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      Specialty Focus   
                                                                                    
Volume VI | Issue 16                                                                                 
April 18, 2017  
 
        Practice specific news, analysis and commentary 
      for Florida's Medical Specialists
                            From the publisher of FHIweekly & FloridaHealthIndustry.com

5 ways to improve end-of-life care
Paige Minemyer
Fierce Healthcare

End-of-life care is both a personal and professional concern for providers and other stakeholders, said Kathleen Sebelius, former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

It's also a policy issue of particular interest to Sebelius-the co-chair of the Aspen Institute Health Strategy Group along with another former HHS head, Tommy Thompson-she noted during a panel discussion last week in Washington, D.C.

"As you remember, I am the death panel lady," she joked.

Sebelius said she has personally seen end-of-life care at both its best and worst, as have many of the strategy group's other members. And that was much of what drove their year-long discussions on how to improve end-of-life care, the results of which were published recently.

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Should a consultant pass through the ED to see what's up?
Skeptical Scalpel

Scalpel Early in my career, I thought it was a good idea when leaving the hospital at night to exit via  the emergency department to see if there were any potential surgery cases brewing. I was hoping to avoid going all the way home, getting paged to the ED, and having to go right back to the hospital. I soon learned to stop that practice because it was similar to poking a skunk.

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INFORM  CONNECT

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Lawmakers Seek to Expand Medicare Coverage of Telemedicine Again
Congress is taking another crack at expanding Medicare coverage for services delivered via telemedicine. U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI) recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would require the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to "test the effect of including telehealth services in Medicare health care delivery reform models." CMMI's role is to support the development and testing of innovative health care payment and service delivery models.

Dubbed, the Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act, the bill is designed to expand access to healthcare for rural patients who lack access to healthcare. Currently, Medicare covers limited telehealth services, "setting a poor industry standard, discouraging innovation, and restricting access to specialized services," according to a news release issued by Gardner's office.

In addition to testing, the bill would direct CMMI to have an independent evaluation conducted to assess the telehealth models for cost, effectiveness, and improvement in quality of care without increasing the cost of delivery. If the telehealth model meets these criteria, then the model would be covered through the Medicare program.

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3 Best Practices for Partnering With Post-Acute Providers for Better Care 
Hospitals need to do their homework
to form strong partnerships

Gordon Phillips & Michael N. Abrams
| H&HN

Hospital executives are facing a relatively new challenge: managing the financial risk of bundled or capitated payment after a patient is discharged. Now that post-acute care providers are an extension of a hospital's care delivery model, their performance has direct implications for the hospital's reputation and bottom line. Not only must these providers meet threshold cost, quality and patient satisfaction expectations, they must also agree to performance targets and service level standards as well as forge a relationship where transparency, accountability and continuous improvement are the norm.

Managing the financial risk is not easy - until recently, acute and post-acute service providers operated as separate silos. But hospital executives, recognizing the challenge, are seeking new ways to manage these relationships and achieve optimal financial and quality outcomes.

Inside FloridaHealthIndustry.com

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