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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.  

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 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.

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.

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. 


Recent Headlines

CMS primary care initiative meeting quality, savings goals

The second year of results from CMS’s Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative were largely positive, according to the agency, with 95 percent of participating practices meeting quality requirements and generating $57.7 million in gross savings.

Understaffing, outdated technology plague Native American hospitals

Substandard care at hospitals operated by the Indian Health Service isn’t a new issue, but a new report offered some specific reasons why the facilities have such severe deficiencies.

Why 30-day readmissions aren’t an accurate measure of quality

Measuring hospital readmissions within seven days, instead of the typical 30, would more accurately assess the quality of factors the hospital can control, according to a study published in the October issue of Health Affairs.

$13.4 million awarded to test new children’s quality measures

Six grantees will receive a total $13.4 million in federal funding over four years to test and implement new pediatric quality measures.

CMS awards $347 million to hospitals in new safety, quality initiative

CMS has announced 16 organizations receiving a total of $347 million in grants in its new Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks (HIINs) program.


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.