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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

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.

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

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