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Senate panel approves HHS spending bill; urged to prioritize access to quality care
AHA News Now
A subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal year 2015 appropriations bill that provides $156.77 billion in base discretionary budget authority for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments, the same as the fiscal year 2014 level. According to the committee, the bill includes $265 million for Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education, the same level as in fiscal year 2014.
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See you in Phoenix!
Phoenix will be the host city for the 22nd Annual Case Management Conference and 16th Annual ACMA Meeting. The conference will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center, April 26-29, 2015. For conference pricing, download the save the date postcard — click here.

Be sure to check for updates and announcements.

Mark your calendar and make plans to join us for next year's event!

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ACMA shares observation concerns and recommendations with House Ways and Means Health subcommittee
On Tuesday, June 3, ACMA submitted a letter to the House Ways and Means Health subcommittee outlining concerns and recommendations related to observation services for consideration by the committee and for inclusion in the printed record of its May 20, hearing.

The letter contains feedback and recommendations provided by ACMA's Public Policy committee and comes in response to the House Ways and Means Health subcommittee's request for observation status stories and concerns.

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AHA urges HHS to halt 'flawed' Medicare audits, recoupments
AHA News Now
The AHA yesterday asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to immediately stop flawed and redundant audits by HHS' Office of Inspector General and recouping the estimated overpayment amounts. The OIG "hospital compliance reviews" are "entirely redundant" to Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor reviews and use "flawed sampling and extrapolation methods to estimate an overpayment amount," wrote AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack. CMS "has allowed or may even have instructed its [Medicare Administrative Contractors] to recoup the OIG's estimated overpayment amounts in violation of the statutory limits on MACs' use of extrapolation and without following any of the Medicare rules or procedures for doing so or affording the hospitals the statutory and regulatory protections to which they are entitled. The Kafkaesque burden of imposing duplicative audits on hospitals and recouping payments from them without correcting the OIG's manifold and glaring errors is abusive and unfair to hospitals and a waste of government resources."
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Apply today for the ACM certification
Apply today to take the ACM Certification exam in the fourth quarter of 2014. Applications and payment must be received by the ACMA national office no later than Friday, Aug. 15, in order to take the exam during October, November or December.

If you are not yet ACM certified, we encourage you to apply now at and put the ACM credential after your name.

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Our unique blend of expertise and experience makes PhoenixMed the premier choice as your hospital case management partner offering solutions for contemporary case management redesign and education.
Advertise here!

To find out how to feature your company in the ACMA briefCASE and other advertising opportunities, Contact Geoffrey Forneret at 469-420-2618.


Seniors' use of potent meds via Medicare staggering
USA Today
The number of senior citizens getting narcotic painkillers and anti-anxiety medications under Medicare's prescription drug program is climbing sharply, and those older patients are being put on the drugs for longer periods of time, a USA Today examination of federal data shows. From 2007-2012, the number of patients 65 and older getting Medicare prescriptions for powerful opioid pain medications rose more than 30 percent to upward of 8.5 million beneficiaries, the data show.
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National audit has some VA hospitals in hot seat for 2nd time
Veterans Affairs hospitals across the nation are under fire after audits show a number of them have been falsifying their records showing wait time for patients were shorter than they actually were. Now, 81 hospitals throughout the country are being revisited for a second audit, which could have some hospital officials facing criminal charges. According to the audit reports, more than 57,000 veterans have had to wait at least 90 days before going in for their first VA appointment.
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Pre-operation factors contribute to longer length of stay with spinal surgery
HCP Live
Pre-operative factors are independently associated with longer length of stay in patients undergoing elective anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, according to a study published in the May 20 issue of Spine. Bryce A. Basques, from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues reviewed charts for 183 patients who underwent elective ACDF at a single institution.
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Hospitals learning to manage new Medicaid patients
Charleston Daily Mail
Despite the influx of newly insured and patients receiving Medicaid benefits, emergency rooms across West Virginia aren't seeing much of a strain on resources. Tony Gregory, vice president of legislative affairs for the West Virginia Hospital Association, said nearly 500,000 West Virginians have gained health insurance under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, with 154,000 of those enrolling since September, thanks in part to hospitals working with the uninsured to get them covered under the Affordable Care Act.
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Date Event Location More Info
June 30 Northern California Chapter Conference Napa, Calif. Details
July 19 Georgia Chapter Conference Atlanta Details
July 31-Aug. 1 Florida Chapter Conference ChampionsGate, Fla. Details
Aug. 23 MO/IL Gateway Chapter Conference St. Louis Details
Sept. 6 Kentucky/Tennessee Chapter Conference Nashville, Tenn. Details
Sept. 11-12 South Carolina Chapter Conference Columbia, S.C. Details
Sept. 18 Missouri-Kansas Chapter Conference Kansas City, Mo. Details
Sept. 29 North Carolina Chapter Conference Winston-Salem, N.C. Details
Sept. 27 Maryland Chapter Conference Baltimore Details
Oct. 3 Great Lakes Chapter Conference Novi, Mich. Details
Oct. 4 Western Pennsylvania Chapter Conference Pittsburgh Details
Oct. 11 Virginia Chapter Conference Richmond, Va. Details
Oct. 14 Wisconsin Chapter Conference Waukesha, Wis. Details
Oct. 25 Connecticut Chapter Conference Uncasville, Conn. Details
Oct. 28 Illinois Chapter Conference Rosemont, Ill. Details
Nov. 19-22 Leadership Conference and Medical Director Forum Orlando, Fla. Details

  For the full ACMA event map, click here.



Laura Chambers, ACMA Communications Coordinator, 501.907.2262
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601

Ryan Clark, Content Editor, 202.684.7160  
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