Healthcare News & Insights

Top 10 Healthcare Business & Technology Stories of 2015

ThinkstockPhotos-1505085972015 was definitely a year full of transitions for hospitals – value-based payments, patient-centered care, ICD-10. And while keeping up with these changes wasn’t easy, a number of facilities have made strides in reducing hospital acquired infections and readmissions. But be prepared, the focus on these issues isn’t going to fade away in 2016. Before we enter the new year, here’s a look back at the top 10 stories that grabbed your attention in 2015. 

  1. New report paves way for more cost scrutiny
    Get ready for closer scrutiny of your facility’s inpatient and outpatient hospital costs – and surprisingly, it’s not coming from Medicare this time around.
  2. GAO: Quality programs have mixed results
    Despite their growing popularity among payors, quality-based initiatives have been slow to improve quality in hospitals, according to one analysis.
  3. Keys to boosting flu vaccine rates for healthcare workers
    Flu season is officially in full swing, which means many hospital employees will need their annual flu shots. Although the vaccine keeps patients safe by helping stop the spread of the virus, it can be tough to convince every staff member to get one.
  4. Cleaning up claims improves profit and service
    As we enter the third enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some of the initial kinks are getting worked out, but many issues still need attention. For hospitals, one of the main challenges is staying profitable. In this guest post, Yossi Zekri, president and CEO of an identity solutions provider, points out one source of lost revenue and unnecessary costs that’s fixable.
  5. CMS proposes new discharge planning rule
    If you haven’t evaluated how your facility handles the discharge process in a while, get ready to do it soon. A new proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will require hospitals to make discharge planning more patient-focused.
  6. How hospitals can enhance and protect user account access  
    It’s more important than ever for healthcare’s leaders to prove their hospitals’ operational standards meet regulatory and privacy requirements. However, even with proper protocols in place, most health systems are unable to prove they’re in compliance. In this guest post, Dean Wiech, managing director of a supplier of identity and access management solutions, explains how connecting the user account management process to HR can change that.
  7. Where bacteria hide in ICU workstations
    Germs could be lurking anywhere in your hospital – particularly in areas where highly infectious critical illnesses are treated, such as the ICU. And even after standard cleaning procedures are complete, there may still be some leftover bacteria in surprising places.
  8. Opening doors in OR increases infection risks
    It’s critical to remind your operating room staff to be mindful of how often they leave the area during surgery. Research shows the risk a patient has for contracting a post-operative infection increases each time the OR door opens.
  9. Nonprofit hospitals may have to pay property taxes
    The future of nonprofit hospitals being exempt from local taxes may be in jeopardy, all thanks to a recent legal decision that prompted a tax settlement for a New Jersey hospital.
  10. Hear ye, hear ye: ICD-10 is finally here
    For years and years your facility has been preparing for this day, and it’s finally here! Sure, it’s been delayed a few times, but no more. Today is the day of reckoning – the absolute final ICD-10 deadline.

 

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