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Winborn M.S.,University of North Texas Health Science Center | Alencherril J.,University of North Texas Health Science Center | Pagan J.A.,The New York Academy of Medicine | Pagan J.A.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Pagan J.A.,University of Pennsylvania
Inquiry (United States) | Year: 2014

Section 3025 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 established the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), an initiative designed to penalize hospitals with excess 30-day readmissions. This study investigates whether readmission penalties under HRRP impose significant reputational effects on hospitals. Data extracted from 2012 to 2013 news stories suggest that the higher the actual penalty, the higher the perceived cost of the penalty, the more likely it is that hospitals will state they have no control over the low-income patients they serve or that they will describe themselves as safety net providers. The downside of being singled out as a low-quality hospital deserving a relatively high penalty seems to be larger than the upside of being singled out as a high-quality hospital facing a relatively low penalty. Although the financial burden of the penalties seems to be low, hospitals may be reacting to the fact that information about excess readmissions and readmission penalties is being released widely and is scrutinized by the news media and the general public. © The Author(s) 2014.


Todd C.S.,Columbia University | Nasir A.,Health Protection and Research Organization | Stanekzai M.R.,United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime | Fiekert K.,Health Protection and Research Organization | And 3 more authors.
Harm Reduction Journal | Year: 2011

Background: A nascent HIV epidemic and high prevalence of risky drug practices were detected among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2005-2006. We assessed prevalence of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), syphilis, and needle and syringe program (NSP) use among this population.Methods: IDUs were recruited between June, 2007 and March, 2009 and completed questionnaires and rapid testing for HIV, HCV, HBsAg, and syphilis; positive samples received confirmatory testing. Logistic regression was used to identify correlates of HIV, HCV, and current NSP use.Results: Of 483 participants, all were male and median age, age at first injection, and duration of injection were 28, 24, and 2.0 years, respectively. One-fifth (23.0%) had initiated injecting within the last year. Reported risky injecting practices included ever sharing needles/syringes (16.9%) or other injecting equipment (38.4%). Prevalence of HIV, HCV Ab, HBSAg, and syphilis was 2.1% (95% CI: 1.0-3.8), 36.1% (95% CI: 31.8-40.4), 4.6% (95% CI: 2.9-6.9), and 1.2% (95% CI: 0.5-2.7), respectively. HIV and HCV infection were both independently associated with sharing needles/syringes (AOR = 5.96, 95% CI: 1.58 - 22.38 and AOR = 2.33, 95% CI: 1.38 - 3.95, respectively). Approximately half (53.8%) of the participants were using NSP services at time of enrollment and 51.3% reported receiving syringes from NSPs in the last three months. Current NSP use was associated with initiating drug use with injecting (AOR = 2.58, 95% CI: 1.22 - 5.44), sharing injecting equipment in the last three months (AOR = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.16 - 2.77), prior incarceration (AOR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.06 - 2.32), and greater daily frequency of injecting (AOR = 1.40 injections daily, 95% CI: 1.08 - 1.82).Conclusions: HIV and HCV prevalence appear stable among Kabul IDUs, though the substantial number having recently initiated injecting raises concern that transmission risk may increase over time. Harm reduction programming appears to be reaching high-risk drug user populations; however, monitoring is warranted to determine efficacy of prevention programming in this dynamic environment. © 2011 Todd et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Abraham J.,The New York Academy of Medicine
AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium | Year: 2012

Successful handoffs ensure smooth, efficient and safe patient care transitions. Tools and systems designed for standardization of clinician handoffs often focuses on ensuring the communication activity during transitions, with limited support for preparatory activities such as information seeking and organization. We designed and evaluated a Handoff Intervention Tool (HAND-IT) based on a checklist-inspired, body system format allowing structured information organization, and a problem-case narrative format allowing temporal description of patient care events. Based on a pre-post prospective study using a multi-method analysis we evaluated the effectiveness of HAND-IT as a documentation tool. We found that the use of HAND-IT led to fewer transition breakdowns, greater tool resilience, and likely led to better learning outcomes for less-experienced clinicians when compared to the current tool. We discuss the implications of our results for improving patient safety with a continuity of care-based approach.


Wilson F.A.,University of Nebraska Medical Center | Villarreal R.,University Health System | Stimpson J.P.,University of Nebraska Medical Center | Pagan J.A.,The New York Academy of Medicine | Pagan J.A.,University of Pennsylvania
Journal of Cancer Education | Year: 2015

Although Hispanic men are at higher risk of developing colon cancer compared to non-Hispanic white men, colonoscopy screening among Hispanic men is much lower than among non-Hispanic white men. University Health System (UHS) in San Antonio, Texas, instituted a Colorectal Cancer Male Navigation (CCMN) Program in 2011 specifically designed for Hispanic men. The CCMN Program contacted 461 Hispanic men 50 years of age and older to participate over a 2-year period. Of these age-eligible men, 370 were screened for CRC after being contacted by the navigator. Using participant and program data, a Markov model was constructed to determine the cost-effectiveness of the CCMN Program. An average 50-year-old Hispanic male who participates in the CCMN Program will have 0.3 more quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) compared to a similar male receiving usual care. Life expectancy is also predicted to increase by 6 months for participants compared to non-participants. The program results in net health care savings of $1,148 per participant ($424,760 for the 370 CCMN Program participants). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is estimated at $3,765 per QALY in favor of the navigation program. Interventions to reduce disparities in CRC screening across ethnic groups are needed, and this is one of the first studies to evaluate the economic benefit of a patient navigator program specifically designed for an urban population of Hispanic men. A colorectal cancer screening intervention which relies on patient navigators trained to address the unique needs of the targeted population (language barriers, transportation and scheduling assistance, colon cancer, and screening knowledge) can substantially increase the likelihood of screening and improve quality of life in a cost-effective manner. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Weiss L.,The New York Academy of Medicine | Gass J.,The New York Academy of Medicine | Egan J.E.,University of Pittsburgh | Ompad D.C.,New York University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs | Year: 2014

Background: There is abundant literature describing heroin initiation, co-morbidities, and treatment. Few studies focus on cessation, examining the factors that motivate and facilitate it.Methods: The CHANGE study utilized mixed methods to investigate heroin cessation among low-income New York City participants. This paper describes findings from qualitative interviews with 20 former and 11 current heroin users. Interviews focused on background and current activities, supports, drug history, cessation attempts, and motivators and facilitators to cessation. Results: Participants found motivation for cessation in improved quality of life, relationships, and fear of illness, incarceration and/or death. Sustained cessation required some combination of treatment, strategic avoidance of triggers, and engagement in alternative activities, including support groups, exercise, and faith-based practice. Several reported that progress toward goals served as motivators that increased confidence and facilitated cessation. Ultimatums were key motivators for some participants. Beyond that, they could not articulate factors that distinguished successful from unsuccessful cessation attempts, although data suggest that those who were successful could describe more individualized and concrete-rather than general-motivators and strategies. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that cessation may be facilitated by multifaceted and individualized strategies, suggesting a need for personal and comprehensive approaches to treatment. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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