The Direct Dispatch
A Newsletter For Healthcare Providers

December 2018

From our Direct Difference family to yours - we hope you have a splendid holiday season!
Adding Care Quality Measures May Help Reduce Health Care Costs
A study in the  Annals of Family Medicine  found patients spent 14.1% less on health care costs and had 16.1% lower odds of hospitalization when they received care from physicians with the highest continuity of care scores, compared with those who visited physicians with the lowest scores. Researchers evaluated Medicare claims data for 1,448,952 beneficiaries and recommended adding continuity of care-related quality measures to the Quality Payment Program and reducing focus on process-based measures in federal reporting requirements.

Doctors To Monitor Hip, Knee, Surgery Patients Using Apple Watch
Orthopedics firm Zimmer Biomet, in collaboration with Apple, launched a multi-year study that will allow surgeons to use Apple Watches to monitor activities, including heart rate, steps taken and standing hours, of up to 100,000 patients who are due to undergo or are recovering from hip and knee replacement surgery in Massachusetts, California, Michigan and Colorado. Using the smartwatch, providers will be able to evaluate how well patients are following prescribed physiotherapy or regimes before and after surgery.

Quality Reporting Center Upcoming Events
The webinar, titled  SEP-1 Early Management Bundle, Severe Sepsis/Septic Shock: v5.5a Measure Updates and v5.0b through v5.2b Analysis Results , will be presented Tuesday, December 11, 2018, from 2 3:30   p.m.   ET.

This presentation will clarify the changes and rationale behind the updates to the SEP-1 measure and guidance in version 5.5a of the specifications manual. This presentation will also provide analysis results for version 5.0b through 5.2b of the specifications manual.

The webinar slides will be available for download from  under Upcoming Events the day before the presentation.

The webinar will be presented on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, from 2 3:30   p.m.   ET.

You may register for the webinar here .

How Else Can Direct Difference Inc Help You?
Measuring quality is necessary for improving healthcare. We understand that when providers are overly consumed with measuring and reporting quality metrics, it is difficult to actually apply results and focus on actions that lead to real improvements.

Why not smart source all of your data abstraction needs so that it is done better, faster, more consistently, and at lower cost with less risk?

Did you know we provide abstraction services for core measures, non-core measures, registry, OPPE-FPPE, NHSN, peer review, pharmaceutical studies and others? If you have any data abstraction needs please contact us for more information. All you have to do is respond to this email to get started.

You can also visit our website for more information!
Know Diabetes By Heart
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) are excited to announce a new collaborative, landmark initiative called Know Diabetes by Heart™ to comprehensively combat the national public health impact of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This new initiative will focus on inpatient and outpatient quality improvement programs.

As part of the new Know Diabetes by Heart™ initiative, join Dr. Gregg Fonarow, Co-Chief of the Division of Cardiology at UCLA, as we announce our Get with the Guidelines® efforts to better treat patients with T2D admitted for an acute cardiovascular event.

December 5, 2018 at noon CST

Anthem Fined $16 For Data Breach
HHS' Office for Civil Rights imposed a $16 million fine against health insurer Anthem stemming from a data breach incident in January 2015 that compromised the electronic protected health information of almost 79 million people. According to the OCR's investigation, Anthem failed to implement adequate minimum access controls, did not conduct a risk analysis across the organization and failed to identify and react to known or suspected security issues.

Study: Top Cardiology Hospital Have Lower Mortality Rates
A study in JAMA Cardiology found 30-day mortality rates were lower for patients treated for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure and coronary artery bypass grafting at the top 50 US hospitals for cardiology and heart surgery compared with hospitals that were not ranked. Top-ranked hospitals did not have better 30-day readmission rates, however, which researchers noted highlights ongoing questions about whether readmission rates are a good metric for quality of care, especially for cardiovascular conditions.

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