IHA Daily Briefing: March 7

Violence Prevention Act, De-Escalation Resources
CMS Set to Improve Nursing Home Quality Programs
Study Shows Increase in Adult Pain, Opioid Use
Register for IHA Webinars on CMS CoP Compliance
Briefly Noted

Violence Prevention Act De-Escalation, Resources
Enhancing workplace safety has taken on increasing significance with recent, high-profile attacks involving frontline hospital employees. As a reminder, PA 100-1051, which went into effect earlier this year, amended the Nurse Practice Act, the Hospital Licensing Act and other statutes to address workplace violence through mandatory prevention training, required signage and whistleblower protections to safeguard nurses from retaliatory actions. Additionally, the legislation adds provisions to the Unified Code of Corrections mandating provider notice and protections when committed persons are transferred to facilities for medical care and treatment.

To assist hospitals with their implementation efforts, IHA has issued a memo that provides a list of resources recently published by the Joint Commission. Resources include an advisory that summarizes several de-escalation models and provides guidance and resources for managing aggressive or agitated patients in the emergency department and inpatient settings.

CMS Set to Improve Nursing Home Quality
On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced upcoming updates to the Nursing Home Compare and Five Star Quality Rating System to help consumers compare nursing home quality. The changes, scheduled to be implemented in April, are part of a broad range of updates that have been under development for the past several years, and include changes to the nursing home inspection process, new information on nurse staffing and the implementation of new quality measures.  Additionally, CMS is setting higher thresholds and evidence-based standards for nursing home staffing levels.

Study Shows Increase in Adult Pain, Opioid Use
A recent study on pain provides new insights concerning pain trends and opioid use for pain management. Researchers used data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to examine the impact of pain-related interference, a measure of pain’s impact on normal work activities, on people’s health status and health care use. MEPS is a nationally representative survey of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population.

Researchers showed that the number of U.S. adults age 18 and older suffering from at least one painful health condition increased substantially from 120.2 million (32.9 percent) in 1997-1998 to 178 million (41 percent) in 2013-2014. The use of strong opioids, like fentanyl, morphine, and oxycodone, for pain management among adults with severe pain-related interference more than doubled from 4.1 million (11.5 percent) in 2001-2002 to 10.5 million (24.3 percent) in 2013-2014.

Additional study data showed that by 2013-2014, about one-third of individuals (68 million) with a painful health condition reported moderate or severe pain-related interference with normal work activities. The analysis of MEPS data looked specifically at non-cancer painful health conditions. The researchers also found that people with severe pain-related interference were more likely to use strong opioids, to have had four or more opioid prescriptions, and to have visited a doctor’s office six or more times for their pain compared to those with minimal pain-related interference.

The findings are part of a comprehensive analysis of 18-year trends showing changes in the overall rates of non-cancer pain prevalence and management.

Read more in a National Institutes of Health press release.

Register for IHA Webinars on CMS CoP Compliance
If you missed the first webinars of IHA's CMS Hospital CoPs Made Easy series, it's not too late to register. The remaining three webinars will walk you through important chapters of the 542-page Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Conditions of Participation (CoP) manual and help ensure you can comply with the latest requirements.

In these three standalone webinars, Sue Dill Calloway, RN, MSN, JD, an expert on healthcare law and patient safety, will guide you through several challenging topics.

These comprehensive programs benefit clinicians, managers and administrators in several departments, including finance, operations, legal affairs, risk management and government relations.

Each webinar in this series will be held from 9-11 a.m. Register today.

Briefly Noted
Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma delivered a speech at the Federation of American Hospitals 2019 Public Policy Conference. In it, she highlighted the accomplishments of the agency over the past two years, and offered her plans to empower patients in the future.

On March 4, CMS published updated resources clarifying whether a hospital outreach laboratory qualifies as an "applicable laboratory" under the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). The resources also detail related requirements for collecting and reporting private-payer rate-base clinical laboratory test payment and volume data. In addition, the resources, which incorporate recent changes for clinical laboratories contained in the Medicare CLFS and Physician Fee Schedule final rule for calendar year 2019, include an updated summary of the private-payer rate-based CLFS, a Medicare Learning Network article, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.