Medicare publishes final rule on the Quality Payment Program

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) finalized a new payment system for Medicare clinicians that will continue to reform how the health care system pays for care. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Quality Payment Program, which replaces the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), is designed to consolidate the SGR, Meaningful Use, and the Value Modifier into a single alternative payment system.  According to the HHS press release, the Administration is building a system that delivers better care, one in which clinicians work together and have a full understanding of patients’ needs, Medicare pays for what works and spends taxpayer money more wisely, and patients are in the center of their care, resulting in a healthier country.

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The US Department of Health and Human Services announces funding for learning networks

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $685 million to 29 “practice transformation networks,” including some hospitals and health systems, and 10 supporting organizations to help clinicians improve patient outcomes and lower costs for Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollees through its Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative.

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to grant $218 million to improve patient safety

The Department of Health and Human Services will award $218 million to 26 hospitals and hospital associations to target initiatives aimed at reducing preventable injuries and complications from hospital-acquired conditions, according to Health Leaders Media.
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$40 Million available to prevent chronic diseases

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that it will be granting $40 million to help prevent chronic diseases and promote good health, according to a press release. This initiative was created by the Affordable Care Act, and addresses the nation’s five leading chronic disease-related causes of death and disability: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis.
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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes hospitals for preventing infections

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recognized 37 hospital and healthcare facilities for their efforts to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), a leading cause of death in the United States, according to a Department of Health press release.
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Partnership formed to improve patient safety and care, reduce cost

The Partnership for Patients, a new partnership between administration, the private sector, hospitals and doctors to make care safer while saving up to 50 billion dollars over the next ten years has been formed, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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Study finds that one fifth to one half of non-elderly Americans have a pre-existing condition

A study by the Department of Health and Human Services found that one-fifth to one-half of non-elderly people in the United States have pre-existing conditions that could cause them to be rejected from, or pay a higher price from private insurance companies, should the health care bill be repealed, according to The Washington Post.
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AHA suggests priorities for national health care quality strategy

The American Hospital Association (AHA) suggested to the Department of Health and Human Services that the national health care quality strategy should focus on reducing obesity and diabetes, enhancing patient safety, and giving patients and families a greater voice in decisions about end-of-life care.
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Medicare to Participate in State Multi-payer Health Reform Efforts to Improve Quality and Lower Costs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invited states to apply for participation in the Multi-payer Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration, an initiative in which Medicare will join Medicaid and private insurers to assess the ability of patient-centered "medical homes" to improve the delivery of primary care and lower health care costs.
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