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Medline Brings Together Wound Care Professionals

Medline Brings Together Wound Care Professionals to Discuss October CMS Changes and Pressure Ulcer Prevention

Wound care experts advocate training and education programs as an 'opportunity to make a huge difference'

MUNDELEIN, Ill., July 15, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Preparing for the upcoming Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursement changes regarding hospital acquired conditions (HACs) will require healthcare providers to learn and implement strategic training and education programs such as Medline's Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program, according to nationally recognized wound care experts meeting during the 40th Annual Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses (WOCN) conference in Orlando, Florida.
The meeting, hosted by Medline Industries and titled "Revolutionary New Concepts to Improve Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Treatment," brought together a panel of wound care experts to discuss the CMS policy and how it will affect prevention initiatives in hospitals and long-term healthcare facilities. Under the new policy, which takes effect October 1, CMS will no longer assign a higher diagnosis-related group for the treatment of eight HACs, and the facilities cannot bill the beneficiary for any charges stemming from the HACs.
"A lot of healthcare professionals are really nervous about this and don't know where to begin," said presenter Diane L. Krasner, Ph.D., R.N., C.W.C.N., C.W.S., B.C.L.N.C., F.A.A.N., co-author of the consensus paper Implications of the CMS Inpatient Hospital Care Present on Admission Indicators/Hospital-Acquired Conditions Policy. "It's a relatively complex, complicated matter, and for clinicians who practice, accessing CMS documents is not one of the usual things they do. The consensus paper and follow-up meetings like these where experts in the field come together and talk about the implications and what people can do in their clinical settings are critical starting pieces for them."
Pressure ulcer prevention, one of the eight HACs that fall under the new ruling, was identified as the top priority by the wound care professionals in attendance. That is to be expected, as wound care nurses have a huge role to play in transferring the expertise they've accumulated on pressure ulcers in their practices, some over dozens of years, to a whole team of players. That critical need is one reason why Krasner called Medline's Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program (PUPP), which was presented at the meeting, "an excellent tool for nursing staff."
"If you just look at the pressure ulcer part of the CMS ruling, there's a high training and education component that each facility is going to have to grapple with," said Krasner. "It's more complicated than just learning four stages or six types of pressure ulcers; there are things that look like they might be pressure ulcers but aren't. What is a hospital going to do on October 1 when all of a sudden they need to stage and know the different kind of wounds and they don't have people trained?"
Medline's Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program packages together all the tools and resources a healthcare team needs to implement an effective prevention program and immediately begin reducing the incidence of healthcare-acquired pressure ulcers. The comprehensive program integrates a product bundle, education and training, and program support to assist in reducing and preventing pressure ulcers, incontinence-associated dermatitis and skin tears.
"The majority of nurses at this meeting told us that they spend anywhere from seventy to ninety percent of their time doing wound treatment, but only ten to thirty percent of their time educating their staff on wound prevention," said Sue MacInnes, Medline's president of corporate marketing and the program's host. "We are aiming to reverse that trend by helping facilities implement the program. For facilities adopting the program, we will assist in staff education and training, and help track facility-acquired pressure ulcer incidence and outcome effectiveness."
Krasner also notes that healthcare providers face the additional challenge of pulling the right team together to really understand what the policy is all about and decide the best way to handle it in their facility.
"Pressure ulcer prevention is one piece of the puzzle that involves all the disciplines," said Krasner. "There is an opportunity to make a huge difference by making sure that a facility has the right information. Everyone needs to go up his or her hierarchy to make sure that everybody -- administrators, risk managers, coders and educators -- really knows and understands it."
About Medline
Medline, headquartered in Mundelein, IL, manufactures and distributes more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies and other markets. Medline has more than 800 dedicated sales representatives nationwide to support its broad product line and cost management services.
Meeting the highest level of national and international quality standards, Medline is FDA QSR compliant and ISO 13485 registered. Medline serves on major industry quality committees to develop guidelines and standards for medical product use, including the FDA Midwest Steering Committee, AAMI Sterilization and Packaging Committee, and various ASTM committees. For more information on Medline, visit our website,

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