BCBSNC Donates $500,000 to NC Medical Society Foundation

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has given $500,000 to the NC Medical Society Foundation’s disaster relief program to help offset costs from Hurricane Florence. The NCMS Foundation’s disaster relief program is meant to reestablish medical care to affected areas after such

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CMS to Apply Disaster Waiver for MIPS Clinicians affected by Hurricane Florence

CMS will automatically apply a disaster waiver to certain Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) clinicians who live or practice in areas that were affected by Hurricanes Florence or Michael, or the California wildfires. These MIPS clinicians will automatically qualify for the program’s extreme

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Call for Nominations: NCHA Winter Meeting Awards

NCHA is pleased to introduce two new awards to be presented at the Winter Membership Meeting in February 2019. The Healthier Communities Award will recognize collaborative work by an NCHA member institution or institutions to promote health and well-being by addressing an identified community need. The Highsmith

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Statewide Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative for Acute Care NC hospitals

The NC Division of Public Health’s (DPH) Surveillance for Healthcare Associated and Resistant Pathogens Patient Safety (SHARPPS) Program has a statewide antibiotic stewardship initiative for acute care hospitals in North Carolina, Stewardship of Antibiotic Resources (STAR) Partners. This is a multi-tiered recognition and mentorship program

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CMS’s Online Tool Shows Cost Differences for Certain Surgical Procedures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched a new online tool that allows consumers to compare Medicare payments and copayments for certain procedures that are performed in both hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgical centers. The Procedure Price Lookup tool displays national averages for the amount

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OIG Report Says Vulnerabilities Exist in Hospital Wage Index System

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General recently issued a report identifying vulnerabilities in the hospital wage index system for Medicare payments. “As a result of these vulnerabilities, wage indexes may not always accurately reflect local labor prices and, therefore,

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CMS Issues Update on Enrollment

More than 2.4 million people selected a 2019 health plan (140,741 in North Carolina) through Nov. 1-24, including more than 500,000 last week, according to a report from CMS. More than three-quarters of those selecting plans were renewing coverage and the rest were new

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Study: Most Health Insurance Markets Highly Concentrated

Seventy-three percent of U.S. health insurance markets are highly concentrated, based on guidelines used by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to assess market competition, according to a study released recently by the American Medical Association. In 91 percent of the 380 metropolitan

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HHS Seeks Input on Priorities for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria seeks input through Jan. 7 on recommended priority areas for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 2020 through 2025 based on the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. For more on the request for information, see the online comment form.

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Recommendations from Drug Shortage Summit Issued

The American Hospital Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Institute for Safe Medication Practices recently released recommendations emerging from a recent drug shortages summit, including recommendations for regulatory, legislative and other actions to address the

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