Tuesday, August 18, 2015

HHS Announces Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a program to honor clinicians and healthcare teams that help patients control high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes.

According to a press release, the Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge recognizes "exemplary public and private practices and providers that achieve sustained hypertension control rates of 70 percent or above." The challenge aims to support the Million Hearts initiative in its goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Roughly 70 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, but only half the members of that group have it under control. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, both of which are leading causes of death in the U.S.

To enter the challenge, applicants must provide information about their practice, share verifiable high blood pressure control data and describe how health information technology (such as electronic health records, team-based care, etc.) contributes to their success. The deadline for entering the challenge is October 31, 2015.

To learn more, click here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

CMS: 2016 Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Prices Should Remain Stable

CMS projects that the average monthly premium for a basic Medicare Part D prescription drug plan will remain stable in 2016 at an estimated $32.50 per month. This projection is based on bids submitted by drug and health plans for basic drug coverage and calculated by the independent CMS Office of the Actuary.

Additionally, Medicare Part D enrollees will continue to savings on out-of-pocket costs as the Affordable Care Act closes the Part D so-called "donut hole" over time. Since the ACA was enacted, seniors and people with disabilities have saved an average of $1,598 per beneficiary on prescription drugs.

The Part D open enrollment period begins October 15 and ends December 7.

To learn more, click here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

"Two-Midnight" Rule Enforcement Delay Extended

CMS has extended the partial enforcement delay of the controversial "two-midnight" rule, which was originally set to expire on September 30, to December 31.

The Medicare rule requires patients be hospitalized for two midnights before they are deemed eligible for inpatient care. This can allow beneficiaries to qualify for skilled nursing coverage.

This means that Recovery Audit Contractors will not conduct post-payment reviews for claims that have admission dates between October 1 and December 31. Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) will conduct reviews to determine whether inpatient status is appropriate during that time period.

As of January 1, initial status reviews will be handled by QIOs, with Recovery Audit Contractors conducting follow-up reviews when the QIOs refers them.

To learn more, click here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Do You Know the Six Types of Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is an involuntary loss or leakage of urine. The type of incontinence a resident is experiencing can greatly impact the way that your facility addresses it. Keep in mind that a resident might suffer from several different types of incontinence at the same time.

There are six types of urinary incontinence: 

Functional incontinence is a loss of urine that occurs in residents who cannot remain continent because of external factors, such as the inability to get to the toilet in time. These residents have sufficiently intact urinary tract function.

Mixed incontinence is a combination of stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder has reached its maximum capacity and becomes distended. This type of incontinence is associated with the leakage of small amounts of urine.

Stress incontinence causes small amounts of urine leakage when intra-abdominal pressure on the bladder is increased (such as with sneezing, coughing, lifting, standing from a sitting position, climbing stairs, etc.). Stress incontinence is associated with malfunction of the urethral sphincter.

Transient incontinence refers to temporary episodes of incontinence that are reversible once the cause is identified and treated.

Urge incontinence, also referred to as overactive bladder, is caused by excessive contraction of the detrusor muscle in the bladder, which results in the strong urge to urinate even when the bladder is not full. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Report: Antipsychotic Use Down 21.7 Percent

According to a new report, antipsychotic use has gone down 21.7 percent among long-stay nursing home residents over the past four years.

The findings were released as part of the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes' trend report. According to the report, the Partnership has "a mission to deliver health care that is person-centered, comprehensive and interdisciplinary with a specific focus on protecting residents from being prescribed antipsychotic medications unless there is a valid, clinical indication and a systemic process to evaluate each individual's need."

To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

SDS File Update: August 2015

On July 7, we notified you that we are working diligently to provide you with updated SDS files from our manufacturer partners in accordance with OSHA’s Revised Communication Standard. Since that time, we have added SDS documents from the following manufacturers:

  • 3M
  • Angelini
  • Bard
  • BioFreeze
  • Calmoseptine
  • CareFusion
  • Chase Products
  • Citrus II
  • Coloplast
  • Control III
  • DermaRite
  • DeRoyal
  • Dukal
  • International Direct (Embrace and Compliance)
  • iSens (CareSens)
  • Metrex
  • Rx Destroyer
  • Unilever (Suave and Dove)

We will continue to update you on a monthly basis regarding the SDS files that we have received from manufacturers and added to promedsupply.com so that you can continue to download them for your facility’s files. If you are in immediate need of a specific SDS file, please contact our Customer Care team at 800.648.5190.

To view and download the updated SDS files, please take the following steps:

  1. Go to promedsupply.com
  2. Log on to the site. (If you do not have existing login credentials, please call our Customer Care team at (800) 648-5190 to obtain them.)
  3. On the right-hand side of the page, under the Search box, click on the blue “Download SDS forms” link. This will bring you to the SDS landing page. 
  4. On the SDS landing page, SDS files are organized by ProMed item number. To locate the file you need, you can either scroll through the list of files or use the Search box at the top of the list to quickly locate a specific product.
  5. Click on the file name to open the file. The files are in PDF format. Once they are opened, they can be printed or saved to your computer. 
  6. For added convenience, SDS files are also posted under the “Specifications/SDS” tab on individual product pages.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Study: Spicy Foods Might Help You Live Longer

There's good news for people who delight in singeing their taste buds. New research shows that fiery foods such as chili peppers might actually help people live longer.

During the study, researchers analyzed the spicy food consumption of nearly half a million people between the ages of 30 and 70, excluding people who had cancer, heart disease or stroke. They then reviewed the records of 20,224 people who died during a seven-year follow-up period and discovered that the subjects who ate spicy foods six to seven times a week had a 14 percent lower risk of premature death for all causes than people who ate spicy foods less than once a week (the most common sources of spicy foods were fresh and dried chili peppers). Additionally, people who ate spicy food frequently also showed a lower risk of death from cancer as well as ischemic heart and respiratory system diseases.

So what causes this unexpected health benefit? The researchers think that it's capsaicin, a bioactive ingredient in chili peppers that has been tied to health perks such as increased fat burning.

Before you rush out to order extra-spicy kung pao chicken, however, keep in mind that spicy foods can also be irritants for people with incontinence or overactive bladders. They can also aggravate colds or sinus infections.

To learn more, click here.