Feb. 18, 2015

Feb. 24th CMS Open Door Forum to address improvements to the Recovery Audit Program
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
The next CMS Hospital/Quality Initiative Open Door Forum scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, at 2 p.m. Eastern, will focus on improvements to the Recovery Audit Program. For more details and access information, click here. More

Dedicated primary care case management sessions in each national conference breakout block
The healthcare landscape is changing, and case management practice is no longer confined to the walls of the hospital and is extending into the community and the primary care setting. Primary care case managers are becoming more and more common and play a critical role in the care process. Handoffs, the identification of appropriate patient populations, allocation of resources, tracking — all are important issues for professionals in the primary care setting.

At this year's conference, these topics and more will be covered as we introduce sessions focused on primary care case management in each breakout block.

For more information and online registration, go to More

Support ACMA's fundraising efforts through cash and item donations
In order to continue to make a difference and ensure your voice is heard, we need your assistance. Cash and item donations are an essential part of ACMA's fundraising efforts.

For this fiscal year, all item donations should be received at the National Office by March 15, 2015.

Click here to download the donation form.

Be an advocate and support ACMA today.More

Back by popular demand: Pediatric Sessions
At the 2014 ACMA National Conference, we introduced a session focused on pediatric case management in each breakout block. Based on overwhelmingly positive attendee feedback, pediatrics-focused sessions are returning to the conference agenda. In these sessions, experienced case management and transitions of care professionals will examine case studies, address specific issues impacting the pediatric patient population and present best practices.

For more information and online registration, go to More

ACMA position statement calls for ACM Certification by end of 2016
The American Case Management Association (ACMA) issued a certification position statement on Oct. 21, 2013, calling for ACM Certification by the end of 2016. Advance your professional practice and validate your competency and expertise within case management by applying for the ACM certification today at More

Feds, states extend Obamacare enrollment period for some
Americans who couldn't enroll in federal Obamacare insurance plans over the weekend because of computer glitches or long waits will now have until next Sunday to sign up, federal officials announced recently. "We are pleased that the vast majority of consumers were able to apply and pick a plan through or its call center without a problem," said Aaron Albright, spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. More

CDC posts new Ebola preparedness training for ED personnel
AHA News Now
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted four online training videos developed by Johns Hopkins Medicine to help emergency department personnel identify, triage and briefly manage patients who might have Ebola. The training is based on CDC's recommended three-step strategy — identify, isolate and inform — for managing possible Ebola cases, but can help prepare ED staff for patients with any highly infectious disease, the authors said.More

Ethical challenges in the technology age
Social Work Today
Although recent technological innovations in social work have burgeoned, social workers' use of some forms of modern technology began in the early 1980s in the form of online self-help support groups. By the late 1990s, groups of clinicians were forming companies and e-clinics that offered online counseling services to the public using secure websites. Early developments included social workers' use of information technology and Internet resources, such as online chat rooms and Listservs joined by colleagues, professional networking sites, news groups, and email.More

Study: Hospitals' productivity in treating certain Medicare patients rising
AHA News Now
U.S. hospitals increased their productivity in treating Medicare patients for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia between 2002 and 2011, according to a new study published online by Health Affairs. After adjusting for trends in the severity of patients' conditions and health outcomes, annual productivity growth over the period was 0.78 percent for heart attack, 0.62 percent for heart failure and 1.90 percent for pneumonia, the study found.More

NPR documentary explores how nurses handle stress, burnout
Nurses outnumber doctors by six to one, spend more time with patients and, with an expanding scope of practice, are the backbone of American healthcare. A new documentary says these factors lead nurses to feel stressed, overburdened and unsupported. The new Humankind public radio documentary "Resilient Nurses" explores the ways in which nurses handle the daily work stresses. The documentary includes several first-hand accounts and ideas for combating stress. More

Hospital discharges rise at lucrative times
The Wall Street Journal
A Kindred Healthcare Inc. hospital in Houston, Texas, discharged 79-year-old Ronald Beard to a nursing home after 23 days of treatment for complications of knee surgery. The timing of his release didn't appear to correspond with any improvement in his condition, according to family members. But it did boost how much money the hospital got. Kindred collected $35,887.79 from the federal Medicare agency for his stay, according to a billing document, the maximum amount it could earn for treating most patients with Beard's condition.More

Trick to engagement? Hook patients without them knowing it
Healthcare IT News
Picture the patient Harold as a long-haired, straggly-bearded street man in Salt Lake City, Utah. That's how the staff at Intermountain Healthcare's emergency department, where Harold presented regularly, saw him. And them some: alcoholic, intimidating and abusive. Intermountain's corporate director of patient and clinical engagement Tammy Richards did not specifically state that doctors and nurses were afraid of the homeless man, but the implication was palpable.More

How Medicare was made
The New Yorker
According to author Julian E. Zelizer: Fifty years ago, Congress created Medicare and Medicaid and remade American health care. The number of elderly citizens lacking access to hospitals and doctors plummeted. Hospitals, physicians, and state and local governments came to depend on this federal funding. We have a tendency to forget the history of laws that extended the obligations and commitments of the federal government. But the passage of Medicare and Medicaid, which shattered the barriers that had separated the federal government and the healthcare system, was no less contentious than the recent debates about the Affordable Care Act.More