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Medicare Advantage Enrollees May Have More Access to Telehealth Services

April 17, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule updating the Medicare Advantage program to allow for innovative plan design and more choices for patients. The popularity of Medicare Advantage plans has been on the rise and new flexibilities, including additional telehealth and nontraditional benefits will likely continue this trend. 

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HAP Encourages Conversations about End-of-Life Care Today and Every Day

April 16, 2019

April 16 has been designated as National Healthcare Decisions Day in an effort to educate and empower individuals and providers about the importance of advance care planning. HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals encourage individuals to use this day as an opportunity to discuss end-of-life care preferences. 

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Warm Hand-off Study Resolution Clears First Hurdle

April 16, 2019

Today, the House Human Services Committee considered House Resolution 216. Sponsored by freshman lawmaker Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks), the resolution establishes a task force within the House of Representatives on “overdose recovery” and directs the Joint State Government Committee to establish an advisory committee aimed at studying the warm hand-off treatment for individuals with substance abuse disorder.

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Pennsylvania Hospitals Focus on Reducing Readmissions via Care Transitions

April 15, 2019

Preventing avoidable hospital readmissions continues as a priority for HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals. Research has found that acute and post-acute care organizations face unique challenges and barriers during care transitions which can affect readmissions. To address this opportunity, HAP’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) has launched a series of tools during the National Care Transitions Awareness Day on April 16.

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South Central Pennsylvania Health Care Organizations Receive 'Stop the Bleed' Kits, Training

April 15, 2019

In a traumatic-injury situation, uncontrolled bleeding is the leading cause of patient death. With the assistance of the trauma centers in the greater Harrisburg region, more than 30 health care organizations in south central PA today took an additional step to help the seriously injured during a time when every second counts.

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National Health Care Volunteer Week is a Time to Say “Thank You”

April 12, 2019

This week, hospitals and health systems across Pennsylvania and the nation are observing National Health Care Volunteer Week, a time to celebrate the contributions of dedicated individuals who donate their time to support patients.

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New Report Outlines Potential Pitfalls of Site-neutral Payment Policies

April 11, 2019

A recent American Hospital Association (AHA) report provides new insight into site-neutral payments, which may impact the reimbursement rate for the care that hospitals provide to patients in outpatient settings.

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Pennsylvania Highlighted for Rural Health Care Innovation

April 10, 2019

The transformative changes hospitals and health systems face are front and center at this year’s American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Meeting. During an executive session centered on rural issues, Pennsylvania’s hospitals were highlighted for their innovative work through the Rural Health Model.

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House Committee Passes Legislation Creating Opioid Task Force Focused on Children

April 09, 2019

Recognizing that the opioid crisis remains a major concern in the commonwealth, state Representative Clint Owlett (R–Tioga) has introduced legislation to establish the Opioid Abuse Child Impact Task Force.

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Nurse Leaders, Lawmakers Rally in Support of Full Practice Authority for Certified Nurse Practitioners

April 09, 2019

Nurse practitioners and health care champions met in Harrisburg today to rally in support of legislative proposals to help advanced practices professionals obtain full practice authority in Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative Set for April Launch; Hospitals Join Forces to Improve Mom and Baby Outcomes

April 08, 2019

The Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative will launch during April, with a focus on reducing maternal mortality and improving care for pregnant and postpartum women and newborns affected by opioids. Hospitals are encouraged to join the PA PQC by April 17 and to register for the first Learning Collaborative session.

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AHRQ, GAO Report on Use—and Underuse—of Behavioral Health Services

April 05, 2019

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) last week released a Statistical Brief analyzing inpatient stays involving mental and substance use disorders (MSUD) in community hospitals. AHRQ examined MSUD-related inpatient stay characteristics, including costs, length of stay, discharge status, patient demographics, primary expected payor, and hospital location. 

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Report Shows Use of Telehealth Growing Faster Than Use of Other Alternative Care Sites

April 04, 2019

Independent non-profit FAIR Health’s second annual report shows the nation’s use of telehealth (also called telemedicine) grew 53 percent from 2016 to 2017, outpacing increases in utilization at the other alternative care sites studied.

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Federal Lawmakers and Stakeholders Aligned in Focusing on Protecting Patients from Surprise Balance Bills

April 03, 2019

Broad consensus continues to emerge regarding the need to pursue policy that will protect patients from surprise balance billing.

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New Medicare Prescription Drug Policies Address Opioid Epidemic

April 02, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced new safety policies for the use of opioid medications covered by the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. The goal is to reduce opioid misuse while preserving medically necessary access to these medications. 

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