VA benefits offices changed dates, destroyed documents to meet productivity goal

Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities weren't the only ones trying to dupe the system. The Veterans Benefits Administration changed dates on claims to make them appear new, manipulated data and destroyed thousands of claims documents to meet production goals, according to testimony at a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing Monday night.

Nurse-led chronic-condition care could offset primary care shortage

Giving nurses a larger role in care for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes could help offset the primary care physician shortage, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

ACA hasn't boosted number of new patients at doctor offices

Even though the number of sign-ups during the open enrollment for healthcare exchanges increased throughout the first half of 2014, the number of patients going into doctors' offices hasn't, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and athenahealth. 

Pioneer ACO drives innovation with worldwide competitions, prizes

Earlier this month futurist Ian Morrison, Ph.D., called for drastic innovation to improve healthcare delivery; a move, he said, that could only take place if hospitals and health systems create an environment that encourages new ideas. But for those organizations that are unsure of how to establish this nurturing environment, consider the long-time work of Heritage Provider Network, one of the country's largest Pioneer accountable care organizations

How Ritz-Carlton helped one hospital reduce readmissions to .74 percent

The Ritz-Carlton hotel doesn't just inspire lessons in customer service and hospitality, it also inspired one Midwestern hospital to decrease readmissions for hip and knee replacements to .74 percent, according to a story from Becker's Hospital Review.

Two-midnight rule means complications for hospitals, patients

The controversial "two-midnight rule" puts both hospitals and patients in a tight spot, USA Today reports.

Experts debate ACA's influence on the nursing profession

A recent article from gathered information from nurses and experts on the Affordable Care Act, and what effect the healthcare reform law will have on the future of nursing. There's only one thing that's certain: Uncertainty.

U.S. News releases 2014-15 Best Hospitals rankings

U.S. News & World Report has released its annual Best Hospitals rankings for 2014-15.

Hospital employment on the rise among primary care physicians

Hospital employment among doctors is becoming more popular. The number of hospital-employed primary care physicians increased from 10 to 20 percent from 2012 to 2014, while those who owned single-specialty private care dipped from 12 to 7 percent, according to a new survey from Jackson Healthcare. 

Quick huddle in the OR prior to surgery improves teamwork, communication

A new study in JAMA Surgery validates the value of conducting briefings and debriefings in the operating room.

NPs in Kentucky get more prescription independence

Nurse practitioners (NPs) in Kentucky can prescribe routine medications without a doctors involvement starting tomorrow--if they completed a four-year collaboration with a doctor, Kaiser Health News reported. 

To improve satisfaction scores, hospitals seek patient input on design

As patient satisfaction grows more important to both hospital operations and provider reimbursements, many hospitals focus on design elements to increase patient comfort, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Will the ACA improve the nation's healthcare ranking?

While the United States' healthcare system is the most expensive of 11 industrialized Western nations' systems, it ranks last in care quality, a June report by the Commonwealth Fund found. But as the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) take shape, they may improve parts of the system that contributed to the low score, according to Daily Finance.

Hospitals invest in equipment for growing obese patient population

Roughly one-third of Americans are obese, and as the numbers continue to rise, hospitals around the country invest in equipment to accommodate more plus-sized patients, according to

Healthcare leaders say hospital affiliation is future of industry

With hospital mergers and acquisitions and partnerships on the rise, oversupply of healthcare resources will push more health systems and organizations to examine affiliations, Becker's Hospital Review reports.

Nurse's firing over Instagram photo spurs social media debate

This week FierceHealthcare covered a story that struck a nerve with readers, raising questions about social media use, HIPAA, the bias shown to doctors versus nurses and firing practices at hospitals. In case you missed it, an emergency room (ER) nurse in New York was fired after posting a photo of an empty trauma room after clinicians saved the life of a man hit by a subway train.

Clayton Christensen: Some healthcare industry problems call for a take-charge CEO

The American healthcare system is "sick and getting sicker," and executives must take decisive action to fix it--even if that means making some people angry, management guru Clayton Christensen tells Forbes.

Updated medical errors report shows progress

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) released an updated report on the most common and expensive medical errors in American hospitals and how healthcare leaders can prevent them.

Retirements, hospital mergers bring interim executives to forefront of healthcare

The number of baby boomers set to retire and the number of independent delivery networks and networks in the U.S. will mean a demand for interim executives within the healthcare industry, particularly in the chief information officer and the chief medical informatics officer positions.

CMS doles out $360 to test innovative care models

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced its second batch of recipients in round two of the Health Care Innovation Awards program, bringing the total to $360 million handed out for organizations to test innovative care models. The 39 prospective recipients will receive grants worth between $2 million and $23.8 million over a three-year period, according to an announcement.