SMA Informatics 

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Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015
  • Contact Information
  • We are located in the BioTech One building of the VA Bio•Technology Research Park.

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

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

    Contact Form: Web Contact Form
Last Modified: May 23, 2015
News Item - 07/28/2015
CMS projects higher healthcare spending growth through 2024
The historically low growth rates of national health spending over the last several years may be history. CMS officials say the Affordable Care Act's insurance expansion, an improving economy, an aging population, and expensive new drugs are pushing up health costs once again.

U.S. health spending is expected to grow 5.8% annually between 2014 and 2024, according to projections from CMS economists and actuaries published Tuesday in Health Affairs. The amount spent on healthcare in 2014 alone is projected to have risen 5.5%—the first time since 2007 that the growth rate exceeded 5%. The high prices of hepatitis C drugs contributed to that faster spending increase, actuaries said on a call with reporters.

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News Item - 07/28/2015
Trends in Observed Adult Inpatient Mortality for High-Volume Conditions, 2002-2012
Monitoring and improving health care quality in the United States is a key priority for health policymakers, payers, providers, and patient advocates. Hospital inpatient mortality is one quality measure that can reflect both improvements in health care and shifts in where end-of-life care takes place over time.

Previous trends in inpatient mortality suggest that rates have been decreasing for high-volume conditions, such as acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF), stroke, and pneumonia. These declines in mortality vary not only by condition but also by patient and hospital characteristics. Continued study of these trends can help researchers and policymakers assess the impact of health care quality efforts. Further, examining trends across patient and hospital subgroups may inform strategies for addressing disparities in health care quality by identifying groups that are leading and lagging in improvement.

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News Item - 07/20/2015
A Study of Cost Variation for Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (Angioplasties) in the U.S.
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, responsible for 610,000 deaths — 1 in 4 — every year. Though much of heart disease is preventable by adopting healthier behaviors, and significant progress has been made in reducing deaths in recent years, millions of Americans continue to need cardiac treatment and procedures. The cost of this care is expected to reach $918 billion by 2030 — an increase of almost 200 percent from 2010.

One of the most common procedures used in the treatment of heart disease is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angioplasty with and without stents. First developed in 1977, and in wide use since the 1990s, approximately one million angioplasties are performed annually in the U.S. — making them a top ten contributor to healthcare costs, with expenditures totaling $10 billion in 2014. In addition, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 out of 8 of these procedures is medically unnecessary and inappropriate.

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News Item - 07/20/2015
Another spine surgeon named in "fake implants" lawsuit — This time in Maryland: 5 key notes Featured
Another spine surgeon has been named in the "fake implants" lawsuit involving Spinal Solutions, a distribution company cited in 2012 for "quality control issues," according to a Baltimore Sun report.

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News Item - 07/17/2015
CMS Proposes More Observation Money, but It’s a Package Deal
Observation services are the latest domino to fall into CMS’s grand plan to package as many outpatient services as possible, according to the proposed 2016 outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) regulation, which was published in the July 8 Federal Register. In a surprise move, CMS created a new observation “comprehensive ambulatory payment classification” (C-APC) and deposited into the payment pretty much all associated services, including the emergency room visit, labs and radiology.

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ACO Chart via PulsePilot
Interactive ACO Chart via PulsePilot
News Item - 01/26/2015
HHS seeks to have 85 percent of Medicare fee-for-service payments in value-based purchasing categories 2 through 4 by 2016 and 90 percent by 2018
Improving the quality and affordability of care for all Americans has always been a pillar of the Affordable Care Act, alongside expanding access to such care. The law gives us the opportunity to shape the way health care is delivered to patients and to improve the quality of care system-wide while helping to reduce the growth of health care costs.

When it comes to improving the way providers are paid, we want to reward value and care coordination – rather than volume and care duplication.  In partnership with the private sector, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is testing and expanding new health care payment models that can improve health care quality and reduce its cost.

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