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Quality

 

Chip Kahn, president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, gave a harsh assessment of current quality measurement processes at a Health Affairs forum in Washington, D.C. 

Hospitals in South Carolina that implemented a 19-point checklist for surgeons and the operating room team saw a 22 percent reduction in post-surgical deaths, according to a study due to be published in the August issue of Annals of Surgery.

Located more than 1,400 pages into the regulation, the provision means CMS would require the private health care accreditors it approves, such as the Joint Commission, to publicly detail problems they find during what have been confidential inspections of hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as the corrective actions taken afterward. 

A new optional certification is being developed by the Joint Commission for hospitals which “have the capability of providing high-quality endovascular thrombectomy for patients with ischemic stroke.”

Only 10 hospitals were given failing grades in the spring 2017 edition of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, though “C” grades remained the most common and four states had no hospitals earning top marks. 

 

Recent Headlines

Bundled payments didn’t increase volumes for joint replacement

Participation in CMS’s Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Program (BPCI) didn’t lead to more lower extremity joint replacement procedures being performed, according to a study conducted by the Altarum Institute’s Center for Payment Innovation.

Hospitals with lower admissions have higher 7-day mortality rates

Lower inpatient admission rates at hospitals seemed to correlate to higher rates of unexpected deaths within seven days of discharge from an emergency department, according to a new study published in BMJ.

Mold found in NIH pharmacy

Safety issues have again popped up in pharmaceutical units at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with the problem this time being “environmental mold” found in a sucrose solution.

California hospitals with high infection rates have gone 5+ years without inspection

In California, 131 hospitals have gone at least five years without being inspection by public health officials, including 80 facilities that have reported significantly higher rates of hospital-acquired infections.

McKesson settles ‘suspicious’ pharmacy orders case for $150 million

McKesson has agreed to pay $150 million and suspend sales of controlled substances from distribution centers in four states to settle allegations that it failed to notice and report pharmacies’ suspicious orders of opioid painkillers.

Adding UVC light to hospital cleaning can reduce ‘superbugs’—but not cheaply

Using a certain type of ultraviolet (UV) light while disinfecting hospital rooms can cut down on transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by as much as 30 percent.

ACO hospitals reduced readmissions from SNFs more quickly

While all hospitals have reduced readmissions of skilled nursing facility (SNF) patients, those affiliated with accountable care organizations (ACOs) did so more quickly, according to a study published in the January 2017 issue of Health Affairs

Patient safety indicators need to be optimized

A link between patient safety indicators (PSIs) and patient outcomes can be found—but only after researchers went deeper than claims data would allow and questioned the accuracy of billing based on PSIs.

Financial penalties successful in reducing readmissions

Being penalized under the Hospitals Readmissions Reduction Act (HRRA) led to lower 30-day readmissions at those hospitals compared to non-penalized facilities, according to a study published in JAMA.

Female physicians have lower mortality, readmission rates

Elderly patients have better outcomes when hospitalized if cared for by a female physician than a male, according to a Harvard University study published in JAMA Internal Medicine

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