Cardiovascular Rounds

News, resources, and analysis from the Cardiovascular Roundtable

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Cleveland Clinic's model for shared medical appointments

By Marissa Schwartz October 26, 2015

CV clinical providers face larger workloads and higher volumes. To increase efficiency and maximize productivity, we must consider new strategies. One tactic discussed in the Cardiovascular Roundtable’s study, The Highly Productive Cardiovascular Enterprise, involves shared medical appointments.

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Follow these steps to compare your observation use to your peers'

by Erin Lane October 9, 2015

The appropriateness of observation has been a hot topic for the past several years as we have experienced rapid, continuous growth in observation status. In fact, according to MedPAC data, observation stays increased 96% from 2006 to 2013. We are also seeing an increase in long stay observation cases, with 26% of observation cases lasting at least two nights, and 11% lasting three in 2012.

The increase in observation use is due to providers' response to multiple factors, such as short inpatient stay scrutiny, ambiguity in appropriateness of inpatient admission, and fear of readmission penalties. But members often tell us they do not have a way to compare their observation performance to their peers'.

I'm here to tell you there's a tool at your fingertips that can do just that. Our Hospital Benchmark Generator includes Medicare benchmarks for financial, operational, and quality data. The tool allows you to select a cohort of hospitals that most closely resembles your organization and compare performance side-by-side. Your organization's data will be displayed in a red column.

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Why CV services are overused, and how to fix the problem

By Marissa Schwartz September 2, 2015

There’s no doubt that cardiovascular disease is a killer. As the leading cause of death in the US, CV disease comprises 17% of our nation’s health expenditures, with much of the cost growth linked to noninvasive testing. A recent article published in Circulation reported on the widespread overuse of CV services in the US: the scope of the problem, its causes, and initiatives for change.

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New federal law requires patient disclosure of observation status

by Julie Bass August 19, 2015

Last week, President Obama signed the "Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act," or the NOTICE Act, into law. This law alters both the manner and timeframe in which hospitals must notify patients of their observation status.

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Inside a CMS-approved pilot CV program

by Marissa Schwartz August 10, 2015

In 2011, JAMA published a study detailing that just 50% of stent procedures logged in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry were categorized as appropriate. Since then, the focus on appropriate use for CV services has only grown, given CMS’s efforts to transition to value-based care models.

One new program, the SMARTCare pilot, was awarded a $15.8 million CMS Innovation Center grant and launched at 10 sites across Wisconsin and Florida in late May 2015.

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Gain insight into utilization trends in your region

By Marissa Schwartz July 29, 2015

In today’s rapidly changing and competitive CV landscape, visibility into regional Medicare utilization rates is a growing imperative. Additionally, the ability to access market-specific CV utilization data is key for the integration of population health management into the CV service line.

In order to help members understand utilization rates in their region, we developed the Regional Utilization Profiler. Read on to discover how you can use this tool in your strategic planning process.

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Leveraging dedicated rounds for high-acuity patients at LifeBridge Health

By Kristen Barlow April 10, 2015

High-risk patient management requires CV leaders to implement ways to increase the visibility of these patients, as well as manage their care across the continuum. In our study Blueprint for Cardiovascular Care Management we identified priorities for enhancing both the visibility and management of complex patients.

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Three of our best strategies for successful discharge planning

By Kristen Barlow February 9, 2015

Once patients leave the hospital, it is crucial that they are sent home with appropriate instructions and the right support infrastructure. Failing to get the discharge planning process right can lead to readmissions and higher costs – unsatisfactory outcomes in the new healthcare environment that rewards hospitals for 30-, 60-, or even 90-day outcomes and low readmission rates.

Read on to discover how three institutions have developed strategies for perfecting the discharge planning process.

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