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Quality

 

Just 34 hospitals voluntarily submitted electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) data to the Joint Commission in 2015. For 2016, the number reporting skyrocketed to 436 hospitals, according to the commission’s annual report.

Dozens of new or revised elements of performance have been included in the Joint Commission’s new emergency management standards, which will be the basis for accreditation surveys beginning on Nov. 15.

A “C” grade was the most common for hospitals analyzed in the fall edition of the Leapfrog Group’s hospital safety grades report, the first to include results for Maryland hospitals.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, said the agency is launching a new initiative called “Meaningful Measures” aimed at focusing quality reporting on outcome-based measures, rather than processes.

U.S. News and World Report evaluated more than 15,000 nursing homes for its 2017-18 Best Nursing Home list. Some 2,285 of them—15 percent of all of those evaluated—made the list by earning a rating of 4.5 or higher on a 5-point scale.

 

Recent Headlines

Evidence lacking that Medicaid APMs deliver on promises of reduced costs, better quality

All states are adopting value-based reimbursement models for Medicaid, but there’s limited evidence on how these alternative payment models (APMs) back up claims of reducing costs while improving care quality.

How Houston hospitals are handling Hurricane Harvey

With 50 inches of rainfall expected in parts of Houston before the storms of Hurricane Harvey move out, medical facilities in the nation’s fourth-largest city have taken extra precautions—and in some cases, decided to evacuate patients and staff.

Hospitals falling short on consumer demands

While hospitals may say new patient engagement and consumer-friendly strategies are a priority, only 8 percent were applying such practices successfully according to a report from Kaufmann, Hall & Associates.

CMS opens Hospice Compare website

Joining other CMS sites covering hospitals, dialysis facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities is a new Hospice Compare website allowing patients and their families to compare more than 3,800 providers.

Primary care clinicians, staff increasingly dissatisfied with working conditions

Clinicians and staff at 296 clinical sites participating in CMS’s Advanced Primary Care Demonstration were surveyed on 21 different measures of professional satisfaction, work environment and practice culture between 2013 and 2014. On almost every measure, they reported “significant declines.”

Mayo Clinic repeats as No. 1 hospital on U.S. News & World Report rankings

The 2017-18 U.S. News and World Report best hospitals list once again has the Mayo Clinic sitting on top, with Cleveland Clinic remaining No. 2 while Massachusetts General Hospital, No. 1 in 2015-16, fell to fourth place behind Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Expensive exams benefiting medical boards

Nonprofit medical boards reported a $23 million surplus in 2013, more than triple what was recorded a decade earlier. Most of that revenue comes from charging physicians for certification exams.

U.S. News hospital rankings delayed due to data errors

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.”

Fake clinics, unnecessary opioid prescriptions involved in $1.3B fraud crackdown

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.

Hospitals strongly oppose CMS move to make AO reports public

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.

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