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Quality

 

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

Two-thirds of patients haven’t completed advance directives for end-of-life care

Advance directives, like awarding power of attorney on health care decisions or completing a living will, haven’t been completed by most patients, including those with chronic illnesses, potentially complicating decisions by hospitals and physicians on end-of-life treatment.

HFMA 2017: LexisNexis’ Rick Ingraham on using social determinants for ‘proactive patient outreach’

Addressing social determinants of health has been labeled a priority by many studies and healthcare organizations, but that data can also be used by health plans to assess a member’s future risk.

HFMA 2017: How Yale New Haven Health found ‘improved quality means improved margin’

The shift from volume to value isn’t an easy transition for healthcare, but data can make all the difference, especially for a large system which often takes in complex patients from other facilities, which was the case for Yale New Haven Health System.

Racial disparity in surgical readmissions greater among Medicare Advantage patients

Black surgical patients in both traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage (MA) were more likely than white patients to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, but for MA beneficiaries, the racial disparity was much greater.

Hospitals improving on bedsore and injury prevention—but progress is ‘too slow’

A new report from the Leapfrog Group and Castlight Health found hospitals rates of pressure ulcers, or bedsores, and patient injuries steadily decreased over the past four years. However, there remained wide variation between hospitals and the majority haven’t met Leapfrog’s prevention standards on both conditions.

Minorities more likely to receive low-value care

Black and Hispanic patients received more low-value care than whites, according to a study of Medicare data from between 2006 to 2011 published in the June 2017 issue of Health Affairs.

Racial disparities in surgical mortality are shrinking

As mortality rates have improved overall, there have also been improvements in previously-seen racial disparities between the surgical mortality of black and white patients, with reductions occurring primarily within hospitals, rather than between hospitals.

HIEs reduce redundant therapeutic services

Participating in a health information exchange (HIE) “significantly” reduced repetition of therapeutic procedures by providers in western New York, according to research conducted by the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and the Brookings Institution. 

Metrics changing for U.S. News rankings on children’s hospitals

The methodology for ranking the country’s best children’s hospitals in U.S. News and World Report will contain “several noteworthy changes” affecting the top 10 overall list and the rankings for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery.

Prescribing more opioids won’t affect HCAHPS scores

University of Michigan researchers found no association between prescribing more opioid painkillers to postoperative patients and higher pain management scores on patient satisfaction surveys, undercutting physicians’ perceptions that they’ve been incentivized to prescribe the potentially addictive drugs.  

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