Healthcare Roundup—Flu cases on the decline; CMS to overhaul Meaningful Use

A blue hospital sign on the side of a building
Unintended retention of a foreign body led the list of reported sentient events for 2017, according to the Joint Commission. (Getty/Manuel-F-O)

Latest CDC stats show flu cases on the decline

The flu has finally peaked and began a decline during week eight of one of the worst flu seasons in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly surveillance report. The overall hospitalization rate was 81.7 per 100,000 people for the week ending Feb. 24. The CDC tracked a total of 23,324 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations between October 1, 2017, and February 24, 2018. There were 17 influenza-associated pediatric deaths that week, bringing the total of pediatric flu deaths this season to 114. CDC Weekly Surveillance report

Former Cleveland Clinic doctor who wrote controversial ‘anti-vaccine’ column launches new practice

Daniel Neides, M.D., the former medical director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, has launched a new "functional wellness practice" that focuses on holistic treatment. Neides caused an uproar last year over a column he wrote that implied ingredients in vaccines may be linked to an increase in cases of autism.

That widely debunked theory, based on a study that was later retracted by a leading medical journal, caused a backlash and the Cleveland Clinic quickly published a statement on its website that it completely supports vaccines to protect people. Neides continued to see patients at the clinic’s Wellness Institute until January and the next day he opened his new practice. Neides said his new practice allows him to “talk to patients without being filtered.” Crain’s Cleveland Business article

Innovation Awards

Submit your nominations for the FierceHealthcare Innovation Awards

The FierceHealthcare Innovation Awards showcases outstanding innovation that is driving improvements and transforming the industry. Our expert panel of judges will determine which companies demonstrate innovative solutions that have the greatest potential to save money, engage patients, or revolutionize the industry. Deadline for submissions is this Friday, October 18th.

Keckley: Quality of care is the biggest myth about U.S. healthcare system

Healthcare policy expert Paul Keckley, Ph.D., began a new series on the biggest myths about the U.S. health system. The first, he writes, is that the public believes quality of care in the nation is the best in the world. While studies reveal widespread variation in the quality of care, he said the public remains largely unaware of these facts. However, Keckley said that every sector of the U.S. health system is paying more attention to quality and has improved in high-volume patient populations and care coordination. But the system has a long way to go. The Keckley report

Joint Commission releases 2017 statistics on sentinel events

Unintended retention of a foreign body led the list of reported sentient events for 2017, according to the Joint Commission. The accrediting agency received 805 reports of these never events in 2017. There were 116 incidents of unintended retention of a foreign body, 114 reports of patient falls and 95 incidents of surgeries involving the wrong patient, wrong site or wrong procedure. Joint Commission data

CMS plans 'complete overhaul' of Meaningful Use

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services plans a “complete overhaul” of the Meaningful Use program for hospitals and the Advancing Care Information category of the Quality Payment Program, CMS Administrator Seema Verma told HIMSS18 attendees. Changes to the program will be included in proposed payment rules for physicians and hospitals released later this year. “We’re moving away from giving credit to physicians for just having an EHR to actually making sure that it is focused on interoperability and giving patients their data,” Verma told reporters after her speech. FierceHealthIT article

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