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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

Joint Commission: No social media posts about nursing home residents

Posting about nursing home residents on Facebook, Snapchat or other forms of social media “violates more codes than you could ever imagine,” according to the Joint Commission, which advised facilities to draft their own social media policies.

CMS: More than 800,000 clinicians will be exempt from MIPS

CMS had expected more than half of Medicare providers to be exempt from the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in its first year. That ended up being a low estimate, as CMS said 65 percent have been notified they won’t be participating in MIPS for 2017.

Higher priced practices don’t necessarily deliver higher value care

The claims that larger, higher priced providers outperform lower-priced practices on quality and efficiency of care don’t hold up, according to a new study from Harvard Medical School researchers.

FAH’s Chip Kahn: We need uniform quality measures when possible

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. 

Surgical checklist improves mortality—if leadership, surgeons are engaged

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.

Hospital inspections from accrediting organizations could become public

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. 

Joint Commission proposes requirements for new stroke certification

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.”

The 10 hospitals given 'F' grades by Leapfrog

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. 

Largest verdict against device maker? $454 million awarded in hospital gown lawsuit

Kimberly-Clark Corporation, known for its Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers, has been hit with a $454 million jury verdict over a lawsuit claiming a former subsidiary misled buyers about the impermeability of its MicroCool surgical gowns.

Previews of your hospital’s star rating, quality data now available

Hospitals in CMS’s Inpatient Quality Reporting, Outpatient Quality Reporting and Prospective Payment System-Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting programs can take an early look at the star rating and quality data before the public gets to see it later this year.

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