House GOP Aim to Balance Budget in 10 years with Medicare Reforms

House Republicans are proposing major changes to Medicare and Medicaid as a part of a blueprint to balance the budget within 10 years. The proposal depends on repealing the Obamacare, including financial assistance for low- and middle-income individuals, and the taxes implemented to help pay for coverage expansion programs.

The budget calls for shifting to a premium support model for Medicare, in which beneficiaries would receive subsidies to shop for coverage on the open market. But that change—which Democrats denigrate as vouchers—wouldn’t be implemented until 2024 to limit the impact on current beneficiaries.

House Republicans also want to overhaul Medicaid to give states greater flexibility on how they spend those dollars and merge it with the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Referred to as “State Flexibility Funds,” the approach would resemble block grants to states that they could use to provide healthcare coverage to low-income households.

Joint Commission Change Standards for diagnostic imaging services

The Joint Commission announced changes to its standards for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory health care organizations that provide diagnostic imaging services, including ambulatory organizations that have achieved Advanced Diagnostic Imaging certification. The changes will be effective July 1, 2014 with additional requirements to be phased in by 2015.

Continue reading Joint Commission Change Standards for diagnostic imaging services

Classic Surgeon, Leaving a Sponge Behind

The Joint Commission issued a Sentinel Event Alert urging health centers to re-assess policy and practice to avoid mistakenly leaving items in a patient’s body after surgery.

Yes, it happens more often than you’d expect, even with the high level of proficiency and # of eyes on the patient, unintended retention of foreign objects (URFOs) or retained surgical items (RSIs), happens. The impact on patient safety is obviously massive with the possibility of physical and emotional issues.

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ELI5 – Why Is Obamacare Good or Bad?

A good topic to discuss, unfortunately, no simple way to explain the nuances of the Obamacare package. Although most economists would agree the best solution would be a form of universal healthcare, what we have in front of us now is Obamacare.

Read for some thoughts and explanations like you were five and needed an answer now.

http://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/1nhv9o/eli5_for_a_nonamerican_why_is_obamacare_such_an/

Alarm Fatigue in The Hospital

Joint Commission has added to the growing concern of alarm fatigue in the workplace. Be it beepers, phones, intercomes, computers, what have you, the question posed is whether or not the barrage of alarms is affected healthcare provision?

Alarms are also a normal component of medical devices such as ventilators, blood pressure monitors and ECG machines, it seems everything has a beep of urgency. But that urgency has translated into damaging results.

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The expanding need for tech savvy healthcare professionals

Healthcare centers are no longer simple organizations that housed a doctor a few nurses. For one of the largest industries in the country, hospitals to clinics comprise of more than just healthcare professionals, but rather a wide breadth of skills necessary to run what is essentially a profit maximizing firm.

Whether we like it or not, healthcare is an industry dependent on the bottom line and will adjust its service to reflect that outcome. To help (or perhaps to its detriment) the process of innovation and efficiency, technology has played a wider role.

No longer just a factor in emerging treatments, technology improves patient care, offers more opportunities for education, and can increase efficiency of care.

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COPAN Produces CDC/Joint Commission Educational Videos

This week COPAN (a firm named after COllection and Preservation for ANalysis) launched a set of videos demonstrating proper sample collection techniques for respiratory samples. The new videos were created for the CDC and The Joint Commission. The use will be web based directed to flu diagnosis and treatment in ambulatory settings for healthcare providers.

Demonstrations of Nasal and Nasopharyngeal swab sample collection use FLOQSwabs(TM) by COPAN and COPAN’s Universal Transport Media (UTM). Additional videos demonstrate proper technique for Nasal Aspirates and Nasal Washes. Continue reading COPAN Produces CDC/Joint Commission Educational Videos

Joint Commission project aims to reduce wrong-surgery risks

Waking up with the wrong kidney removed is a horror story that’s played out countless times in North American hospitals. Surgeons will most likely walk into your operating room, ask you which body part and which side, and then scrawl your body with markers. Still, errors occasionally happen.

The Joint Commission unveiled a Targeted Solutions Tool to help physicians and hospitals spot one of 29 problems that can lead to an incorrect procedure. The commission’s Center for Transforming Healthcare tested the safety tool at eight U.S. hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Continue reading Joint Commission project aims to reduce wrong-surgery risks