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Thursday, Jul 31, 2014
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  • We are located in the BioTech One building of the VA Bio•Technology Research Park.

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    SMA Informatics
    800 E. Leigh Street
    Suite 206-14 Building One
    Richmond, VA 23219

    Phone: (804) 344-8111
    FAX: (804) 344-8113

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    Web: www.smainformatics.com
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Last Modified: March 25, 2014
News Item - 07/30/2014
IOM panel recommends sweeping changes to government-supported physician training
An expert panel recommended Tuesday completely overhauling the way government pays for the training of doctors, saying the current $15 billion system is failing to produce the medical workforce the nation needs.

“We recognize we are recommending substantial change,” said health economist and former Medicare Administrator Gail Wilensky, co-chairwoman of the nonpartisan Institute of Medicine panel that produced the report. “We think it’s key to justifying the continued use of public funds.”

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News Item - 07/29/2014
How Well Does A Drug Work? Look Beyond The Fine Print
Anybody who has ever seen a drug advertisement or talked over the pros and cons of a medicine with a doctor can be forgiven for being confused.

Sorting out the risks and benefits of taking a medicine can be complicated even for professionals.

This spring, the Institute of Medicine with the Food and Drug Administration. The topic: How best to communicate to doctors and patients the uncertainty in the assessment of benefits and risks of pharmaceuticals.

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News Item - 07/29/2014
For-profit hospital revenues, earnings soar
ACA brings new influx of patients

As millions of Americans are added to the rolls of insured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the for-profit, publicly-traded hospital chains that care for them have gone on a roll of their own.

The ACA recently fattened the bottom lines of two big hospital chains: Universal Health Services, Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals Inc. Universal's revenue is up 10 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the second quarter of 2014, while LifePoint's profit was up 44 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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News Item - 07/29/2014
Report: Medicare hospital fund solvency extended four more years
The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will remain solvent until 2030, four years longer than projected last year, according to an annual report issued today by the Medicare Board of Trustees. The improved outlook “is primarily due to lower than expected spending in 2013” for most hospital service categories, according to the Treasury Department. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner cited “major progress in improving patient safety, decreasing hospital readmissions, and establishing new payment models such as accountable care organizations aimed at reducing costs and improving quality. These reforms slow the rise in health care spending while improving the quality of care for beneficiaries.” According to the report, Part B of Supplementary Medical Insurance, which pays doctors' bills and other outpatient expenses, and Part D, which provides access to prescription drug coverage, are both projected to remain adequately financed into the indefinite future because current law automatically provides financing each year to meet the next year's expected costs. The report calls for Congress and the executive branch to “work closely together with a sense of urgency” to address Medicare’s remaining financial challenges.
News Item - 07/24/2014
Has the Affordable Care Act Slowed the Growth of Health Care Spending?
For years, health care spending has outpaced economic growth. However, in 2012, health care spending as a share of the economy declined slightly for the second year in a row, based on official government statistics released at the outset of 2014. This news was greeted in some quarters as evidence that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was beginning to bend the cost curve downward.

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News Item - 06/02/2014
CMS Releases Medicare Hospital Payment Data, New Online Tools
On June 2, CMS released Medicare hospital pricing data for 2012 in an effort to increase transparency, lower costs and improve the quality of care, The Hill reports (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 6/2).

About the Data

The information, which was revealed at the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C.,  is the agency's first annual update to Medicare hospital charge, which compare the average amount a hospital charges for services provided with a similar inpatient stay or outpatient visit (HHS release, 6/2).

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News Item - 04/04/2014
CMS releases PQRS, eRx progress report
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a new report on two of its pay-for-reporting incentive programs for eligible professionals (EPs): the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and electronic prescribing (eRx).

The 90 page report on 2012 participation results and trends in the programs demonstrates "exciting progress," according to CMS officials.

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News Item - 01/21/2014
MedPAC Recommends No ASC Pay Increase for 2015; 3.25-5.25% Increase for HOPDs
On Friday, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission approved a final recommendation for Medicare pay rates in 2015, recommending that ambulatory surgery centers get 0 percent pay raise, according to an AHA News report.

At the same time, MedPAC recommended increasing hospital inpatient and outpatient prospective payment systems by 3.25 percent in the absence of sequestration cuts and 5.25 percent if spending cuts continue. The sequestration that begun last April enacted automatic 2 percent Medicare payment cuts for the next 10 years.

However, MedPAC did suggest reducing or eliminating pay differences between hospital outpatient departments and physician offices for some procedures, as currently hospital outpatient departments are paid significantly more.

Source
News Item - 11/08/2013
NHA is one of the 20 Most Promising Data Analytics Companies
Companies today recognize that they have opportunities to use data and analytics to raise productivity, improve decision-making, and gain competitive advantage. CIOs understand that analytics will define the difference between the losers and winners going forward. As the market evolves a vast array of data analytics technology and solution vendors are positioning themselves for leadership. A large number of venture-backed startups are battling against established BI and enterprise software providers.

While there are plenty to choose from, organizations that succeed with Big Data analytics will be those that understand the possibilities, see through the vendor hype and choose the right deployment model. In the last few months, we have looked at hundreds of data analytics companies and shortlisted the ones that are at the forefront of tackling the real analytics challenges. We present to you CIOReview's 20 Most Promising Data Analytics Companies. A distinguished panel comprising of CEOs, CIOs, VCs, industry analysts and the editorial board of CIOReview selected the Final 20.

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