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Clinicians and staff at 296 clinical sites participating in CMS’s Advanced Primary Care Demonstration were surveyed on 21 different measures of professional satisfaction, work environment and practice culture between 2013 and 2014. On almost every measure, they reported “significant declines.”

The 2017-18 U.S. News and World Report best hospitals list once again has the Mayo Clinic sitting on top, with Cleveland Clinic remaining No. 2 while Massachusetts General Hospital, No. 1 in 2015-16, fell to fourth place behind Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Nonprofit medical boards reported a $23 million surplus in 2013, more than triple what was recorded a decade earlier. Most of that revenue comes from charging physicians for certification exams.

The annual hospital rankings from U.S. News and World Report will now be released a week later than scheduled after errors were discovered in data which affected 12 “data-driven specialty rankings.”

The U.S. Department of Justice charged 412 people, including 56 doctors, for allegedly participated in false billing schemes netting $1.3 billion, with many cases involving prescriptions of opioids or other narcotics.


Recent Headlines

U.S. News & World Report releases hospital rankings

The annual ranking of U.S. hospitals by the news magazine U.S. News & World Report has long stirred controversy, particularly by the heavy weight it gives to hospital reputation as measured by the votes of just a few hundred American Medical Association member physicians. However, its influence in hospital marketing is undeniable.

CMS quality changes signal continued interest in comparing hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical centers

Low-risk procedures performed in a hospital outpatient setting are reimbursed at a higher level than the same procedures performed in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC), but is there value in the higer payments for procedures done in hospital outpatient surgical departments? In proposed quality measure changes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) aims to make it easier to compare quality between the two types of surgical settings.

Study lends support to targeted interventions in erasing cancer screening disparities

Being poor raises the risk of dying from cancer considerably for many reasons, not the least of which is the disparity in cancer screening rates between rich and poor. A new study appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine adds research support to the importance of targeted interventions in erasing such disparities.

Leading treatment centers and patient group form alliance to improve AFib care

Five heart treatment centers in four states, along with an atrial fibrillation (AFib) patient advocacy group have formed a national alliance to improve arrhythmia treatment by sharing information on best practices, creating better care standards and gathering outcome information.

Hawaiian hospital’s pediatric asthma initiative cuts readmission rates

For a study appearing in Pediatrics, researchers took a look at the outcome measures of the Asthma Task Force changes implemented at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children and University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii. They found that yes, not surprisingly, better patient adherence to treatment plans correlated with a significant reduction in readmission rates.

Premier analysis finds Medicare tracking of hospital-acquired conditions insufficient

Creating an accurate system for evaluating hospital quality for payments, as well as spotting areas where savings could be achieved and deaths prevented, is becoming increasingly important to health system leaders. However, the current list of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) that Medicare uses to set payments for hospitals, may be too narrow finds an analysis of discharge codes conducted by the Premier Inc. healthcare alliance.

State Hospital Engagement Network saves $446 million and 46,112 patients from harm

Reductions in falls, infections, adverse drug events, and other patient harm at hospitals participating in the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network (PA-HEN) are collectively making a big impact on both health care spending and patient outcomes in the state says the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

Joint Commission counted 887 sentinel events in 2013

Among the 887 sentinel events the Joint Commission recorded last year, the top three were delays in treatment that resulted in death or permanent disability; wrong-site, wrong-patient or wrong-procedure mistakes; and unintended retention of a foreign object after a procedure.

Three out of four medical directors now say their duties are tied to patient-satisfaction and care-quality metrics

According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Medical Directorship Compensation Survey, last year, more than 75 percent of the 1,621 medical directors that participated in the survey said their duties were specifically tied to patient-satisfaction and quality-of-care numbers. In addition, more than 35 percent reported that their duties were tied to patient safety metrics.

Lean, Six Sigma techniques reduce incidence and severity of hospital patient falls

Falls in the inpatient setting prolong hospital stays, increase costs and can be fatal, but a Joint Commission program applying elements of Lean, Six Sigma and change management to healthcare process improvement reduced falls 35 percent when it was implemented by seven healthcare systems.