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AMA, Covisint team up to help physicians get bonus money

The American Medical Association announced that it is collaborating with Covisint, a subsidiary of Detroit-based Compuware Corp., to help doctors receive incentive payments from the Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative. The Covisint DocSite PQRI Web application is designed to assist physicians with submitting data needed for 2010 PQRI reporting. The application will be offered at a discounted rate for AMA members. PQRI is a voluntary incentive program offered through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that rewards physicians for reporting quality outcomes. Physicians can earn up to 1.5% of their Medicare fees for the year by reporting quality information to the government. The Web-based DocSite application allows physicians to electronically submit PQRI data directly to CMS. Covisint acquired DocSite, a Raleigh, N.C.-based clinical decision support and quality performance management company, in 2010. "Covisint DocSite helps physicians easily apply for PQRI ince ...

Infection-control checklist reduces deaths by 10%

A successful statewide intervention to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units also appears to have reduced patient mortality, according to a study published in BMJ, the British medical journal. Researchers examined Medicare data from 95 Michigan hospitals, 77% of which had implemented a checklist of infection-prevention steps as part of the "Keystone: ICU" quality improvement project. The data were compared with outcomes from hospitals in 11 other Midwestern states from 2001 to 2006. During the 22 months after the Keystone project was implemented, mortality rates dropped 10% more at hospitals in Michigan than at hospitals across the Midwest, according to the study published online Jan. 31 ( "We knew that when we applied safety science principles to the delivery of health care, we would dramatically reduce infections in intensive care units, and now we know we are also saving lives," said Peter J. Prono ...

Autism patients lose access to key services after high school

After young adults with autism spectrum disorder leave high school, the number who receive speech therapy and other services they had in school declines significantly, a new study shows. Just 9% receive speech therapy, 24% get medical services, 35% access mental health services and 42% have case management services, according to an article in the February Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine ( Overall, 40% of those age 19 to 23 do not receive any of those services. Researchers analyzed data about 410 young adults nationwide whose families were surveyed between April 2007 and February 2008. The information is part of a larger 10-year prospective study that independent, nonprofit research group SRI International is conducting for the Dept. of Education. "It was not a surprise that families were losing services ... but we were surprised at the dramatic drop off in speech therapy," said Paul T. Shattuck, PhD, a study ...