Providers Perspectives

Detecting Alzheimer’s disease earlier using … Greebles?

Difficulty distinguishing novel objects is associated with family history of Alzheimer’s disease.

Unique graphic characters called Greebles may prove to be valuable tools in detecting signs of Alzheimer’s disease decades before symptoms become apparent.

In an article published online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Emily Mason, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Louisville, reported research showing that cognitively normal people who have a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have more difficulty distinguishing among novel figures called Greebles than individuals without genetic predisposition.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, irreversible neurodegenerative disease characterized by declining memory, cognition and behavior. AD is the most prevalent form of dementia, affecting an estimated 5.5 million individuals in the United States and accounting for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. The ability to detect the disease earlier may allow researchers to develop treatments to combat the disease.

“Right now, by the time we can detect the disease, it would be very difficult to restore function because so much damage has been done to the brain,” Mason said. “We want to be able to look at really early, really subtle changes that are going on in the brain. One way we can do that is with cognitive testing that is directed at a very specific area of the brain.”

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Providers Perspectives

AMGA welcomes new members to Board of Directors

AMGA an association representing medical groups and integrated systems of care, today announced the addition of three new members to its Board of Directors, beginning their tenure in January 2017. Joining the AMGA Board are the following: Mark DeRubeis, M.B.A., Chief Executive Officer, Premier Medical Associates Mark DeRubeis is the chief executive officer at Premier Medical Associates, the largest multispecialty practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area. As CEO, DeRubeis is responsible for driving the organization’s growth and commitment to preventative care that delivers the highest quality care with the greatest efficiency. Mr. DeRubeis attended Duquesne University for both undergraduate and graduate work, earning a Bachelor of Arts in business and a master’s in business administration.

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AMGA,Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,CMS,Government Perspectives,Medicare Part B Drug Demonstration

AMGA applauds the decision to not implement Part B drug proposal

AMGA applauded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) decision to not move forward with the Medicare Part B Drug Demonstration.

In May, AMGA submitted comments to CMS outlining concerns that the proposal could hinder beneficiary access to needed medications while doing little to improve quality.

“AMGA appreciates that the administration considered stakeholder feedback from AMGA and others and will not move forward with this proposal,” said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA’s president and chief executive officer. “AMGA supports the transition to value-based payment and looks forward to working with the current and incoming administration on building a healthcare system that truly rewards quality of care, reduces cost, and advances population health.”

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alarms,CareAware Event Management,Cerner,Hospira,interoperability,Plum A+,Sheridan Memorial Hospital

Sheridan Memorial Hospital first to implement interoperable alarm technology between Cerner and Hospira

Cerner, a global leader in health care technology, and Hospira, a Pfizer company and leading provider of infusion technologies, today announced that Sheridan Memorial Hospital in Sheridan, Wyoming, is the first hospital to integrate Cerner’s CareAware Event Management secondary alerting solution with Hospira infusion system Alarm Forwarding technology. CareAware Event Management is designed to route alerts from medical devices or nurse call systems to a clinician’s mobile device.

With this implementation, Sheridan expanded its infusion alarm management functionality. Within the hospital, clinicians can receive alarm information from Hospira’s Plum A+ infusion system through CareAware Event Management. The new technology also provides a system to escalate alerts among clinicians when assistance is needed or a primary caregiver is not available.

“Maintaining our position as one of the most advanced intensive care units in the area is a top priority,” said Charlotte Mather, chief nursing officer, Sheridan Memorial Hospital. “This technology helps our caregivers stay connected and flag issues to the right person at the right time.”

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Cal INDEX,Health Information Exchange,HIE,St. Joseph Hoag Health

St. Joseph Hoag Health joins the California Integrated Data Exchange

The California Integrated Data Exchange (Cal INDEX) today announced that it has joined with St. Joseph Hoag Health, the largest health care provider in Orange County, to deliver a single statewide health information exchange (HIE) that allows payers and providers throughout California to seamlessly and securely access patient health information to improve care delivery.

With Cal INDEX’s next-generation health information exchange (HIE), data is securely shared at the point of care, allowing physicians to quickly understand the patient’s health history, better coordinate care and avoid duplicate test orders as well as adverse drug interactions. Currently, more than nine million health information records — nearly one quarter of the state’s population — are on Cal INDEX and, with the addition of St. Joseph Hoag Health, over a million more people will be connected.

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3D printing,Medical Modeling Core,Mount Sinai Health System,Rapid Prototyping Center

Mount Sinai establishes 3-D printing services for clinicians and researchers

Mount Sinai Health System today announced the creation of the Medical Modeling Core, a collaboration led by the Department of Neurosurgery, where clinicians can confer and order 3D models for their cases. Virtual reality, simulation, and 3D printing services will be provided on a low-cost fee-for-service basis with quick turnaround times. This resource will be the first of its kind catering to the unique patient-specific modeling requirements of clinicians at Mount Sinai.

“Our simulation, prototyping, and 3D printing resources developed here at Mount Sinai are rare for a medical institution,” says Joshua Bederson, MD, Professor and System Chair for the Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Health System and Clinical Director of the Neurosurgery Simulation Core. “These models are used in the planning stages for minimally invasive approaches and can be a trial run for the surgery. In conjunction with simulation, they also play an important role in the patient consultation process.”

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Charleston Area Medical Center Health System,CoxHealth,Eskenazi Health,Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center,TeleHealth Services,TigrCon16,University of Utah Health Care

Four hospitals receive patient education and engagement Innovation Awards at TigrCon 2016

Four hospitals received Innovation Awards from TeleHealth Services for outstanding achievements and best practices to improve patient engagement at the TigrCon16 client conference held in New Orleans earlier this month.

he conference was hosted by TeleHealth Services, the nation’s leading provider of patient engagement and education solutions. Experts from across the nation discussed clinical challenges including accreditation, population health, readmissions, increasing patient satisfaction, revenue generation, and improving patient outcomes.

“Our growing community of clinicians, patient educators and hospital executives shared new ideas on how to advance the health of patients through streamlining education about their treatment using the SmarTigr solution,” said Matt Barker, vice president of marketing for TeleHealth Services. “Innovation Award winners all demonstrated meaningful examples of how hospitals are using interactive patient care to improve outcomes and promote operational efficiencies.”

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AstraZeneca,CancerLinQ,CancerLinQ Discovery,Conquer Cancer Foundation

Newly developed CancerLinQ Discovery translates Big Data into practical knowledge for cancer community

CancerLinQ, a nonprofit subsidiary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), today announced CancerLinQ Discovery, a groundbreaking offering that will provide insights through the analysis of real-world cancer care data. CancerLinQ Discovery will provide highly curated, de-identified sets of clinical data with the objective of creating new clinical knowledge and improving patient outcomes. It will derive these sets from the rapidly-growing CancerLinQ® database, which now includes over 1.5 million patient records and more than 70 oncology practices that have agreed to contribute data to CancerLinQ’s core quality improvement and data-sharing platform.

CancerLinQ also announced a new non-exclusive partnership with AstraZeneca, which will use CancerLinQ Discovery to gather insights on specific cancer care questions and provide critical input to maximize CancerLinQ Discovery’s utility and usability. In addition, CancerLinQ is pursuing collaborations with government agencies, medical specialty societies and additional life sciences companies. Through all these efforts, CancerLinQ hopes to gain insights that can improve quality and efficiency of the cancer care delivery system. 

“As CancerLinQ itself scales up to help doctors assess and improve their care in everyday practice, CancerLinQ Discovery will leverage our collaboration to enable the entire care and research community to explore some of our most pressing treatment and scientific challenges,” said Clifford A. Hudis, MD, Chief Executive Officer of ASCO and Chair of the CancerLinQ board. “Contributing to our shared goal of improving clinical care, we recognize AstraZeneca for its commitment to accelerate that progress and unlock new insights through the CancerLinQ Discovery learning platform.”

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consolidation,Health Care 2020: Consolidation,HFMA

Environmental assessment explores impact of consolidation in the healthcare industry

Healthcare organizations will be challenged to prove that the changing healthcare landscape has created an environment in which consolidation actually improves value to consumers. That is the conclusion of Health Care 2020: Consolidation, a new report published by the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

“Consolidation is a trend that’s here to stay,” says HFMA President and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA. “But controversy about the impact is ongoing. In many cases, consolidated entities have not demonstrated value to the communities served. Across the industry, the challenge going forward is to achieve and demonstrate higher value from consolidation by lowering the total cost of care and improving quality.”

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