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Care Delivery

 

The second year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) has proposed new option for participation, with clinicians able to join together in “virtual groups” to report on MIPS performance measures.

The average millennial—someone born between 1982 and 2000—is nearly twice as likely to become a registered nurse (RN) than a baby boomer, a “surprising surge of interest” potentially averting a large national shortage of nurses.

In 2016, there were more than 200 freestanding emergency departments (EDs) in Texas, the center of a boom in these sites of care. With far fewer restrictions on where they can be built compared to hospital-based EDs, most of these facilities have been built in areas where residents have higher household incomes.

The 626 health systems in the U.S. accounted for the majority of hospitals, beds and discharges in 2016, according to data released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Group market insurance plans had premiums increase by an average of 3 percent this year, the sixth consecutive year of a single-digit hike and well below the 20 percent jump in non-group market premiums, while employers continue to search for ways to cut costs through different sites of care and wellness programs.

 

Recent Headlines

Anthem/HealthCare Partners ACO says it saved $4.7 Million in California healthcare cost in just six months

The analysis of healthcare spending by Anthem Blue Cross and HealthCare Partners in California offers one of the first large documented examples of how accountable care organizations (ACOs) may trim costs in the commercial PPO population.

Hospital saves $500,000 in fall prevention but sees little of savings itself

Simple low-cost changes can make a big difference in the overall cost of care is what New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, recently found when it crunched the number on its Lean management effort in fall prevention. However, it also found that most of those savings went to the government, insurers and patients, and not the hospital.

AHRQ publishes tool to reduce hospital readmissions

A key quality measure for many payment systems is a hospital’s rate of preventable readmissions, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) new Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkit aims to help institutions improve their numbers.

4 ideas for better integration of palliative care in medicine

Medicine as practiced today has lost its acceptance of the finite nature of human life and this is leading to negative consequences for elderly patients with multiple health problems, argues physician and nurse palliative care experts a Health Affairs commentary.

Expand audience for healthcare price data urges policy center

A new analysis by the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center finds that moving beyond just encouraging patients to shop for healthcare services and also involving ordering physicians, employers and policymakers in healthcare spending decisions could save $100 billion over 10 years.

Healthcare execs name UnitedHealthcare as the insurer they trust the least

Perennial insurance industry bad boy UnitedHealthcare continued to score at the bottom in the annual ReviveHealth National Payor Survey, which measures the opinions and attitudes of hospital and health system leaders who negotiate and/or approve managed care contracts with national health insurance companies.

Physician recruitment competition increases starting salaries and benefits

With future success on the line, healthcare systems and physician practices are racing to hire more new physicians than the competition, and the recruitment wars are pushing up starting salaries and benefits for doctors finds the latest Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey.

Hospitals buying up physician practices increases cost of care, new study finds

Stanford researchers examined hospital claims for privately insured patients between 2001 and 2007 and found that what some health economists had warned does indeed seem to be true — hospital ownership of physician groups does seem to lead to more expensive care.

Estimated ACO numbers up to 520

Consulting firm Oliver Wyman’s ongoing tracking of the growth of accountable care organizations (ACOs) finds an additional 150 such payor-provider arrangements since its last report in July of 2013.

Premier asks CMS for ACO program changes

The structure of the current Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) accountable care organization (ACO) trial — has posed challenges for participating organizations, notes the Premier healthcare alliance of 2,900 U.S. hospitals and nearly 100,000 other providers in a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

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