Monthly Archives: February 2014

Urgent Care and Mini Clinics – the Donut Hole in Syndromic Surveillance

doughnut-1023028-mIn recent years the range and availability of ambulatory care service providers has continued to grow. These include urgent care centers, mini clinics, and so-called “Doc in a box” providers. While the emergence of these services benefits consumers on many levels, it also creates a potentially serious “donut hole” in regional syndromic surveillance. A proliferation of these facilities can lead to diminished accuracy and efficacy of the population health data that’s made available, which can result in potentially serious negative consequences…for both public health officials and the communities they serve.

In Development: Hospital Readmissions Tracking Tool

In light of the recent Medicaid changes regarding hospital readmissions within a 30 large_readmitday time period, HMS is working to create a tool which will allow facilities to track readmissions.

Beginning on October 1, 2012, section 3025 of the Affordable Care Act added section 1886(q) to the Social Security Act establishing the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). The HRRP has imposed a financial penalty on hospitals with many readmissions during a certain timeframe. The HRRP defines readmission as a patient who is readmitted to the same or another hospital within a 30-day time period. It excludes certain readmissions, such as transfers to another hospital. The goal of this penalty is to encourage improvements to patient care and reduce Medicare costs.