Oct. 8, 2014

Public policy committee update: ACMA goes to Washington
On Sept. 30, a cadre of 15 case management professionals, including members of ACMA's Public Policy Committee, descended upon Washington, D.C., for two days to promote three specific pieces of legislation. Since Congress had taken an earlier than expected recess to go home and campaign for the upcoming midterm elections, ACMA representatives were happy to meet with the legislative assistants who specialized in healthcare issues in the offices of their respective Congressmen and Senators. This "trek to Washington" is an annual event for ACMA and serves to educate legislators on issues important to Medicare beneficiaries and hospitals and urge lawmakers to support key pieces of legislation. More

National Case Management Week begins Sunday — Are you ready to celebrate?
National Case Management Week (NCMW) begins Sunday. Visit for resources and ideas to help you celebrate with your colleagues. We have compiled various communications templates for you to adapt and use for NCMW. All you have to do is download the templates you want to use. Then, fill in the information that is specific to your department and organization and send the communication to whoever creates your organization's newsletter. In addition to the templates on the website, you will also find the logo and ideas for celebration.

To access these NCMW resources, go to

Medicare fines 2,610 hospitals in 3rd round of readmission penalties
Kaiser Health News
Medicare is fining a record number of hospitals — 2,610 — for having too many patients return within a month for additional treatments, federal records released show. Even though the nation's readmission rate is dropping, Medicare's average fines will be higher, with 39 hospitals receiving the largest penalty allowed, including the nation's oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.More

Time is running out to 'recognize those who mean the most' — Oct. 12 deadline
Sunday, October 12th is the final day to "recognize those who mean the most" by donating a gift in honor of, or in memory of, an individual, department, chapter or organization.

Coinciding with National Case Management Week, this program provides case management professionals an opportunity to honor or remember those who have not only impacted you personally in your career in health care, but those who daily make a difference in the lives of patients and all of those they touch.

By recognizing an individual or group, their name will be listed: in ACMA's Collaborative Case Management journal, in ACMA's briefCASE e-newsletter and an email announcement during National Case Management Week and on the ACMA website.

All proceeds support ACMA's fundraising efforts, and as ACMA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, your donation is tax deductible. Click here to purchase your listing recognizing those who mean the most.More

Changing your Learning Link settings
Some ACMA members have recently posted to Learning Link asking how to change the Learning Link delivery method from individual, real time postings to a daily digest or vice versa. You can make this change (and also change the email address at which you receive Learning Link) by logging in to the Members Only section of the ACMA website with your member username and password, and updating your Learning Link settings —

We have added a green Learning Link button to the Members Only section to make your settings easier to locate. Once logged in to the Members Only section, click the green button to go directly to your Learning Link settings.More

Numbers speak volumes, but what are they saying? — Public reporting and its implications for case management
With an increased focus on accountability and quality measures in health care, it is more important than ever to understand the data you are looking at, as well as the data the public is looking at. What is the difference between process improvement points and achievement points? What is the difference between improvement measures and accountability measures? What are we as health care providers being held accountable for? In his Leadership Conference session, E.G. "Nick" Ulmer, Jr. M.D., CPC, will explore these questions and more, and provide attendees with strategies to position their department to contribute to the organization's overall improvement efforts — learn more.

This is just one of the many dynamic sessions on the agenda for this year's ACMA Leadership Conference, Nov. 19-20, 2014, in Orlando — have you registered? For conference information and online registration, visit More

Last chance to sign up for the ACM certification in 2014
Nov. 17, 2014, is the ACM Certification application deadline for the first quarter of 2015. Applications and payment must be received by the ACMA National Office by this date in order to take the exam during January, February or March.

What are you waiting for? If you are not yet ACM certified, apply now at and put the ACM credential after your name.More

Understanding and applying the Two-Midnight rule
In her session, Rita M. Pappas, M.D., FAAP, FHM, will discuss the new rule change in Medicare's inpatient definition, known as the two-midnight rule, implemented Oct. 1, 2013. Case examples will be used to illustrate the clinical decision process to assist in determining which patients are appropriate for inpatient admission. The speaker will also examine the role Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and the Recovery Contractors (RACs) will play in monitoring provider performance — learn more.

Register now for the 2014 ACMA Medical Director Forum in Orlando, Florida. Held Nov. 22 at the Orlando World Center Marriott, this full-day event is focused on timely topics impacting the unique role of physicians in the case management model. For more information, the event brochure, and online registration, visit

US to allow pharmacies to take back unused prescription drugs
The Wall Street Journal
Federal authorities will soon allow pharmacies and clinics to take back customers' unused prescription drugs such as opioid painkillers in an effort to get addictive medications off of the streets. The change, to be issued in new Drug Enforcement Administration regulations effective next month, will address a long-standing complaint from people fighting opioid addiction that government rules make it difficult to safely dispose of unused pills.More

How to understand the latest ACO results
The Advisory Board Company
According to interviewee Tom Cassels: The Pioneers' improved performance on beneficiary experience of care meets my expectations because they are focused on winning trust and engagement with their practices. Meanwhile, the relatively strong-performing MSSP programs continue to be those that are built upon Clinical Integration networks that have spent time "shrinking to reliability" — ensuring that high performing physicians and practices are celebrated and low performing participating practices drop out.More