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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

CMS hospital star rating system ripped by Medicare advisors

The hospital star ratings from CMS may not be fair to hospitals with sicker patients and create “unneeded complexity,” according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), which hinted at creating its own quality measures and payment structure.

Physician integration hasn’t improved care at hospitals

Having more physicians employed by hospitals hasn’t provided benefits for patient care, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

AMA: Insurer consolidation a threat to access, quality, affordability

The American Medical Association has spoken out against the proposed Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mergers before, but the organization went further in a new analysis on how the consolidation of major insurers could affect competition.

 

Most Medicare Advantage enrollees don’t switch plans

Nearly four out of five (78 percent) Medicare Advantage (MA) prescription drug plan enrollees didn’t change their plan between 2013 and 2014, which the Kaiser Family Foundation said raises questions about whether seniors have what they need to compare coverage.

49 states have reduced hospital readmissions since 2010

Almost every state, along with the District of Columbia, saw a decrease in Medicare 30-day hospital readmission rates between 2010 and 2015, falling by 8 percent nationally.

Using patient experience scores to determine payment works within value-based purchasing

Using patient experience scores from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is working as intended within CMS’s Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs.

Which states have the best and worst healthcare systems?

Minnesota was ranked no. 1, while Alaska finished at the bottom, in a state-by-state ranking of healthcare quality and cost-effectiveness by personal finance site WalletHub.

Low-level trauma patients see greatest mortality risk weeks after injury

Patients who suffered low-level traumatic injuries were at greatest risk of dying two to three weeks after being injured, according to study of European patients.

CMS spent more in ACO bonuses than program saved in 2015

While CMS touted the latest quality and financial reports from Medicare accountable care organizations (ACO) as positives, its data said the agency spent $217 million more in bonuses to ACOs than what the programs are projected to have saved.

Survey suggests men’s perception of their health may not match reality

Nearly half (49 percent) of men responding to an American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) survey rated their health as excellent or very good, but 48 percent said they’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer.

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