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Quality

 

Operating revenue fell faster than operating expenses for two years at hospitals which had been merged into or acquired by a new system, with no evidence of improvement on quality measures, according to a report released by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

Communication-and-resolution programs (CRP) at four Massachusetts hospitals led to lower medical liability costs and improvements in patient safety after adverse events, countering concerns that telling patients about errors would motivate more to file lawsuits.

Sacramento, California-based Sutter Physician Services found success in helping to reduce readmissions at its affiliated Sutter Health hospitals by coordinating follow-up appointments and check-in calls with recently discharged patients, but communication and C-suite engagement have been critical to making the effort work.

Oct. 2 is the deadline for clinicians to start collecting performance data for the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and still be eligible for a positive payment adjustment in 2019. With multiple sources showing clinicians and healthcare finance professionals feel unprepared for the first year of the new payment track, some eligible providers may settle for simply avoiding a negative adjustment.

Overall star ratings on the CMS Hospital Compare website will not be updated in October as previously scheduled, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA).

 

Recent Headlines

Disney, Union Pacific executives discuss company wellness programs

WASHINGTON, D.C.--As companies aim to keep employees healthy and cut healthcare costs, wellness programs are becoming more popular.

Race and social class bias in surgical clinicians

A recent study found there was no correlation between acute care surgical clinicians’ unconscious race and/or social class biases and their patient management decisions.

Health plan member satisfaction improving

Members of 134 commercial health plans in 18 regions of the U.S. were more satisfied than in recent years with their coverage, according to a J.D. Power survey released on March 9.

Quality of care for patients with brain tumors differs depending on insurance status

Patients with brain tumors have an increased length of stay in hospitals, worse discharge outcomes and increased in-hospital mortality if they have Medicaid or no insurance compared with if they have private insurance.

Thanks to redundancies, system glitches present minor interruptions to radiologist workflow

Radiology IT system hiccups that result in downtimes are generally mild and only modestly impact radiologist workflows.

Website contains pricing data for more than 40 commercially insured individuals

A website launched this week hopes to bring more transparency to healthcare prices. The website, called Guroo, contains data derived from three billion claims from more than 40 million individuals with private commercial insurance.

Study reveals physicians should include patients in decisions about cancer care

Patients with cancer were more likely to report they received better quality of care if they had a role in their treatment decisions, according to a recent survey.

Readmission rates following surgeries in U.S. hospitals

Nearly 6 percent of people who underwent surgery were readmitted within 30 days, according to an analysis of U.S. hospitals.

Tufts, Harvard Pilgrim top NCQA’s list of best insurance plans

The National Community for Quality Assurance, a private non-profit organization focused on improving healthcare quality, has ranked Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim as the top insurers based on their quality measures from three performance subcategories—consumer experience, prevention and treatment—and NCQA accreditation.

Government’s new QIO contractors are not working out, hospital groups say

Putting hospital staff seeking to file an appeal request on hold for six hours, no secure way to file documentation electronically, lost paperwork, taking 10 days to issue a discharge appeal decision and other serious customer service issues have led the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH) to conclude that the transition to the new national Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program contractors for Beneficiary and Family Centered Care is “not working as it should.”

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