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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

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.

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.