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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

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.

How ‘decision fatigue’ may lead physicians to prescribe more antibiotics

Physicians tend to write more prescriptions for antibiotics later in the day, according to a review of prescription data by athenahealth, which may be due to a concept called “decision fatigue.”

U.S. death rate rises for the first time in 10 years

Even when taking into account the aging population, the death rate in the U.S. for 2015 increased for the first time in 22 years, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CMS asks for proposals to reduce readmissions by 12% by 2019

CMS has released a request for proposals for hospital improvement plans with the goal of cutting 30-day hospital readmissions by 12 percent and reducing patient harm by 20 percent.

ACA hasn’t stopped sales of short-term, limited benefit insurance plans

Health insurance policies that don’t include common benefits are becoming more popular, according to the San Francisco Chronicleeven though the coverage may not meet the Affordable Care Act’s standards.

Kentucky clinic CEO convicted in $16M Medicare fraud, drug trafficking scheme

A husband and wife team at a Hazard, Ky.-based medical clinic have been found guilty of more than 180 charges, ranging from illegal drug distribution to healthcare fraud. 

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