News in Brief: Week of June 18-22

June 20, 2012 06:45 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

Foundations Pledge $8.6 Million for Center to Foster Health Professional Collaboration

Four of the nation's largest foundations recently announced that they were joining forces to support the advancement of inter-professional health education through the creation of a national Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice.

According to a joint press release(macyfoundation.org) issued on June 4, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The John A. Hartford Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation collectively will provide $8.6 million in grants during the course of five years to support the new center.

The center will focus on fostering collaboration among health care professionals; evidence is building that teamwork in health care positively impacts patient outcomes. The location of the center -- as well as the appointment of its director -- will be determined by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

Health Insurer Report Card Shows Improvement in Medical Claims Errors

The AMA has released its fifth annual National Health Insurer Report Card(www.ama-assn.org), and the 2012 report shows that medical claim errors were reduced by about 50 percent -- or from 19.3 percent in 2011 to 9.5 percent in 2012

According to a June 18 press release(www.ama-assn.org), one improvement likely saved the health care system about $8 billion by reducing administrative work necessary to track down errors.

All of the health insurance companies measured in the report card improved their accuracy ratings in 2012. The statistics in the report card are based on a random sampling of an estimated 1.1 million electronic claims for about 1.9 million medical services. Claims were submitted to health plans in February and March of 2012 by more than 380 physician practices of various specialties in 39 states.

Weight of the Nation Sessions, Films Available Online

Six sessions that were broadcast live from the CDC's Weight of the Nation 2012 conference in May now are available online.

Weight of the Nation(www.cdc.gov) is a CDC public health campaign in collaboration with public health researchers, as well as practitioners, partners, and state and community leaders to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic in the United States and share evidence-based strategies to combat it.

The Weight of the Nation documentary series(theweightofthenation.hbo.com), which aired on HBO in mid-May, is now available at no cost on the website. (theweightofthenation.hbo.com)

According to the CDC, 35.7 percent of adults and approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Because behavior and environment play a large role in body mass, these are the areas targeted by the program for prevention and treatment actions.

"Weight of the Nation brings together public health researchers and practitioners, policymakers, and national partners devoted to obesity prevention and control to raise awareness across the country, as well as share approaches that show promise or demonstrated success for improving healthy eating and active living," the CDC said in its release.

RWJF Looking for Nominations for Young Leaders in Health Care Project

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is accepting nominations for its Young Leader Awards: Recognizing Leadership for a Healthier America(www.altfutures.org) project to recognize health care leaders 40 and under who offer "great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all Americans," according to an RWJF press release(www.rwjf.org).

The foundation is accepting third-party-only nominations via a call for nomination process, and will award up to 10 grants of $40,000 to recognize leaders "who have demonstrated the characteristics needed to improve health and health care through leadership and innovation."

According to RWJF, nominees can work in government, business or not-for-profit organizations and can come from a variety of geographic, disciplinary and philosophical orientations. Nominations are open until July 16, and the foundation will announce the winners during a RWJF conference in Princeton, N.J., Oct. 25-26.

HHS Awards Care Act Funds for Community Health Centers

Although the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act now lies with the Supreme Court, HHS continues to dole out money from the Affordable Care Act to help community health centers (CHCs) expand coverage.

In the latest round of funding, HHS awarded more than $128 million to 219 CHCs in 41 states and the District of Columbia, which will make it possible for the centers to expand coverage to more than 1.25 million additional patients, according to HHS(www.hhs.gov).

With the grants, the affected CHCs also will be able to create about 5,640 more jobs, said HHS. CHCs employed more than 138,000 staff in 2011, including 9,900 physicians.


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