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Lessons Learned from Vermont on Building Community ACOs
Janice Simmons, Senior Editor
Tucked into the new healthcare reform law are provisions to test accountable care organizations (ACOs)—groups of providers receiving set fees to deliver coordinated quality care to a select group of patients. But before most people even knew what ACO stood for, Vermont was ahead of the curve—putting together a strategy to launch three community-based ACOs by 2012. [Read More]
May 20, 2010
Editor's Picks

Quality Safety Investigator Program Encourages Bedside Nurses to be Patient Safety Champions
Empowering nurses to become leaders in patient safety can have positive effects not only on the patient population's quality of care, but on staff satisfaction levels. At The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, KS, Liz Carlton, director of quality, safety, and regulatory compliance, helped design a Quality Safety Investigator program as a way to better involve bedside nurses in championing quality and patient safety. [Read More]

CA Report Says Half of Medicare and Medicaid Bills Pay for Care to Readmitted Patients
The cost of caring for patients who need readmission to California's acute care hospitals represents half of the Medicare and Medicaid bills incurred in the state, or $31 billion and $10 billion, respectively, for one year. That's according to a new report that looks at repeat patient admissions by age, region of the state, payer, and race. The report is one of the few in the country to track readmissions for 365 days after initial hospital discharge. [Read More]

Academic Hospitals Team Up to Stop Catheter Related Infections
With Medicare threatening to reduce payments for hospital acquired conditions, a consortium of academic medical centers is ramping up the effort to track and stop catheter related bloodstream infections, a growing acute care concern. University HealthSystem Consortium, an alliance of 107 academic medical centers with 234 affiliated hospitals in the U.S., wants to reduce the number of catheter related bloodstream infections by streamlining systems of care and hospital practice cultures that cause them. [Read More]

Health Insurance Status Linked to Higher ICU Mortality Risk
Adult patients without health insurance admitted to intensive care units in Pennsylvania hospitals had a 21% higher risk of death compared to other patients with private insurance, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers. The differences in mortality risk were not explained by patient characteristics or differences in the hospitals they were admitted to, suggesting that uninsured patients might be receiving poorer quality care for a variety of reasons. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

In the City, Some Registered Nurses May Not Make the Cut
Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media – May 19, 2010

Study finds surge in kids hospitalized with MRSA
Wall Street Journal – May 18, 2010

HHS Seeks Patient Feedback About HIT
Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media – May 17, 2010
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