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Monday, Oct 20, 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

    Contact Form: Web Contact Form
    Web: www.smainformatics.com
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Last Modified: March 25, 2014
News Item - 10/15/2014
Smoking-Related Illnesses in U.S. Total 14 Million, Report Finds
Many Americans suffer from multiple conditions related to cigarettes

Cigarette smoking accounts for approximately 14 million major medical conditions that plague the lives of U.S. adults, according to a new government report.

"For each annual death, there are 15 to 20 people living with major disease caused by smoking," said senior study author Terry Pechacek, associate director for science at the office on smoking and health of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Smoking not only will kill you, it will damage your health and make your life worse."

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News Item - 10/15/2014
AHRQ: Top 1% of Patients Account for 22% of Costs
The top 1 percent of patients ranked by their healthcare expenses accounted for 22.7 percent of total healthcare expenditures with an annual mean expenditure of $97,956, according to recent data published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Overall, the top 50 percent of the population ranked by their expenditures accounted for 97.3 percent of overall healthcare expenditures, while the lower 50 percent accounted for only 2.7 percent of the total.

The data, comprised of 2012 reports, was published in the recent AHRQ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

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News Item - 10/14/2014
If you don't want pricing transparency, start reading now
Last week, Massachusetts became the first state to require health insurers to post real-time pricing for healthcare services, by provider, online.

The move didn't get much press (perhaps because the state has put in place a series of regulations to make pricing more transparent over the last few years), but is significant. It provides consumers with a way to compare provider pricing for a certain test or procedures under their specific health plan.

As consumers take on more responsibility for the cost of their care, one can expect more state action around healthcare price transparency. However, state lawmakers aren't the only ones pushing for price transparency. Leading the charge for price transparency are a number of nonprofit and for-profit entities, each with their own motivations to push for more information on healthcare pricing and quality.

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News Item - 10/14/2014
President Signs 2014 Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Act
On October 6, 2014, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4994, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (the “IMPACT Act”). The IMPACT Act’s provisions will affect a broad range of post-acute care (PAC) providers: home health agencies (HHAs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long-term acute care hospitals (LTCHs). Various facets of daily operations of these PAC providers will change as a result of the Act and ensuing regulations: what information PAC providers must collect and report, the information the public will receive about PAC providers, and the method of determining future Medicare payments to PAC providers, among others. The IMPACT Act also increases survey frequency for Medicare-certified hospice programs. A Reed Smith client alert summarizing the Impact Act is available here.
News Item - 10/13/2014
Survey of Worker's Comp Rates by State 2014
The good folk in Oregon have released their biannual report comparing states’ workers’ comp premiums; California has the highest rates, followed by three northeastern states – Connecticut New York and New Jersey. Kudos to Jay Dotter and Mike Manley for their work – which is always eagerly anticipated as it is the only survey of its kind. - See more at: http://www.joepaduda.com/2014/10/friday-catch-2/#sthash.A53Au9rV.dpuf

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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