Apr. 8, 2015

Hospitals innovate to keep patients from coming back
Market Place
Mary Knight is in the lobby of Elyria Medical Center in Elyria, Ohio. She was admitted three days earlier because of difficulty breathing, and she was waiting for her husband to pick her up. Knight explained she has asthma and a lung disease called COPD. In her hands is a packet from the hospital containing 30 days of free steroids and antibiotics. "And then they also gave me a prescription for Cingular which is going to help with the asthma," Knight said. Every patient with a diagnosis of COPD at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center leaves with that packet.More

Late registration begins April 14: ACMA National Conference
Late registration pricing for the 2015 ACMA National Conference begins in less than one week. Register by Monday, April 13, to avoid increased pricing. If you have not yet registered, do so now and save!

With up to 26 hours of continuing education and more than 60 innovative sessions to choose from, why wait? Register now at More

We'll work around your schedule: New educational offerings from ACMA
ACMA is offering several new webinars this spring. These webinars provide an economical source of continuing education, especially for those who are not able to travel to conferences or do not have live events in their area. Hear from leaders in the field, at your own convenience, on your schedule.

About E-Learning with ACMA
E-Learning is a newly launched platform by ACMA that offers a growing library of webinar sessions. This library currently includes sessions from the 2014 ACMA Leadership Conference and other webinars. ACMA continues to add content frequently — both live and on-demand sessions. All are economically priced and provide the leading education you have come to expect from ACMA.

Visit the E-Learning website to register for a webinar, purchase on-demand, or peruse the library — click here. More

Tax season got you down? Write off your ACM certification fees!
If you want to write off your certification fees and classes as a business expense, they have to meet one of two standards:

  1. Education that maintains or improves your job performance or serves the purpose of your employer and is required by the employer or by law to keep your salary, status or job, and
  2. the education is not part of a program that will qualify you for a new trade or business.
You can write off the cost of course materials, course fees and take a per-mile write-off for driving to test.

If you're self-employed and certification counts as a business expense, you take it on Schedule C. If you're an employee, you can only claim the cost as an itemized deduction on Schedule A. Business expenses count as a "miscellaneous 2 percent deduction" — add up all deductions in this category, subtract 2 percent of your adjusted gross income and claim what's left.

To learn more, visit the IRS website.

The Health Care Standard
According to the 2013 National Hospital Case Management Survey, nearly half (47 percent) of case management departments prefer the ACM certification - the preferences of the remaining 53 percent of departments are divided among 4 certifications, with the ACM leading the next most preferred certification by more than 20 percent.

Set yourself apart
The current health care environment demands qualified case management professionals - set yourself apart with the ACM certification. If you are not yet ACM certified, apply now at and put the ACM credential after your name.

Sign up and save $30

Sign up with promo code "IRS" before Tax Day - Wednesday, April 15 - and save $30. More

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

Please submit all donation forms to Kristy Shepherd at by April 20, 2015.

Click here to download the donation form.

Be an advocate and support ACMA today. More

Improve your department's efficiency with Compare
ACMA's Compare provides powerful tools and benchmarking to facilitate change related to avoidable delays, readmissions and denials.

If you would like to know more about Compare and evaluate it for your organization, please contact James Nickerson at

CMS releases final MA, Part D payment and policy changes for 2016
AHA News Now
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced final changes to the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug programs for 2016, which will increase payments by a net 1.25 percent, on average. CMS had proposed reducing payments by an average of 0.95 percent. When combined with expected growth in plan risk scores due to coding, CMS said today's changes will increase revenue for MA plans and Part D sponsors by an average 3.25 percent. More

Art heals: How creative expression improves the patient experience
Can art promote faster healing? More and more hospitals think so. For the past 20 years, art — including paintings, sculptures and music — has taken on an important role in healthcare. Watercolors and abstract photographs often line the once-barren walls of hospital corridors. And harpists and pianists often play soothing music in hospital lobbies. The use of art to help heal patients dates back to Florence Nightingale, according to the Center for Health Design's "Guide to Evidence-Based Art." Nightingale's 1860 Notes for Nursing describes the importance of beauty to the body, as well as the mind, the study states. More

On scale of 1 to 10, Obama gives his health law an 8
Kaiser Health News
In an ABC News interview, President Barack Obama said his signature domestic achievement didn't warrant a "10" because there are things that can always be improved. Among them — getting more states to expand Medicaid. Meanwhile, in California, about 18,000 people have taken advantage of a special enrollment window that will close April 30. In other news about the health law, media outlets report on how it is factoring into this tax filing season.More

Hospitals add 7,900 jobs in March
AHA News Now
Employment at the nation's hospitals increased by 0.16 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted 4,846,200 people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. That's 7,900 more people than in February and 77,200 more than a year ago. Without the seasonal adjustment, which removes the effect of fluctuations due to seasonal events, hospitals employed 14,800 more people than in February and 79,000 more than a year ago. More

Battle for mental health parity produces mixed results
Kaiser Health News
By law, many U.S. insurance providers that offer mental healthcare are required to cover it just as they would cancer or diabetes treatment. But advocates say achieving this mental health parity can be a challenge. A report released recently by the National Alliance on Mental Illness found that "health insurance plans are falling short in coverage of mental health and substance abuse conditions." Jenny Gold of Kaiser Health News spoke with NPR's Arun Rath about the issue. More

Medicare Advantage rates to climb by 1.25 percent for 2016, CMS says, reversing proposed cuts
Healthcare Finance
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said its 2016 reimbursement policy will lead to an average increase of 1.25 percent for Medicare Advantage plans, a reversal from the 0.95 percent decline initially proposed in February. Accounting for beneficiary risk scores, the 0.95 percent proposed decline was estimated to come with an average increase of 1.05 percent. The final regulation's 1.25 percent average increase will be a 3.25 percent post-adjustment boost, although the actual reimbursement will vary greatly across plans and regions depending on star ratings, performance and membership. More

Millennials, Gen Xers leading change in healthcare over seniors, boomers
By Scott E. Rupp
Millennials and Gen Xers are a population segment harboring and bringing about advances in healthcare technology. They are also altering the delivery of healthcare and insurance, according to new research offered up by PNC Healthcare. The trends identified in a survey of more than 5,000 people show that millennials, specifically, are impacting healthcare systems as we know them. They seek more speed and more knowledge before they buy, and they want to know the costs and other points.More