FHIcommunications logo Inform | Connect | Engage 
April 13, 2017
Volume VIII |  Issue 15     
All or Nothing  
A Country Doctor Writes
In this day and age, there is no such thing as a quick visit to make sure someone is okay or to avert clinical deterioration or disaster.

In order to meet all our quality requirements for being a patient centered medical home and all the other ways we are judged and measured, a visit note has to include, even if the patient was seen just one single day before, a complete medication reconciliation, updated past medical and surgical history, social history and specific questions about any other care the patient has received since last seen. In our EMR it would be impossible to get around all these clicks by building a note template that says nothing has changed since last time; the computer tracks the actual clicks we make in the EMR.


Need a Hospitalist? Call a Nurse. 
Lola Butcher

Hospitalist programs, common in medium-sized and large hospitals for years, have been too costly for many smaller and rural hospitals to adopt. But a new model using nurse practitioners opens the door for small and critical access hospitals, in some cases with dramatic results for patient outcomes and patient satisfaction, as well as for physician retention rates. They could even be a key to the survival of some of America's most challenged hospitals.

Nurse practitioners run the hospitalist program at Rusk County Memorial Hospital in Ladysmith, Wis., overseen by an off-site collaborating physician.

New OIG Rules Change Patient Incentive Program Landscape: Where Are the Limits Now? 

Tony Maida, Emily J. Cook & Tiffany T. Mason

With health care becoming more consumer-driven, health care providers and health plans are wrestling with how to incentivize patients to participate in health promotion programs and treatment plans. As payments are increasingly being tied to quality outcomes, a provider's ability to engage and improve patients' access to care may both improve patient outcomes and increase providers' payments. In December 2016, the Office of Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) issued a final regulation implementing new "safe harbors" for certain patient incentive arrangements and programs, and released its first Advisory Opinion (AO) under the new regulation in March 2017. Together, the new regulation and AO provide guardrails for how patient engagement and access incentives can be structured to avoid penalties under the federal civil monetary penalty statute (CMP) and the anti-kickback statute (AKS).

Banning trans fats associated with decrease in hospitalizations for cardiovascular events according to study
Leah Samuel | STAT

Trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oils, have long been tied to heart disease risk. And starting next summer, the Food and Drug Administration will prohibit food manufacturers from adding trans fats to foods like cookies, crackers, and microwave popcorn. If New York is any guide, a new analysis finds, that move could prevent tens of thousands of heart attacks and strokes in upcoming years.

Trans fats occur in vegetable oils to which hydrogen has been added to make them more solid. That process is why, for example, oil-based margarine can come in stick form like butter.

And New York state provided a natural laboratory to study the effects of abolishing these fats. Between 2007 and 2011, 11 counties in the state - most of them in the greater New York City area - banned restaurants from preparing food with partially hydrogenated oils. Using population estimates and state department of health data, a research team looked at the number of hospitalizations for heart attack or stroke in counties that implemented these laws compared to counties that didn't.