In the News: June 6–13

Risk of Infection Is Greater With Understaffed Nursing

A recent Modern Healthcare article summarizes the findings from a Columbia University School of Nursing study demonstrating a relationship between an insufficient number of nurses in a hospital unit and an increased risk of health care–associated infection. A unit with less than 80% of the median level of registered-nurse (RN) staffing levels was defined as “understaffed.”

The study found patients were at a 15% greater risk of infection in hospital units with understaffed day and night shifts, but infection risk was not notably higher for patients in units understaffed for single shifts. Across the nation, roughly 4% of hospital stays result in patients acquiring health care–associated infections—this study signals the potential to prevent some of these infections by maintaining consistent, appropriate RN staffing levels.

Health systems across the country are impacted by insufficient RN levels, partly attributed to the high level of nursing turnover. To learn more about preventing RN turnover and the successful initiatives organizations are implementing to retain staff, please read the Sg2 FAQ Addressing Nursing Turnover and Improving Retention.

CVS Health Will Expand Health Services in Stores by 2021

According to a recent Reuters article, CVS Health announced it will start to convert 50 of its stores in Houston, Tampa, Atlanta and Philadelphia this year to include services such as blood pressure screening, nutrition counseling, sleep apnea and diabetes complications. The rest of its 1,500 stores will be converted sometime between 2020 and 2021. Following its acquisition of insurer Aetna in 2018, the company announced it would provide more services in its stores “to tackle chronic conditions like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.” The CVS Health/Aetna merger has been approved by the US Department of Justice and is currently waiting for a hearing in the DC US District Court.

Rising health care costs and increasing consumer demands for price transparency and convenience have emboldened new market entrants like CVS Health to innovate the primary care service model. As markets transition to value-based care, Sg2 believes these entrants have the potential to either disrupt or complement your current primary care footprint. For more on how to prepare for primary care disruption, read the Expert Insight Does Recent Disruption Require a New Look at Primary Care?

Medicaid Expansion Linked to Decreased CV Mortality Rates

Recently JAMA conducted a longitudinal and observational study of 100,000 adults on the county level across 48 states from November 2018 to January of 2019, finding an association between Medicaid expansion and a decrease in cardiovascular mortality rates.

As cardiovascular disease and its associated risk factors disproportionately affect uninsured individuals and those of lower socioeconomic status, cardiovascular health may be an important consideration for states currently debating Medicaid expansion. Other studies have cited an association of Medicaid expansion and improvements in better usage of prescription medications and diabetes management, in addition to preventive care, which may also relate to the improved cardiovascular mortality rate.

Focusing on delivering value has become the reality for health care organizations and is particularly relevant for cardiovascular services. Remaining a viable and relevant provider of cardiovascular services in your market requires high-quality, multidisciplinary offerings that facilitate the most cost-effective care delivery at different sites. Register for the upcoming Sg2 webinar Cardiovascular Landscape 2019 for cardiovascular services key trends and expert insights to help you achieve growth and value in this important service line.

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