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Quality

 

The annual hospital rankings from U.S. News and World Report will now be released a week later than scheduled after errors were discovered in data which affected 12 “data-driven specialty rankings.”

The U.S. Department of Justice charged 412 people, including 56 doctors, for allegedly participated in false billing schemes netting $1.3 billion, with many cases involving prescriptions of opioids or other narcotics.

CMS has proposed requiring private accrediting organizations (AOs), like the Joint Commission, to publicly release what have been confidential survey reports of hospitals. Dozens of AOs and the facilities they inspect asked the agency to take that change out of the final Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule for 2018, arguing the reports shouldn’t be treated like healthcare quality data.

Coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchanges, where narrow network plans are dominant, is more likely to exclude doctors associated with National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Advance directives, like awarding power of attorney on health care decisions or completing a living will, haven’t been completed by most patients, including those with chronic illnesses, potentially complicating decisions by hospitals and physicians on end-of-life treatment.

 

Recent Headlines

Healthgrades ranks top 50 hospitals based on clinical outcomes

The annual report by Healthgrades listing the top 50 hospitals based solely on clinical outcomes has been released, and 22 states don’t have a single hospital which made the cut.

‘It’s an outrage’: Psychiatric patients face long waits, stays in unprepared EDs

Patients experiencing psychiatric emergencies may wait for up to five days for a bed in an emergency department, according to a survey released by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

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Understaffing, outdated technology plague Native American hospitals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.

 

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