In the News: June 1–7

Sg2 is dedicated to helping our clients interpret the latest news and trends in health care. Below you’ll find our analysis of this week’s key industry headlines, along with links to related Sg2 resources.

Handshake-Free Zones Could Improve NICU Safety

Studies show that only 40% of health care providers comply with hand hygiene protocols, which leads to the spread of germs and hospital-acquired infections. In neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), these infections endanger infants by complicating their treatment and prolonging their stay. To reduce disease transmission in NICUs, one pediatric cardiologist is proposing handshake-free zones for staff and family. Preliminary studies show that these zones reduce handshake frequency in NICUs and are supported by most families and health care providers.

Sg2 believes patient safety is the cornerstone of a high-performing NICU program. To learn more about growth and performance imperatives for neonatology services, watch the Sg2 on-demand webinar: Pediatrics Landscape 2017 from minute 18:18 to 21:20.

Housing Assistance Is Associated With Lower Uninsurance Rates

A recent Health Affairs study found that receiving housing assistance from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was associated with lower uninsurance rates and lower rates of unmet medical need. The study analyzed National Health Interview Survey data linked to HUD administrative data for nondisabled adults aged 18 to 64 from 2002 to 2014.

Some solutions that hospitals and health systems use to address the social determinants of health (SDH) of their care populations include developing partnerships with community organizations or creating their own targeted community outreach programs. Read the Sg2 Analytics Spotlight Improving the SDH System of Care to learn how Sg2 analytics can be used to identify the areas of need in your care population on which community partnerships or programs can focus.

CMS to Cover Supervised Exercise Therapy for Peripheral Artery Disease

CMS has issued a National Coverage Decision to reimburse rehab for patients with peripheral artery disease. After a patient has a face-to-face referral with a physician or advanced practitioner, they can receive up to 36 sessions over 12 weeks. Supervised exercise can occur in a physician’s office or hospital outpatient setting and can be performed by qualified auxiliary personnel trained in the therapy.

With the cardiac rehabilitation incentive model approaching in January 2018, this approval confirms that CMS supports the use of exercise as therapy for cardiovascular disorders. Sg2 recommends reinvesting in this core offering because it can be economically viable in a fee-for-service world, but it can also act as a tool toward the shift to value-based outcomes. Re-evaluating how you deliver this service can help break down silos in your practice and further develop your System of CARE to include beneficial post-acute care. For more information, watch the Sg2 on-demand webinar: Cardiovascular Landscape 2017. Sg2 will also be highlighting the benefits of rehab at our 2017 Executive Summit conferences, including our virtual Executive Summit on September 12, 2017.

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As of February 11, 2016, Vizient, Inc. has completed its purchase of MedAssets Sg2 and spend and clinical resource management segments from Pamplona Capital Management, LLC. MedAssets revenue cycle business will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pamplona Capital Management LLP.

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