Friday, December 31, 2010
The CMS has added new information about physicians and other healthcare providers to the agency's physician directory tool. Called Physician Compare, the new site updates the agency's healthcare provider directory that guides beneficiaries looking for Medicare-participating physicians online.
According to the CMS, the new site was required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and contains information about physicians enrolled in the Medicare program, including doctors of medicine, osteopathy, optometry, podiatric and chiropractic medicine. It also contains information about other health professionals who care for Medicare beneficiaries, such as nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, registered dieticians, physical therapists, physician assistants and occupational therapists.
The CMS said it plans a second phase of the in 2011, which will indicate whether professionals chose to participate in a voluntary effort with the agency to encourage physicians to prescribe medicines electronically, as opposed to paper-based methods. In the future, the Physician Compare site will include information about the quality of care Medicare beneficiaries receive from physicians and other healthcare professionals who are profiled on the site.
“Today's release of Physician Compare moves us closer towards CMS' goal to improve the quality of healthcare for people with Medicare in all the places where they receive care, including the doctor's office,” CMS Administrator Donald Berwick said in a news release. “By using a considered, step-wise approach to spotlighting quality of care, we can create a tool that will help doctors and patients for decades to come.”
Certainly these efforts should help as more details are added over time. It seems Dr. Donald Berwick has wasted no time since taking his new post.
Happy New Year
Monday, December 27, 2010
"Biggest Loser" (optional) Work Competition.
Check out the rules and let me know of other post holiday challenges going on in your workplace.
Thank you for getting this started 5 South team.
1. “HAVE FUN”, eat healthy, and exercise.
2. The first weigh in will be on Tuesday, Jan 11th at 7:15am or 7:15pm
3. The final weigh in will be on Tuesday, April 19th at 7:15am or 7:15pm(15 WEEKS)
4. Weigh-in’s will occur every Tuesday at 7:15am or 7:15pm.
5. There is a $5 registration fee which “MUST” be paid during your first weigh in.
6. (You can join at any time during the first three weeks but the longer you wait the harder it will be to win.)
7. All monies owing to the pot should be paid during the time of weigh in or prior to the following weigh in.(So if you have a bad week, be prepared break out the spare change)
8. There will be a penalty fee of $1 if you miss weighing in. This dollar will be combined with the weekly weigh in fee of $1, for a total of $2 dollars each time you miss a weigh in. However, you may weigh in within 24 hours of the weigh-in (with a witness), either before or after the designated Tuesday weigh-in times and record the weight in the "Biggest Loser" log book that will be located in the break room.
9. There will be a penalty fee of $1 added for gaining greater than 1/2 pound of weight.
10. Only weights recorded on the Biggest Loser scales on Tuesdays will be valid. (You will not be able to submit your weight via e-mail or after the fact. So unless you are sick, have made other weigh in arrangments or cannot make it in due to weather, a $1 penalty will be applied, as stated in Rule 8.)
11. The winner will be the person who loses the largest percentage of body weight. (start at 200 pounds and lose 10 pounds and you have lost 5%)…[(Start weight - Finish Weight) X 100 / Start weight = percentage lost.]
12. A percentage of the pot will be used to pay for the scale. At the end of the contest, the winner will be awarded the scales 60% of the pot. Second place will be rewarded with 30% of the pot. Third place will be rewarded with 10% of the pot.
13. Challenge your friends and LOSE WEIGHT
Saturday, December 25, 2010
I had never really thought about the origin of Rudolph until yesterday. Then yesterday - one foggy Christmas eve (I could not resist) I heard about it on the radio and then confirmed about.com.
The story of Rudolph, Santa Claus' special ninth reindeer, was written in 1939 by Robert L. May. He was an employee of Montgomery Ward, and the store created a book about Rudolph to give away to children on Christmas.
May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, turned the story of Rudolph into a song in 1949. It became a hit for Gene Autry and has since become so enmeshed in American culture that it's considered a folk song despite the fact that it's not in the public domain.
"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" Lyrics
The lyrics to "Rudolph" are based largely on May's story about Santa Claus and his magical reindeer. Its theme is similar to the story of the ugly duckling who grew up into a beautiful swan. Rudolph is teased and rejected by the other reindeer until he proves himself useful and industrious. It's a very American dream-like story line about how everyone can be special and important when they use their gifts and talents (isn't that what many of us look for in our personal and professional lives):
Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,won't you guide my sleigh tonight?
Merry Christmas. Enjoy a safe and healthy holiday weekend.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Congratulations to Dr. Jason Day, Vascular Neurologist.
Great artice in Stroke: The Journal of The American Heart Association
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Just last week my wife mentioned the same thing to me..."Isn't life just about the relationships we form at home, work, the gym, church, temple, social event....(and the list goes on)." It is so very basic yet easy to miss at times. When things are not going well, it could usually go back to a relationship and the expectations of each party. When things don't go well, the same applies.
There was even an interesting medical study noted by The Early Show's medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay. "She notes that previous research suggests close relationships are good for heart health, and there's lots of evidence that emotions can have powerful effects on physical health. Psychological factors are now recognized as contributing to the development of heart disease."
As we hit the Christmas and New Year weekends, please enjoy those key relationships that make your world whole.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
A local hospital recently added a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for all employees. It seemed they felt they could provide safer, more effective care if officials and co-workers of the organization were oblivious to facts about their associates. When asked what the healthcare system expected to accomplish, officials stated the "don't ask, don't tell policy" should help the organization advance their quality agenda, improve their relationships with key physicians and insurance companies, improve their patient satisfaction and associate engagement and drive stronger financial margins...
In these day where we need to provide more transparent leadership, how will the public respond to the tactics from the healthcare system above?
The same should hold true for our military. According to the Washington Post, House lawmakers on Wednesday again approved a bill to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law, delivering renewed momentum to the years-long campaign to end the ban on gays in the military ahead of a possible Senate vote next week.
As you probably imagined, the healthcare organization above is a made up story. There are many things we are far behind with in healthcare but the "don't ask, don't tell policy" is not one of them.
The nation needs continued transparency in all we do so we could make the most effective decisions based on our collective input.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
The articlew by Alan Bavley with The Kansas City Star stated:
A prominent cardiologist who’s written a diet book. A urologist who’s part of a booming group practice. A family practice doctor, two psychiatrists and two specialists in pain and rehabilitation.
They are area members of the $100,000-plus club — physicians paid six-figure sums by drug companies.
For their paychecks, the doctors give promotional talks to other doctors about the drugs the companies make. They lead forums. They serve as industry consultants.
More than 100 area doctors are taking money from drug companies for speaking gigs and other work, according to data from the nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica. From the beginning of last year through the first half of this year, area doctors have received at least $2.2 million.
The drug industry and the doctors themselves said they were doing an important job by teaching colleagues how to use medications and giving them the benefit of their experience dealing with patients.
Critics said education is not the only reason — or even the primary reason — why drug companies paid so much to doctors. They say it’s all about promoting the companies’ products.
And, critics said, the practice could lead to doctors prescribing drugs too often; prescribing problematic drugs; and writing prescriptions for more-expensive medications when cheaper ones would do.
Payments to physicians by drug companies is an issue that has simmered for years in the medical community.
The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Institute of Medicine have questioned whether doctors should participate in speakers’ bureaus for drug companies.
Certainly their are mixed reviews I have heard across the hospital and in the community. There is not necessarily a wrong or right answer, of course.
Overall, our healthcare system is trying to provide the highest quality care and help improve the health of our population, improve the patient experiences and lower the cost of providing our services.
So, what's your opinion on the physician fees received?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The students had some great questions regarding the future career opportunities and the impact of healthcare reform on the country. A couple of their tough questions included:
1. What it the most challenging part of providing care to the patient from the time they are admitted until they are discharged. That, of course, reflects the entire experience and it almost always comes down to how we treat our patients and each other and how well we coordinate their care through the process.
2. How do we provide the best care to our patients and advocate for all the necessary resources since many organizations "seem' bottom line driven. Another great question. As organizations need a bottom line, it has to start with Quality. If we need additional resources, we should request them. If we can not get additional resources, we must ask ourselves, "how can we still provide safe and effective care today?" If we can't provide safe and effective care, my vote is to get the patient to a place where they could get safer and more effective care. We have limited resources in healthcare and need constant communication to understand our priorities and back-up plans if we do not have all the resources we need.
Anyway, we had a lot of fun with the presentation. They told me this was their first video presentation so I made sure to take a picture...I could only capture a few in the class.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
The video shows various safety tips and CH's own version of Dancing with the Stars. There was great participation in the making of the video, and while it's entertaining, it also carries serious reminders about the importance being safe in the care we provide to our patients. It is played to Men Without Hats popular 80's song, Safety Dance. Thank you Stefan!