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The establishment of a primary care-led regional health improvement collaboration in the Cleveland area reduced hospitalizations attributed to conditions like heart failure and bacterial pneumonia, saving nearly $40 million, according to a study published in the February 2017 issue of Health Affairs.

In a single year, more than 600,000 patients in Washington state received services that would be considered low value or wasteful, resulting in $282 million in unnecessary healthcare spending.

A five-star rating on CMS’s Nursing Home Compare website may not equate to “five-star service,” according to a Florida Atlantic University (FAU) study that found nursing homes’ scores may be artificially inflated.

A study from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) found the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) has largely achieved its goals—and contrary to the findings of an earlier study, it didn’t increase mortality rates.

Hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission which offer services for labor and delivery will have three new documentation elements of performance (EPs) beginning on July 1.


Recent Headlines

Study finds patient satisfaction and care quality don’t correlate

John Hopkins researchers interviewed 177 hospitalized patients on their day of discharge and found that while most described themselves as “very satisfied” with their care, the degree to which they shared understanding with their clinicians of their diagnoses, medication indications and tests/procedures was fairly low.

CMS suspends data collection of sepsis and septic shock data from hospitals

In a letter sent to hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says it is suspending data collection for the Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: Management Bundle measure (NQF #0500) until further notice.

Massachusetts stats show better safety reporting can make problem seem worse

Quality and safety improvement begins with accurate measurement of the problem, including recording every incident regardless of whether a patient was seriously harmed or not. However, recent data from Massachussetts shows that better measurement can create a drastic increase in the rate of adverse events — in this case an attention grabing jump of 70 percent in one year.

Tennessee hospitals’ surgical quality collaboration saved 533 lives, $75 million

New results from the 22-hospital Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative (TSQC) indicate that in just three years, the 10 original hospitals that formed the collaborative were able to reduce surgical complications by 19.7 percent and 30-day mortality by 31.5 percent. The hospitals’ researchers say this equates to at least 533 lives saved and $75.2 million in reduced costs.

NQF to study sociodemographic risk adjustment of hospital performance measures

The National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Board of Directors has approved a robust trial to measure the potential impact and implications of creating a risk factor that would adjust relevant hospital payment quality measures to take into account the challenges presented in achieving the same outcomes for patients with low socioeconomic and/or minority status as for those who are more well off economically and not minorities.

Leapfrog hospital survey reveals wide variation in high-risk procedure survival rates and hospital-acquired injury and infection rates

The annual survey of hospital safety and quality by the non-profit Leapfrog Group and Castlight Health finds improvement and increased participation by hospitals, but also reflects a “surprisingly high variance” in high-risk procedure survival rates and hospital-acquired injury and infection rates.

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.