| Feature Article
SGR Cuts Will Soon be Permanently Repealed
A bipartisan amendment budget deal emerged to permanently repeal the SGR and instead move toward value-based reimbursement structures like ACOs. The House of Representatives passed a three-month patch last week, and the Senate is expected to pass it Wednesday this week. The Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee passed their permanent fixes last week but haven't yet established a way to pay for the fix, so that will be the discussion through the next few months.
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Hospitals Will Soon Face Penalties for COPD Readmissions
Hospitals will soon begin seeing reimbursement penalties for COPD readmissions. In 2014, COPD diagnoses will be incorporated into the reimbursement calculations for hospitals. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says one-fifth of COPD patients admitted to the hospital will be readmitted within 30 days, so this is an area in which hospital administrators and physicians need to focus. Planning for more comprehensive care and follow-up is crucial to reducing readmissions due to COPD.
Is your hospital currently focusing on reducing COPD readmissions? Read article.
The VA says APRNs should be able to practice independently to fix the physician shortage. Do you agree?
In our recent poll, we asked "The VA says APRNs should be able to practice independently. Do you agree?" 67 percent said "no" and pointed to the extensive education and training that physicians must go through to be able to practice. 23 percent said "yes" and one provider commented that there should be more of a focus on the quality of the practitioner rather than the title. 10 percent responded "maybe, but it depends on the specialty."
In The News
Should You Respond to Online Reviews of Your Services?
Eric Goldman from Forbes highlights the various reasons why physicians are wary to allow online reviews, including sensitivity, confidentially restrictions and inexperienced patients. Goldman says doctors should encourage their patients to write reviews, due to legal reasons and also for feedback, and offers advice on how to deal with a negative review.