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Quality

 

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.

CMS has proposed requiring private accrediting organizations (AOs), like the Joint Commission, to publicly release what have been confidential survey reports of hospitals. Dozens of AOs and the facilities they inspect asked the agency to take that change out of the final Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule for 2018, arguing the reports shouldn’t be treated like healthcare quality data.

Coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchanges, where narrow network plans are dominant, is more likely to exclude doctors associated with National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Advance directives, like awarding power of attorney on health care decisions or completing a living will, haven’t been completed by most patients, including those with chronic illnesses, potentially complicating decisions by hospitals and physicians on end-of-life treatment.

 

Recent Headlines

Leapfrog and Castlight to create better hospital ratings system for patients

In a move that may, depending on your perspective, either improve current hospital rating systems or create greater confusion, the Leapfrog Group, the leading non-profit hospital quality surveyor, and Castlight Health, a leading provider of cloud-based software for healthcare data, are partnering on a “consumer-friendly” analysis of nationwide hospital performance.

NQF proposes risk adjustment for hospitals treating more poor patients

In a set of eight draft recommendations, the National Quality Foundation (NQF) addresses the concern that reimbursement models tied to outcome measures may unfairly penalize health systems serving greater numbers of poor patients.

Hospital quality may trump patient socioeconomic status in predicting survival

A research study aimed at uncovering why poorer patients tend to have worse treatment outcomes finds that the quality of the hospitals serving poor communities may be a bigger factor than socioeconomic status in determining mortality risk after cancer surgery.

Lancet Study Links Increased Hospital Nurse Workload to Increased Mortality Risk

How many patients per R.N. is ideal is a complicated hospital management question with conflicting research support. A new European study may further muddy the waters.

Beyond Turnaround Time: The Business Case for Quality in Radiology

With cost containment driving many health-care decisions, the temptation exists for hospital executives to judge a service line on speed and efficiency (and to overlook quality). In a service line such as radiology—for which accuracy is not easily assessed and quality measurements are not consistently reported—the inclination might be even stronger.

Martin’s Point HealthCare: Using a Registry to Improve Quality and Manage Costs

A carefully managed electronic data warehouse is a key component of improved patient care in any health-care practice and is surprisingly easy to build on and improve, once you begin the implementation process. Those were the key points of “Use of Registry Tools to Improve Care,” presented by David Howes, MD, in San Diego, California, on October 7, 2013, at the annual conference of the Medical Group Management Association. Howes is president and CEO of Martin's Point® HealthCare (Portland, Maine), a nonprofit health-care organization.

Navigating Volume to Value: A Formula to Improve Patient Health, Provider Finances

In today’s transaction-based service model, patients make their own appointments, the care they get varies depending on the provider’s memory and skill level, and it is up to patients to coordinate and manage their own follow-up.

From Good to Great: How Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital Achieved Excellence

Nearly a decade ago, when David Fox assumed the role of president and CEO of Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove, Illinois, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award-winning hospital held a somewhat moderate quality ranking. Employee satisfaction ranked in the 46th percentile and its physician hospital organization (PHO) was paying

Change for the Better: Cleveland Clinic Improves the Patient Experience

After Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, MD, CEO of Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, made a presentation about the hospital’s record of operational excellence at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, several years ago, a student asked him what the hospital was doing about teaching its physicians empathy.

Benchmarking Physician Performance: Methods and Metrics

Physician employment is back—and this time, it may be here to stay, says Nick Fabrizio, PhD, a principal with the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Health Care Consulting Group. "I see the employment trend continuing," he says. "Not only because of declining reimbursement, but because of increases in operating expenses every year. Add in

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