NQF, CDC release antibiotic stewardship guide to help organizations


deaths per 100,000 people occurred last year, an increase of seven deaths per 100,000 people in 2014. This is the first death rate increase in a decade, which is due in part to more accidental injuries, stroke and other causes.


heart disease deaths per 100,000 people occurred last year, which remains flat from 2014. Heart disease remains the No.1 killer. 27.6 million adults are diagnosed with

heart disease and every year about 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack.


Alzheimer’s disease deaths per 100,000 people occurred in 2015, an increase of 4 deaths per 100,000 people the previous

year. Non-Hispanic white women have the highest mortality rate from Alzheimer’s disease, followed by non-Hispanic black women.


drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people occurred last year, up from 14 deaths the

previous year. Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of

overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin).


alcohol-related deaths (chronic liver disease and cirrhosis) per 100,000 people occurred in 2015, up slightly from 2014. Alcohol- related deaths in general (all causes, including accidents) are the fourth leading preventable cause of death.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics Rapid Release, June 2016.


Experts from the public and private sectors have released a tool to help U.S. acute-care hospitals implement strategies to promote appropriate, safe use of antibiotics. The National Quality Forum (NQF), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) created Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care: A Practical Playbook — based on CDC’s Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs — a practical guide to significantly reduce antibiotic overuse and other misuse.

The CDC estimates that the inappropri- ate use of antibiotics causes antimicrobial resistance that leads to 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually. Examples of strategies in the tool include: • Assessing when patients need antibiotics and when treatment should be adjusted

• Educating staff, family and patients about appropriate antibiotic use

• Tracking and reporting antibiotic pre- scribing, use and resistance

The Joint Commission is currently work- ing on a standard to address antimicrobial stewardship after having conducted an ex- tensive field review in late 2015, which involved key stakeholders that include The Joint Commission’s accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, ambulatory care, office-based surgery settings, and nursing care centers.

Medicare makes enhancements to the shared savings program The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Ser- vices (CMS) released a final rule improving how Medicare pays Accountable Care Or- ganizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program for delivering better pa- tient care. Medicare is moving away from paying for each service a physician provides towards a system that rewards physicians for coordinating with each other. ACOs are a major part of that transition, rewarding providers that deliver high-quality, efficient, and coordinated care for patients. Medicare bases ACOs’ payments on a va- riety of factors, including whether the ACO can deliver high-quality care at a reasonable cost. The final rule should help more ACOs successfully participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program by improving the shared savings payment methodology and providing a new participation option for certain ACOs to move to the more advanced tracks of the program.

This final rule changes how Medicare pays ACOs by basing one of the payment factors on whether theACO is able to deliver


high-quality care at a lower cost compared to other providers in their region. This change recognizes that health cost trends vary in communities across the coun- try and will give ACOs more opportunities to be successful. In addition, the rule pro- vides a smoother and quicker transition to the more advanced tracks for certain ACOs by allowing an extra year under their first agreement before the organization takes on financial risk.

The Administration’s next goal is tying 50 percent of Medicare payments to alternative payment models by 2018. The Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network established in 2015 continues to align efforts between government, private sector pay- ers, employers, providers, and consumers to broadly scale these gains in better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.

Healthcare supply chain leaders and visionaries honored at 16th Annual GHXcellence Awards Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC (GHX) announced the GHXcellence Award win- ners at the 2016 GHX Healthcare Supply Chain Summit awards banquet in Austin, TX. The awards, presented to provider and supplier organizations for the past 16 years, recognize the leaders and visionaries that are leveraging supply chain automation to remove waste, cut costs and improve patient care.

This year GHX added the new Millen- nium Club award for provider and supplier organizations that generate over one million automated transactions annually through the GHX Exchange, as well as eight new provider awards to the 2016 GHXcellence program, which blend quantitative and qualitative criteria to honor true healthcare supply chain leaders and innovation. GHX selected the winners based on quantifiable performance metrics around success in automating business processes. This year’s winners include: • Supply Chain Leadership (Provider): Bill Mosser, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System

• Supply Chain Leadership (Supplier): Carol Stone, C.R. Bard Inc.

• Provider of the Year (Large): Hackensack University Medical Center

• Provider of the Year (Small to Medium): Seattle Children’s Hospital

• Supplier of the Year (Large Volume): St. Jude Medical

• Supplier of the Year (Small Volume): Merit Medical

• Canadian Healthcare Supplier of the Year: Medtronic of Canada

• Canadian Healthcare Provider of the Year: Transform Shared Service Organization

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