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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

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.

8 ways policy makers could reduce diagnosis errors

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is taking on the problem of diagnosis errors in healthcare and has issued eight recommendations for how these types of medical errors could be reduced through policy and healthcare system changes.

Community factors key to readmission rates, study finds

A new study appearing in Health Services Research lends support to the argument of hospital operators that patients’ odds of being readmitted within 30 days of an inpatient stay may have more to do with the type of community the patient is released into than the quality of the care provided by the hospital.

AHA moves to organize leaders in healthcare quality

The American Hospital Association is aiming to be one of the key groups that will fill the need for healthcare improvement professionals from different organizations to collaborate and share best practices.

PQRS and eRx participation rose substantially in 2012

Participation in the government’s Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) incentive payment program went up 36 percent from the previous year in 2012, and participation in the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program went up 22 percent.

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.