News

Study: Fewer Hospital Patients Uninsured After ACA Expanded Coverage

The proportion of hospital emergency department visits by uninsured patients declined 2.1 percentage points per year between 2014 and 2016, just after the health insurance exchanges opened and states began expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study reported recently in JAMA

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CMS Announces New Value-based Payment Models for Primary Care

The CMS Innovation Center recently announced the Primary Cares Initiative, which will provide primary care practices and other providers with five new payment model options under two paths – Primary Care First (PCF) and Direct Contracting (DC). The PCF model options are focused on individual primary

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HHS Extends Deadline for Comments on Health IT Rules

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and CMS have extended the deadline to comment on their proposed rules to promote electronic health information exchange. ONC and CMS both extended their deadline by 30 days to June 3. In

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ONC Issues Updated Draft Framework for Trusted Health Information Exchange

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released for comment through June 17 an updated draft Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement for the exchange of health information across networks. The updates are based on more

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FDA Approves First Generic Naloxone Nasal Spray

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first generic naloxone nasal spray, an emergency treatment for opioid overdose intended for use in the community. Generic injectable naloxone products have been available for use in health care settings for years. The FDA has previously approved

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FDA Proposes Regulatory Changes to Improve Surgical Stapler Safety

The Food and Drug Administration recently proposed reclassifying surgical staplers for internal use as moderate-risk rather than low-risk medical devices. The change would allow the agency to require premarket review of the devices and establish special controls such as mandatory performance testing of the device’s

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CMS Issues Draft Ligature Risk Guidance for Psychiatric Hospitals, Units

CMS has released draft revised guidance to clarify its ligature risk policy, which pertains to environmental safeguards for patients at risk of harm to self or others. The draft guidance updates 2017 guidance to clarify what constitutes a ligature risk and the agency’s expectation for

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Small Steps, Bright Future Campaign Aims to Reduce Risk of Stroke

May is Stroke Awareness Month and a new NC Division of Public Health stroke prevention campaign, Small Steps, Bright Future, focuses on preventing stroke among African Americans who are at a disproportionate risk for stroke. Small Steps, Bright Future highlights endearing moments that could be missed

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Around the State

Robert A. “Bob” Enders, Jr. has been named CEO of UNC Lenoir Health Care in Kinston, following the retirement of UNC Lenoir’s previous CEO, Gary E. Black. Enders will transition from his current role as President at Chatham Hospital to his new role

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CMS Issues Proposed Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility FY 2020 PPS Update

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a proposed rule that would update the payment rates and quality reporting items for Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) for Federal Fiscal Year 2020. CMS says that the overall economic impact of this proposed rule

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