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In a letter to CMS, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked what legal barriers are standing in the way of the agency making hospital inspections done by private accrediting organizations public, reigniting debate over a regulatory change hospitals strongly opposed earlier this year.

Only a handful of healthcare markets have been given high star ratings by CMS across four different sectors, according to a study published in The BMJ, suggesting either high-quality care at one facility isn’t “dependent on or improves” quality in another or the ratings themselves are flawed.

At least 35 Florida hospitals closed ahead of Hurricane Irma hitting the state last weekend, with dozens more still operating on backup power as recovery efforts continue.

Several Florida hospitals which sit in the path Hurricane Irma is expected to take this weekend have begun evacuating patients, while others will remain open during the storm and only postpone elective procedures.

The average time a patient spent waiting to see their physician was 20 minutes in 2016, a five-minute improvement from the previous year, according to a survey of more than 1,200 practices released by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).


Recent Headlines

AHA/HRET hospital engagement network says it saved $1.3 billion over 2 years

One of the nation’s largest hospital engagement networks (HENs) is the more than 1,500-member HEN operated by the American Hospital Association (AHA) and its Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET). In its first 28 months of operation, it says it saved more than $1.3 billion by reducing the incidence of preventable harm, readmissions and infections, as well as the incidence of early elective deliveries.

VCU Medical Center wins AHA-McKesson national Quest for Quality prize

The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, is this year’s American Hospital Association (AHA)-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize winner for its “impressive culture of safety and focus on effectiveness.”

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.