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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

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.

Study: Alzheimer’s patients at higher risk for potentially avoidable hospital stays

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease or some form of related dementia were “significantly more likely” to be hospitalized for avoidable reasons, according to a new study published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

HHS report: 29% of rehab hospital patients reported experiencing harm

A new report from HHS’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found 29 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in rehabilitation hospitals reported experiencing some form of harm during their stays.

CMS said $42 billion saved through fraud prevention, screening providers

Program integrity efforts within Medicare and Medicaid resulted in about $42 billion in savings in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, according to a new report released by CMS.

Heart disease, cancer remain top causes of death

The final reports on 2014 death data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show heart disease and cancer as the top two causes of death for Americans, while life expectancy for white women bucked the long-term trends and declined slightly.

The U.S. healthcare system packs significant environmental punch

A recent study has found that if the U.S. healthcare system were its own country, it would rank 13th in the world for greenhouse gas emissions.