Pennsylvania NEWS

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, nearly 3 in 4 Pennsylvanians over the age of 60 have heart disease.

Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicate this season's influenza vaccine offers reduced protection, lessening a person’s risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by 23 percent among people of all ages. The reduced protection offered by flu vaccine this season makes the appropriate use of influenza antiviral (or "anti-flu") medications more important than usual.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is hosting a webinar on January 29 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. ET about how practice facilitators can support patient engagement.

Speakers include:
• Lyndee Knox, Ph.D., CEO, LA Net Community Health Resource Network, Los Angeles
• Cindy Brach, M.P.P., Senior Health Policy Researcher, AHRQ
• Adrienne Deswert, R.N., B.S.N., R.N. Care Manager, Annville Family Medicine, Annville, Pennsylvania

Progress Being Made in Infection Control in U.S. Hospitals; Continued Improvements Needed

CDC report, released Jan. 14, 2015, provides first snapshot of state efforts to prevent MRSA and deadly diarrheal infections

The Pennsylvania Department of Health monitors flu activity throughout the year, but ramps up surveillance activities in the fall and winter. The official influenza surveillance season starts with the 40th week of the year (typically around the beginning of October) and ends on the 20th week of the following year (in May). For the 2014/15 season, the influenza surveillance season began on September 28, 2014 and will run through May 23, 2015.

The Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network (PA-HEN) has achieved the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Partnership for Patients goals of reducing preventable harm by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent in participating hospitals across the state.

Rates of potentially preventable hospitalizations in the United States declined 14 percent from 2005 to 2011, but rates varied widely by geographic region, according to a new statistical brief from AHRQ. 

Read the full brief to see how the Northeast region compared.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Innovation Center supports the development and testing of innovative health care payment and service delivery models. 

Pennsylvania’s hospitals continue to make significant progress in reducing and eliminating infections, preventable patient harm, and readmissions. 

Hospital-acquired conditions decline by 17 percent over a three-year period

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued the 2015 Physician Fee Schedule (Medicare PFS) Final Rule. The Final Rule includes updates to PQRS measures and payment adjustments for professionals who do not report quality data.

Time to Get the Flu Vaccine   (11/10/2014)

The flu vaccine is your best protection against seasonal flu. 


Visit the online dashboard to view Pennsylvania's progress on the Million Hearts® ABCS (Aspirin when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation). 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced two initiatives to improve the quality of post-acute care.  First, the expansion and strengthening of the agency’s widely-used Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes will improve consumer information about individual nursing homes’ quality. Second, proposed new conditions of participation for home health agencies will modernize Medicare’s Home Health Agency Conditions of Participation to ensure safe delivery of quality care to home health patients.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than 14 million Americans, many for the first time now have quality health insurance through the Marketplace, Medicaid and CHIP. It’s important for the newly insured to fully understand when, where, and how to use their new coverage to get the right care, at the right time, in the right place to stay healthy.

Pennsylvania among five states that participated in the initiative.

Which states are showing the most improvement in the quality of health care they deliver to patients and access to services they provide? AHRQ’s State Snapshots answer that question with easy-to-read charts on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement in each state and the District of Columbia. 

Pennsylvania has been awarded $4 million in grants to prevent chronic health problems resulting from tobacco use, obesity and other issues.

Quality Insights of Pennsylvania will continue working with providers and Pennsylvania communities to improve healthcare quality as part of Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, a new Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) chartered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The new network comprises five states – Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – and became effective on August 1, 2014.

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