Sep. 25, 2013

Information on healthcare reform activates
American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
ACEP's State Legislative/Regulatory Committee developed an update on State Health Care Reform Developments, a resource that provides a summary status report on major state healthcare reform activities. This report summarizes key state developments related to Medicaid expansion, Health Information Exchange development and ACOs; and their potential impact on emergency medicine.

Additional information regarding healthcare can be found here: 10 facts providers need to know about health exchanges.

Early Look at Premiums and Insurer Participation in Health Insurance Marketplaces, from Kaiser, has a more in-depth information on health insurance exchange premiums. More

National Institute on Drug Abuse offers two free online CMEs/CEs
The number of prescriptions filled for opioid pain relievers has increased dramatically, leading the CDC to identify prescription drug abuse a problem of "epidemic" proportions. To better equip physicians and other health professionals against this crisis, the National Institute on Drug Abuse offers two free online CMEs/CEs:

Safe Prescribing for Pain (1.25 credits) teaches the prevalence of prescription opioid abuse and explores ways to effectively screen for and prevent abuse in patients with pain.

Managing Pain Patients Who Abuse Rx Drugs (1.75 credits) identifies the prevalence of opioid addiction and dependence in patients with chronic pain, and assists health care providers in identifying emerging abuse behaviors.More

FCEP's ITLS participates in 2013 Intubation Rodeo
International Trauma Life Support of Florida (ITLS) sponsored and participated in the 2013 Nature Coast EMS Intubation Rodeo was the first of its kind in history. This event gives paramedics, in a pre-hospital setting, the opportunity to practice and perfect intubation in the field.

In 2014, the Intubation Rodeo will be June 1–2 at Plantation Inn in Crystal River, Florida.

EMS WORLD ARTICLE on 2013 Intubation Rodeo EventMore

New jobs were added to the Job Bank on Sept. 8, 2013.More

'Bath salts' ER visits near 23,000 in 2011
The Boston Globe
Illegal drugs called "bath salts" — which have nothing to do with the products added to bath water — were responsible for nearly 23,000 emergency room visits in 2011, according to a new report issued by the federal government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.More

DOH: Our patients too poor to enroll
Health News Florida
Floridians who use county health departments for primary care are mostly too poor to qualify for enrollment in a health plan through the online Marketplace to open Oct. 1, the Department of Health says. So it makes more sense for "navigators" — enrollment advisers for the uninsured who seek health coverage on the online Marketplace beginning Oct. 1 — to go to other locations such as hospital emergency rooms, or county libraries, the memo says. More

ED, HF docs team up to cut readmissions
Medpage Today
An early alert system from the emergency department to a 24/7 dedicated heart failure team significantly cut down readmission rates, researchers found. Thirty-day readmission rates decreased to a mean of 18.4 percent at 12 months following the implementation of the system, compared with 24.5 percent in the 12 months before implementation. More

Sorting through mysteries of the new health-insurance exchange
Orlando Sentinel
Quick, what's an insurance exchange? If you're like most Americans, you have no idea. But it's about to alter the way millions buy health insurance when it opens in a few short days. For Americans still waiting to decipher how the insurance exchange works and whether it applies to them, now is the time to sit up and figure it out.More

Boosting patient satisfaction in the ED: What hospitals should and shouldn't do
Becker's Hospital Review
In a Sept. 17 webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review, experts from Select International discussed steps for hospitals to boost their patient satisfaction scores, especially in the emergency department. Each speaker agreed that any improvement to a patient satisfaction scores essentially comes down to human behavior, and customer service initiatives in the emergency department present a unique set of challenges. Higher patient satisfaction scores are not the ultimate goal. The goal is to improve the patient experience, in the context of improved clinical outcomes.More

Electronic record keeping associated with reduced ER trips for diabetics
The use of electronic health records in hospitals has been linked to a 5.5 percent decrease in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for people with diabetes, according to new research appearing in a recent edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.More

Self-care for the caregiver
By Karen Childress
Do you follow you own good advice? Healthcare professionals are notorious for putting the well-being of others ahead of their own. If you’ve fallen into poor habits related to self-care, consider engaging in one or two of the following practices — all of which require only modest change using a 30-day trial approach — and then adding others when the time feels right.More

Apps that could help with ER wait times
By Becky Bicks
There's a new development in the mobile world that could end up helping with that ever-present problem of the interminable emergency room wait time. Hospitals and developers across the country have started releasing emergency room wait time apps, which broadcast the average time a patient will have to wait in a specific hospital's emergency room or in the ERs of hospitals in a specific area.More