Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday Update

OPM has posted updated information on the impact of a partial government shutdown which may occur tomorrow unless an FY 2011 budget deal is reached. OPM also has posted its own agency furlough contingency plan. The FEHB Program is expected to run on a normal basis in the event of a partial government shutdown.

One of the topics in OPM's recent 2012 call letter was patient safety. The National Journal reports on three recent patient safety studies.

“There are some examples of excellence--we have many [intensive-care units] that have eradicated central line infections. But surrounding those examples of excellence we have serious adverse events going on,” said Dr. Mark Chassin, president of the Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits health care programs. 
“Every week in the United States, up to 40 patients undergo a procedure meant for somebody else or the wrong body part. We have fires that occur during operations and routine processes where patients acquire infections and have medication mix-ups.”
Although insurers can help by refusing to cover charges for hospital acquired conditions, it's really up to the medical community to solve this problem.

Another topic is reducing health disparities. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the

launch [of] two strategic plans aimed at reducing health disparities. 
The HHS Action Plan to Reduce Health Disparities outlines goals and actions HHS will take to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. 
HHS also released the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity, a common set of goals and objectives for public and private sector initiatives and partnerships to help racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved groups reach their full health potential. The strategy, a product of the National Partnership for Action (NPA), incorporates ideas, suggestions and comments from thousands of individuals and organizations across the country. The NPA was coordinated by the HHS Office of Minority Health.
The strategies are available here.

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