News Recap: Judge stops Medicare cuts to 340B

A federal judge recently ruled that Medicare cuts to 340B hospital reimbursements in 2018 and 2019 were not lawful and must be reversed. The ruling also requires administration officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reimburse hospitals for the monies withheld. U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras granted a permanent injunction [...]

Collaboration and communication: The role pharmacists play in nurse satisfaction

Everyone working in healthcare knows that the connection between nurses and pharmacists remains a key element of patient care. These same people know that while it’s true both groups share a common focus on delivering quality patient care, they approach their jobs from different perspectives. The problem is, a poor relationship between nursing and pharmacy […]

Drug Shortages: 5 Tips You Can Use to Get the Medications Your Hospital Needs

It’s no secret that drug and supply shortages continue to plague every hospital’s pharmacy operations. It’s a complex problem with several causes. In some cases, new medications that work better than older formulations become popular quickly and manufacturers have a hard time keeping pace with demand. In other instances, companies that made products in Puerto […]

Accounting changes raise lease vs. buy questions for hospitals

One long-overdue update from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) may have a profound impact on hospital balance sheets. Known as ASU 2016-02 (Topic 842), the new ruling means leases must be recognized differently on an organization’s balance sheet than before. The last time lease guidance underwent such a significant change was 1976. For hospital […]

Moments in Pharmacy: Compassion, can-do attitude expands vaccination program for veterans

The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, MA, keeps a limited formulary for vaccines. For this non-Medicare facility, this meant that either the pharmacy was not reimbursed for administering vaccines or the veteran had to absorb the cost of taking a taxi to a nearby pharmacy and paying out of pocket. Jerry Munic, RPh, MBA, director of […]

Detailed Pharmacy Benchmarks Help Improve Patient Care and Profitability

Efficient operation of a hospital’s pharmacy department can contribute significantly to improved patient care and a hospital’s overall profitability. But, are you using the right benchmarks to judge your pharmacy’s performance? Pharmacy financial performance is often assessed year-over-year, which is a good place to start. Much can be learned by tracking and judging total existing […]

Ways to improve hospital staff work life, reduce burnout & improve patient care

Most healthcare leaders have heard about the Triple Aim by now. It’s the concept introduced by Harvard professor Don Berwick a decade ago that the three ways to optimize health system performance should be built around enhancing patient experience, improving public health and reducing costs. It’s an idea that took hold and has shaped healthcare […]

Preventing medication errors: A return to basic blocking and tackling

Recent high-profile events have once again revealed the vital role basic hospital processes and procedures play in reducing medication errors. While current discussions focus on neuromuscular blockers, all medications and their handling should be part of this conversation. It’s not enough to simply remove vecuronium from automated dispensing cabinets in all but the most essential […]

Case study: Moving one pharmacist from order-taker to strategic player in hospital management

One pharmacist can make a difference. All the proof you need exists at the 100-bed hospital Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center (GCRMC) in Alamogordo, New Mexico. That’s where clinical staff pharmacist Megan Harrington, PharmD, has spent a year building her department’s reputation as a necessary, strategic partner in her hospital’s operations. Today’s GCRMC’s pharmacy team […]

Rising drug costs eating into hospital staffing budgets

Between 2015 and 2017, 25% of all U.S. hospitals cut staff to cope with budget shortfalls caused by rapidly rising drug costs, reports a recent study. Hospital drug spending increased 18.5% during those two years. The study, prepared by the research group NORC at the University of Chicago, was commissioned by the American Hospital Association, […]