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New PHC4 Financial Analysis 2017 Report on Ambulatory Surgery Centers

October 15, 2018

Late last week, the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) released its Financial Analysis 2017 about the financial health of the state’s ambulatory surgery centers (ASC). ASCs are health care facilities focused on providing same-day surgical care.

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International Infection Prevention Week | Protecting Patients Everywhere

October 15, 2018

This week HAP, Pennsylvania hospitals, and the health care community worldwide are observing International Infection Prevention Week, October 14–20, 2018. This year’s theme is "Protecting Patients Everywhere." Infection prevention practices should not only occur in acute care hospitals but also in outpatient areas such as doctor’s offices, clinics, surgical centers, and behavioral health and rehabilitation hospitals.

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Large Mass Casualty Exercise Tests Southeast’s Preparedness

October 12, 2018

More than 100 patients flooded the halls of Philadelphia area hospitals on Thursday after an explosive device detonated at a large Philadelphia area sports stadium. While the explosion was a simulation, the test that more than 35 agencies—including 18 hospitals and providers—faced was real.

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Pennsylvania General Assembly Passes Organ Donation Legislation

October 11, 2018

State house lawmakers gave unanimous approval this week to Senate Bill 180, which updates Pennsylvania’s 1996 organ donation law to reflect medical advances and adjust organ recovery protocols.

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Federal Legislation to Improve Prescription Drug Transparency Signed into Law

October 11, 2018

Yesterday, federal legislation that will help American consumers better afford prescription medications was signed by the President. The bipartisan legislation comprised of two bills, the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018, prohibits “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling consumers if they could save money by buying prescription drugs out-of-pocket rather than using their health insurance.

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Mental Illness Awareness Week Emphasizes Screening and Eliminating Stigma

October 10, 2018

During 1990, Congress established Mental Illness Awareness Week. The first week in October marks a time for mental health advocates to collectively educate the public about mental illness and fight the stigma attached to this illness. The week also includes National Depression Screening Day, dedicated to raising awareness and screening people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders.

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New Health Care Codes for Human Trafficking will Help Plan Treatment and Build Services

October 09, 2018

Recently, several new ICD-10 codes took effect that allow health providers to report suspected or known cases of different kinds of trafficking including labor trafficking and sex trafficking. Health care providers are often among the first or single points of connection for these individuals. 

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October is Health Literacy Month; Engage for Health for Better Outcomes and a More Positive Experience

October 08, 2018

October is Health Literacy Month and an excellent opportunity to focus on the importance of patient and family literacy toward achieving better patient outcomes and providing a more positive patient experience.

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month Calls for Shared Responsibility

October 05, 2018

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).The NCSAM theme for 2018 is “Our Shared Responsibility,” which emphasizes that cyberspace cannot be secured without the help of all users.

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Federal Opioid Policy Package Clears Congress for Enactment into Law

October 04, 2018

After months of legislative attention and policy negotiation, Congress passed new legislation to address the opioid epidemic.

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New Study Reinforces Importance of Appropriate Reimbursement for Hospital-level Care

October 03, 2018

A new study exploring the characteristics of Medicare patients receiving care in hospital outpatient departments reinforces concerns that new payment proposals—which would significantly cut hospital payments—could threaten access to care for the most vulnerable patients and communities.

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CMS Launches eMedicare Initiative to Expand Online Resources

October 02, 2018

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a new resource to offer Medicare beneficiaries and their families easier access to more information about their plan and coverage.

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80,000 Died During Last Year’s Flu Season, Early Vaccination Encouraged

October 01, 2018

Last week, Jerome Adams, MD, the U.S. Surgeon General, announced that an estimated 80,000 people—including 180 children—died during the 2017–2018 flu season.

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PA Receives $55.9 Million in Federal Funds to Continue Fight Opioid Epidemic

September 28, 2018

Last week, Pennsylvania secured $55.9 million federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant implementation the state’s response to the opioid epidemic. This funding complements two $26.5 million grants that have been received during the past two years from SAMHSA as part of the 21st Century CURES Act. With the new SAMHSA grant, Pennsylvania has received a total of $108 million in federal funding to fight the opioid epidemic.

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Federal, State Efforts to Improve Prescription Drug Transparency Move Forward

September 28, 2018

At the federal level, the U.S. House cleared a pair of Senate bills aimed at making it easier for patients to get the lowest price on prescription drugs at the pharmacy counter, sending the legislation to President Donald Trump. At the state level, the Senate Insurance Committee unanimously approved a bill that would do the same, sending the bill to the Senate for consideration.

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