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This is the fourth blog in a series highlighting how the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services is helping patients better navigate their care. Read part 1, part 2, and part 3. Olive View-UCLA Medical Center recently launched Prospective Action in Care Transitions (ProACT), an initiative that aims to inform patients’ patient-centered medical homes

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A recent Health Affairs article demonstrates that an Eskenazi Health dementia and depression program is clinically and financially effective.

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CBO estimated 2016 marketplace premiums will be 15 percent less than they were estimated to be in 2009. This should mean the ACA will cost $104 billion less to the federal government over the next decade than previously projected.

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The association said that CMS should implement the QRS in a way that protects consumer access to ECPs in the marketplaces. It also urged CMS to ensure the measures used in the QRS are endorsed by the National Quality Forum and risk adjusted for socioeconomic factors.

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Congress continues its two-week recess. Five Senate Democrats sent a letter to OMB and HRSA supporting the 340B program. The 340B mega reg set to be released in June is currently at OMB. House and Senate appropriations committees begin their markup processes, although nothing has been announced regarding HHS and related agencies.

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America's Essential Hospitals supports NQF's recommendations to adjust some health care performance measures for sociodemographic factors.

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Boston Medical Center has teamed up with the City of Boston to subsidize annual memberships to Hubway, the city's bike-sharing service. The normally $85 membership is available to eligible low-income Bostonians for $5.

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CMS adjusts FFS claims from 2008-2012 for DSH hospitals. The adjustment accounts for changes to Medicare DSH payments and for FY 2014 uncompensated care payments.

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The report identified a total of 17 domains that should be considered for inclusion in all EHRs. These domains are related to sociodemographic factors, psychological factors, behavioral factors, individual-level social relationships and living conditions, and neighborhoods and communities. IOM will release a phase 2 report that will recommend specific measures.

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CMS released new data on Medicare Part B payments to more than 800,000 physicians and other health care professionals. The data set includes calendar year 2012 data on the number and type of services provided to beneficiaries, average payments to providers for services, and the provider's average charge for services.

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Congress is on recess for the next two weeks. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified at the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the President's budget before formally announcing her resignation. The House GOP budget proposal passed by narrow margins and likely won't be considered in the Senate.

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CMS released new tools for hospitals participating in stages 1 or 2 of the EHR incentive programs. The tools are a 2014 stage 1 changes tip sheet, a stage 2 calculator, and a batch reporting method guide.

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Sebelius announced her resignation April 11, closely following the close of the first open enrollment period for the ACA's health insurance marketplaces. She served as secretary of HHS for five years, leading the agency's efforts to implement the ACA.

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Starting July 1, IQR and OQR data must be submitted through the secure portal. CMS encourages hospitals to enroll in the portal and complete the identity proofing process by May 1.

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Natividad Medical Center launched a program to ensure patients who speak indigenous languages receive the highest quality health care possible.

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Register today for this in-person workshop led by leadership expert Jim Reinertsen, MD, which aims to improve the effectiveness of key clinical leaders.

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Register today for this in-person leadership workshop led by leadership expert Jim Reinertsen, MD, which aims to help hospital leaders understand their role in safety and equip them to lead the achievement of real, measured improvement.

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It provides information to help states prepare for the end of the transition period established in 2008. CMS specifically outlines the requirements independent auditors must follow when conducting annual DSH audits, as well as information to help states calculate uncompensated care costs.

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The plan would partially privatize Medicare and turn Medicaid into state block grants. It also repeals the ACA.

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Association members explained what makes an essential hospital and the key issues facing essential hospitals to their policymakers on the Hill. The event also included reflections from senior Capitol Hill and administration staff and two award ceremonies that recognized members of Congress and congressional staff for their commitment to essential hospitals.

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CMS is allowing consumers to enroll in the federally facilitated marketplace under a special enrollment period if they experienced life changes, exceptional circumstances, or technical problems with healthcare.gov. Coverage will be effective for 2014. HHS reported that 7.1 million people enrolled in health insurance through the marketplaces before the March 31 open enrollment deadline.

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The measure, OP-31/ASC-11, is part of the ASC Quality Reporting Program and the OQR Program. Data collection, which was scheduled to begin April 1, will now begin Jan. 1, 2015. America's Essential Hospitals successfully encouraged CMS to delay the measure, arguing the measure was not properly tested for the ASC and outpatient settings.

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As part of the meaningful use program, participating hospitals must report data for eCQMs that cover three of six National Quality Strategy domains. The original eCQM specifications were released in 2012 and are updated annually.

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Last week the president signed the one-year SGR patch into law. The bill included a delay of the Medicaid DSH cuts and requires a report on Medicaid DSH. The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up several bills related to trauma and held a hearing on mental health. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the Senate Finance Committee.

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A new FAQ is available on the patient electronic access objective. Updated FAQs provide information on the summary of care objective and AIU attestation.

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Providers interested in participating in an ACO through the MSSP must submit a notice of intent to CMS by May 30 and a final application to CMS by July 31.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Essential Hospitals, formerly the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH), is the only national association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education for hospital leadership.

America’s Essential Hospitals was formerly known as the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH). Carrying our mission since 1981 into today's health care era

Learn more about the name change »