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OIG Offers Online Access to Compliance Resources By Denise Burke A virtual reality room at the new UTHSC Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS). The room will allow students to practice simulated endoscopies, ultrasound procedures, and robotic surgeries.

UTHSC to Open $39.7 Million Center for Healthcare Improvement May 11 The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) plans to open its $39.7 million Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS) on May 11. The 45,000-square-foot, facility at 26 South Dunlap is dedicated to education, research, and professional development of enhanced clinical skills using standardized patients (actors trained to portray patients), high-fidelity patient simulators (manikins costing from $15,000 to $220,000), and virtual reality technology. According to university officials the building, which has been under construction since 2015, is the only one of its kind in Tennessee and one of only a handful in the country built for and totally dedicated to simulation training. The center will allow students from the six colleges at UTHSC – Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Nursing, Medicine, and Pharmacy – to train together in simulation settings to develop their skills in delivering team-based health care, which is the proven model for the highest-quality care today. Each floor of the three-story building is dedicated to a different aspect of simulation training. The first floor includes bed-skill stations that will allow students to focus on preclinical skills and assessments. A virtual reality room allows students to practice simulated endoscopies, ultrasound procedures, and robotic surgeries. There is also a simulated home environment, where students can practice delivering in-home patient care.

Methodist North Hospital President Receives Honor Florence Jones, president of Methodist North Hospital, is one of four outstanding Murray State alumni to receive the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award presented last month during an awards dinner on the campus. Jones, a 1975 nursFlorence Jones ing alumna, has served more than 25 years in the healthcare industry and has broken through countless barriers of gender and race throughout her years of experience. Jones has established a reputation for collaborative and inspirational leadership during her career. She also served the U.S. as a first lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps for the United States Army Reserve from 1977 to1980. Established in 1962, the Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to alumni who have made meaningful contributions to their professions on a local, state and national level. It is the highest honor an alumnus can receive from the Murray State Alumni Association. Prior to becoming president of Methodist North, Jones served as chief nursing officer and interim president for Methodist North and chief nursing officer for Methodist South.

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UTHSC Assistant Professor Receives Research Grant

Brian M. Peters, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has been awarded $418,000 to continue Brian Peters his research repurposing compounds to fight against inflammation that results from vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) -- commonly referred to as a yeast infection. VVC is among the most prevalent fungal infections found in humans -- 75 percent of women suffer from this condition at least once in their lifetime. “Current therapies for VVC are focused mostly on antifungal administration, which for the most part, is fairly effective,” Peters said. “But there is a subset of women (five to eight percent) who have recurrent disease and have to maintain that antifungal therapy throughout their lives, or they will continue getting symptoms over and over again.” Peters and his team are attempting to develop a potential way to treat VVC by repurposing FDA-approved compounds found in common therapies used to treat other diseases, such as type-2 diabetes. This new potential inflammation therapy would be used as a co-therapeutic to common antifungal therapies.

A new website offering “one-stop shopping” to healthcare organizations and providers seeking assistance with compliance efforts has been launched by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The site is well organized and can provide managers and compliance officers with compliance guidance and training materials to support their compliance programs. In its role, the OIG serves as an independent and objective oversight authority over programs operated by HHS, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), public health agencies (such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and human resources agencies (such as the Administration for Children and Families). The website (available at oig.hhs.gov/compliance) offers a wide range of public resources, including: • Compliance toolkits • Provider compliance resources and training • Advisory opinions • Voluntary compliance and exclusions resources • Provider compliance resource and training • Special fraud alerts, other guidance, and safe harbors • Resources for health care boards • Resources for physicians • Accountable Care Organizations Under the Toolkits section, for instance, there are resources for measuring compliance program effectiveness, dealing with adverse events and a guide for building The Author: and operating healthcare boards. The site will continue adding new resources over time, including a soon-to-be-released guide on identifying patients at risk for opioid misuse. The site offers a roadmap tool for new physicians, along with some opportunities for continuing education. There’s also a special section specifically for accountable care organizations. The site is also a good resource for staying on top of recent OIG guidance, including advisory opinions, fraud alerts Denise D. Burke is an and safe harbor regulations. attorney with Waller in The OIG Work Plan, which had Memphis. previously only been updated once or twice a year, is now updated monthly online. The OIG Work Plan serves as “advance notice” to providers of specific risk areas that will receive attention from the OIG, outlining upcoming OIG audits and evaluations that are underway or plan during the current fiscal year and beyond.

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