this experience, I had a rare opportunity to observe my profession from the patient/family side of things.

What struck me most is the tightrope that ED providers must walk while providing high-quality, patient-centered care. As a parent, I valued the time the doctors and nurses spent with my child and me. On the other hand, I understood the pressures they were under to move us as quickly as possible through the diagnostic and treatment process. They worked hard to provide a healthy dose of empathy without sacrificing efficiency.

4/14/2014 9:37:11 PM | 1 comments

Last fall, as hospitals and healthcare providers scrambled to meet impending EMR "meaningful use" deadlines, regulators were sending some decidedly mixed messages.

On Nov. 18, 2013, a representative from the Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare Technology addressed a gathering of the American Medical Informatics Association. She insisted that meaningful use would proceed on schedule.

"Wish there could be a delay of Stage 2 meaningful use? Don't hold your breath," wrote a reporter from Healthcare IT News, who was covering the story.

Then, less than one month later on Dec. 6, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would indeed extend Stage 2 for an additional year and delay the arrival of Stage 3 until 2017.

4/10/2014 7:43:21 PM | 1 comments

Our biweekly news updates are designed to keep you up to date with current developments relating to the Acute Care Continuum. Feel free to share your perspective on these stories or link to articles that you have found relevant to today's healthcare environment.

7 Million People Sign Up for Commercial Health Plans

As the March 31 deadline passed, the White House announced that 7.1 million people successfully signed up for commercial health plans through federal and state exchange programs. Beyond individuals who now have commercial insurance, HHS reported, "roughly 3 million more individuals enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program between October and February." The figures are in line with a new report from the Urban Institute, which says that 5.4 million Americans who previously lacked health insurance have gotten coverage since October.

4/8/2014 10:21:26 PM | 0 comments
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