"The Official Blog of the AACM"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Revealing the Best-Kept ‘Secret’ of Case Management from Nurse Together

Amidst all the talk about how to improve quality, efficiency and efficacy in healthcare these days, case management sometimes feels like the best kept secret. Those of us in the field know without question the difference that case management makes to those for whom we advocate, in particular patients with complex cases or multiple co-morbidities. Yet at times case management seems to occupy an understated position while newer and sometimes nearly synonymous terms such as care coordination take the spotlight.

To understand why, we need not look beyond ourselves.

Clarity in Definition

Across the spectrum of health and human services, case management is made up of professionals who, by their nature and vocation, are nurturers and caregivers. We expend so much emotional energy giving to others that self-promotion seems both unnatural and too much work. Few of us have the extra energy it takes even to contemplate the difference we make to our patients, employers, profession and community.

For the full article please go here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cancer Care Outcomes Better In Specialized Cancer Centers from Medical News Today

In a review of recent studies, researchers from The Cochrane Library, reveal that specialized cancer centers may help improve survival rates for cancer patients. ,The team discovered that when women with gynecological cancer were treated in specialist centers, they lived longer than those treated in non-specialist cancer centers.

Previously, non-specialist surgeons and hospitals frequently treated individuals with cancer. At present, most cancer care in developed countries is organized into networks of specialized cancer centers. These centers have specialized nursing staff, as well as on-site experts. Even though this centralized strategy is more expensive it could improve outcomes for cancer patients.

The researchers examined data from 5 studies, involving over 62,000 women who received treatment from the late 1990s onwards. The largest study, conducted in 2009, involved more than 48,000 women, whilst the smallest study involved only 250 participants.

For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Health Care Negligence Affecting Hospitalized Patients from Medical News Today

A recent study, published on bmj.com, states that although lack of necessary hospital equipment and low staff numbers cause problems in the overall well-being of a hospital, insubstantial teaching, low monitoring of staff practices, and workers not following hospital regulations are far more detrimental to the health and treatment of patients in hospitals.

The study claims that an estimated 1 patient per day in a hospital dies due to the negligence of hospital staff. The study claims these deaths could have, and should have been prevented.

During their study, the researchers from the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation analyzed 25 hospitals spreading from Tunisa, Sudan, South African, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya and Morocco. They determined that although patients in hospital are obviously admitted because they are sick, many times, patients die because of poor health care, and not actually the health problem they were admitted for.

For the full article please go here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Surviving Modern Healthcare: Personal Branding from Nurse Together

If asked you what “just do it” means, you would say that is the slogan for Nike. If I said, “Like a good neighbor…” you probably could finish the sentence “State Farm is there.” These are brands that companies have created for themselves to make their products and services memorable. A successful brand can charge a premium. Whoever thought that a company like Starbucks could get 5 dollars for a cup of coffee? Positive perception of a brand begins with a good experience. Think about drinking an ice cold branded beverage like a Pepsi or Coke. What do you think about? Probably how good it tastes and how refreshing it feels while you are drinking it. If you don’t like those two I suggest substitute with your favorite.

For the full article please go here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Medicare covers yoga for heart disease from CNN

CNN) -- Frank Korona lives near the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border with his wife Kathy, in a house that he built with his own hands, on the same property where he grew up.

He served in the Army Special Forces in Vietnam. The Koronas have a long, proud tradition of military service, but their family's greatest losses have been to heart disease.

"Our family has shrunk tremendously. We've lost so many people through death," Kathy says.

In 1992, Frank's brother Bob died in his arms, suffering a heart attack on their kitchen floor. Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins have all died from complications from heart disease, too. The Koronas point them out in a graveyard near their home.

For the full article please go here.

Patient Recruiters and the Anatomy of Healthcare Scam from Nurse Together

Healthcare scams are constantly evolving and costing tax payers billions of dollars, most of which will probably never be recovered. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ strike force operations have obtained over 1,000 indictments for individuals who have fraudulently billed Medicare for more than $2.3 billion since March 2007.

A healthcare scam is the premeditated fraud carried out by a provider, hospital, clinic, employer group, member, or other group or individual for illegal financial gain. Fraud takes many forms, and can involve what are known as “cappers,” or patient recruiters who literally recruit patients to become part of a healthcare scam designed to bilk millions out of the Medicare program.

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Case Managers: How Can You Enrich Your Patient's Life? from Nurse Together

One of the key outcomes case managers strive to achieve is an improved quality of life for the patients they work with. Yet many of the services that can improve a patient’s quality of life may not be reimbursable by traditional payment systems. To get a feel for the impact of this statement, think about the things that you depend on for enjoyment. Things like the ability to dress independently, to drive a car, to gather with friends for a glass of wine, access to cable television, the means to go to a baseball game, movie or a take a vacation.

We all have things that enrich our lives and they are as individual as we are. Yet for the person who is disabled, access to many of these things may be a challenge and take creativity to achieve. Families who have a member who is disabled are the key advocates for their family members. Many are the voice of the person and work to ensure that their family member is included and that accommodations be made if necessary to allow them to participate. Families may also be able to pay for things that we all take for granted, but with expenses mounting for necessities, sometimes funds are limited and have to be put aside.

For the full article please go here.