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Quality

 

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.”

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.

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.

Coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchanges, where narrow network plans are dominant, is more likely to exclude doctors associated with National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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.

 

Recent Headlines

IHI, National Patient Safety Foundation to merge

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) have announced plans to merge into a single organization to “help reset and reenergize the patient safety agenda.”

Bigger practices may not mean better care for high-needs patients

A larger practice doesn’t translate to better care for patients with multiple conditions, but having greater experience treating high-needs patients just might, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

'Promising results’ for CMS initiative on reducing hospitalizations among nursing home residents

In 2012, CMS launched the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents in 143 long-term care (LTC) facilities across seven states. According to a study published in the March 2017 issue of Health Affairs, the approach appears to have been effective.

Joint Commission releases 11 tenets of safety culture in new alert

A new sentinel event alert has been released by the Joint Commission, urging leaders in healthcare to develop an “effective safety culture” at their organizations to cut down on adverse events like delays in treatment and wrong-site surgery.

HIMSS 2017: Patient-reported outcomes can boost value-based care—with the right design

Outcomes reported by the patient can bring actionable data to a provider and save money in the long run. Collecting that data, however, requires technology that patients can easily access and use.

HIMSS 2017: Embracing antimicrobial stewardship can lead to savings

Utilizing a multi-faceted antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs can not only help a facility combat antibiotic-resistant infections, but it can also lead to cost savings even when it’s not a focal point of those efforts.

‘Passive’ FDA reporting system to blame for dangerous surgical tool staying in use

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report says physicians and hospitals failed to tell the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of safety issues related to power morcellators spreading undiagnosed cancer cells in women. Those devices aim to make tissue removal easier through small incisions and are most often used during hysterectomies or to remove benign uterine tumors. 

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.

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