In mid-February, the Joint Commission introduced a new online tool meant to help combat inconsistencies in the surgical time out process.
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Otolaryngologists may be wondering for a bit longer what their next step should be now that HHS has delayed the October 2013 implementation of the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases coding system (ICD-10).
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) is described as the most sweeping health care legislation passed in the U.S. since Medicare’s implementation in 1965. The health reform law is already changing the health care system, but the most profound modifications are yet to come. The law will affect otolaryngologists’ practices in many ways, both direct and indirect. Here are some areas of the law to consider.
Otolaryngologists with a desire to broaden their careers beyond traditional medical practice have several options. Programs exist that can open doors into medical leadership, health policy work, clinical and outcomes research and public office. Opportunities are available at all stages of a physician’s career. Here’s a look at a handful of programs that aim to provide physicians with the tools they need to take their careers in a new direction.
Close on the heels of the evidence-based medicine movement comes increasing pressure for physicians and health care institutions to develop and implement quality improvement measures that will not only improve quality of care, but also reduce medical costs and provide a way to measure performance by physicians and institutions. Integral to this process is the development of appropriate metrics by which to measure outcomes and physician performance that accurately reflect otolaryngology and its subspecialties. Two sessions at the recent 2011 American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Annual Meeting held here Sept. 13 highlighted issues that are important for otolaryngologists striving to meet the growing demand for quality improvement.
Although the new U.S. health care law does not specifically alter the current fee-for-service payment structure, changes to how physicians and hospitals will be reimbursed for services are under construction. These changes are reflected by the growing focus on the development and implementation of quality improvement and physician and institutional performance measures on which reimbursement will increasingly be made, panelists said here on Sept. 11 at the 2011 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Annual Meeting.
There is a Chinese proverb that is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is, “May you live in interesting times,” and the curse is, “May you live in interesting times.” All of us would like things to stabilize into a constant, comfortable and predictable environment for us to live our lives, raise our families and care for our patients. We are entering the most complex and challenging period that medicine has experienced since the 1960s when Medicare was introduced. From now on, everything we have come to know and are comfortable with in our professional lives will change.
For otolaryngologists seeing increasing numbers of children with sleep-disordered breathing, whether or not to refer children for a polysomnography (PSG) prior to surgery is not a decision easily made. Currently, only about 10 percent of otolaryngologists request a sleep study in children with sleep-disordered breathing prior to surgery.