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Quality

 

More hospitals are screening patients on health-related social needs as the industry has recognized the importance of factors outside the healthcare system on outcomes. The investments and available funding, however, haven’t been consistent.

It may be obvious to those working in hospitals—and especially in emergency medicine—that a TV medical drama isn’t quite reality. But for patients who are regular viewers of the long-running “Grey’s Anatomy,” the show could have a real-life impact on how satisfied they are with their care.

The establishment of a primary care-led regional health improvement collaboration in the Cleveland area reduced hospitalizations attributed to conditions like heart failure and bacterial pneumonia, saving nearly $40 million, according to a study published in the February 2017 issue of Health Affairs.

In a single year, more than 600,000 patients in Washington state received services that would be considered low value or wasteful, resulting in $282 million in unnecessary healthcare spending.

A five-star rating on CMS’s Nursing Home Compare website may not equate to “five-star service,” according to a Florida Atlantic University (FAU) study that found nursing homes’ scores may be artificially inflated.

 

Recent Headlines

Patients more likely to die under care from 1st-year hospitalists

An extra year of experience for a physician can make an impact on patient mortality in a hospital, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that found 30-day and hospital mortality rates were higher for hospitalists in the first year of practice than their second.

CMS Physician Compare site now includes star ratings, patient experience data

New data has been added to the CMS Physician Compare website, allowing the public to see star ratings based on Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) scores and practice information for patient satisfaction scores.

OIG: MACRA reporting may be too easy to abuse

Reporting for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is particularly vulnerable to fraud, OIG said, because it relies on clinicians on submitting their own data—and allows them to resubmit data to change their score.

Leapfrog responds to hospital lawsuit: ‘11th hour gambit’ to change safety grade

Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago has alleged the Leapfrog Group knowingly used incorrect information in awarding the facility a “C” grade in its fall 2017 safety grade report. But Leapfrog’s response to the suit said Saint Anthony had ample time to review its grade and said nothing about a suspected error in data the hospital itself had submitted until six days before grades were to be published.

Opioid deaths in hospitals quadrupled between 2000 and 2014

The mortality rate for patients hospitalized for opioid-related conditions more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2014, with increases in admissions related to opioids among whites, people aged 50 to 64, Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities and people from lower-income areas.

Report highlights safety deficiencies commonly found at hospitals

Emergency management, physical environment and life safety codes were the most frequently cited areas for deficiencies at healthcare facilities surveyed by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) in 2016, according to the organization’s latest quality report.

Fewer quality measures considered by CMS in 2018 pre-rulemaking list

The annual list of measures being considered by CMS for inclusion in Medicare quality reporting and value-based programs is less than a third of the length of the previous list, reflecting the agency’s new commitment to reduce what physicians see as burdensome reporting standards.

VA hospitals failed to report potentially dangerous physicians

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to report disciplinary action taken against providers and delayed reviews of complaints against physicians, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

More hospitals reporting eCQMs

Just 34 hospitals voluntarily submitted electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) data to the Joint Commission in 2015. For 2016, the number reporting skyrocketed to 436 hospitals, according to the commission’s annual report.

Joint Commission’s new emergency management standards take effect Nov. 15

Dozens of new or revised elements of performance have been included in the Joint Commission’s new emergency management standards, which will be the basis for accreditation surveys beginning on Nov. 15.

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