By Jason Gillikin | April 1, 2014
Some days, it feels like we’re Charlie Brown, waiting for the football kick. All I can say is: Seriously? The Congress of the United States felt it appropriate to mandate a one-year delay in ICD-10 deployment, a mere six months — almost to the day! — that the new coding regime was supposed to be mandatory across the fruited plain? Seriously? (And no, I’m not making an April Fools joke.)
On deck this week ….
Health Care Quality
- The Senate approved a bill yesterday evening that patches the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula until March 2015 — the 17th patch to SGR since 1997 — and delays the inpatient “two midnight” rule for six months. The bill, which also passed the House, further delays ICD-10 conversion for “at least” one additional year (a point of fuzziness that AHIMA has already jumped upon). The White House has not signaled whether President Obama will sign the legislation.
- Bad news for neuroscience researchers: A review of 314 studies in the field suggest that more than half relied on bad assumptions that led to an unacceptably high false-positive rate.
- Heart surgery without rib cracking? Yes, please!
- The Change Foundation has released a guide about the use of social media to improve healthcare quality. Focus is on provider strategies, but the report looks like a good overview for folks who persist in their disdain for that Information Superhighway thingy Al Gore used to talk about.
- In a news story that surprises no health insurance executive anywhere, it turns out that low-back pain is the world’s No. 1 cause of disability. One in 10 Americans suffer from it, spending $50 billion annually on treatment.
- Consumer Reports released its annual hospital safety guide. This year, 2,591 hospitals are included; the average score (on a 100-point scale) increased from 48 to 51. The report is behind a paywall.
- In patients with Type 2 diabetes, CV events and all-cause mortality reduces with moderate alcohol use, particularly wine consumption, according to a recent study published in Diabetes Care.
- Want to trim $1 billion off America’s annual health bill? Stop inappropriate neuroimaging for headaches.
- You know how you just can’t seem to get through to some patients, particularly the ones who stubbornly refuse to remain medically compliant with their chronic-disease conditions? Maybe we need a different way of reaching out to them. A research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that about half of Americans believe in at lease one medical conspiracy theory. Researchers found that people who believed in conspiracies were more likely to avoid standard medicine in favor of alternative therapies.
Statistics & Methodology
- Catch up on the sundry announcements from the Data Science Association from 3/30/14 and 3/23/14.
- Francis Smart gives you five reasons to use R.
- Shiny by RStudio offers a Web application framework for R — basically, put your stuff from R onto the interactive Web without too much fuss. Looks promising.
- Thomas Hopper provides some good background about normality and testing for normality.
- Jacob Simmering implores his readers to stop using bivariate correlations for variable selection.
Conferences, Scholarships & Awards
- The Joint Research Conference — a mix of the Quality and Productivity Research Conference (ASA Q&P Section) and the Spring Research Conference ( ASA SPES) — will take place June 24-26 on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle. The theme is “Statistics and Quality in a Data Rich World.” Douglas Hawkins is the honoree. Visit the conference website for more info. Contributed papers are accepted through April 15.
- The Third Workshop on Biostatistics and Bioinformatics will be held May 9-11 at Georgia State University, Atlanta. Xihong Lin of Harvard will keynote. Registration is now open. See the conference website for more information. The goal of this event is to stimulate research and foster interaction in these two subject areas.
- Know your power! The Women in Statistics conference is planned for May 15-17 in Cary, NC. Abstract submission ends April 15.
- The Michigan Association for Healthcare Quality will hold its annual educational conference on Sept. 29-30, 2014, at Park Place Hotel in Traverse City, Mich. The theme this year is: “Health Care Quality: A Beacon in a Tumultuous Sea of Industry Change.” Topics include population health management, successful QI structures, patients as self-managers of chronic conditions and “measuring the metrics.” A 1.5-day CPHQ review course follows, 9/30 to 10/1. As president-elect of MAHQ, I’m chairing the conference planning committee, so please let me know if you’d like to attend — or, speak or sponsor!
Michigan Legislative Update – Health Policy
- Senate Bill 577 (already passed in the House) passed 37-0 “to require (rather than just “allow”) the state agency in charge of occupational licensure in the health care field to investigate allegations that grounds exist for disciplinary action against a health care professional. Also, to explicitly include any conduct with a patient that is sexual in any way in the grounds for investigation and disciplinary action, and increase potential administrative penalties (in addition to any criminal sanctions a prosecutor may seek).”
Notes from Jason
- Feel free to send me info about conferences, scholarships, awards, papers, etc., that you think is worth passing along.
Have a safe and happy week!