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Quality

 

Operating revenue fell faster than operating expenses for two years at hospitals which had been merged into or acquired by a new system, with no evidence of improvement on quality measures, according to a report released by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

Communication-and-resolution programs (CRP) at four Massachusetts hospitals led to lower medical liability costs and improvements in patient safety after adverse events, countering concerns that telling patients about errors would motivate more to file lawsuits.

Sacramento, California-based Sutter Physician Services found success in helping to reduce readmissions at its affiliated Sutter Health hospitals by coordinating follow-up appointments and check-in calls with recently discharged patients, but communication and C-suite engagement have been critical to making the effort work.

Oct. 2 is the deadline for clinicians to start collecting performance data for the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and still be eligible for a positive payment adjustment in 2019. With multiple sources showing clinicians and healthcare finance professionals feel unprepared for the first year of the new payment track, some eligible providers may settle for simply avoiding a negative adjustment.

Overall star ratings on the CMS Hospital Compare website will not be updated in October as previously scheduled, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA).

 

Recent Headlines

Florida hospitals brace for Hurricane Irma

Several Florida hospitals which sit in the path Hurricane Irma is expected to take this weekend have begun evacuating patients, while others will remain open during the storm and only postpone elective procedures.

Wait times down 5 minutes in 2016

The average time a patient spent waiting to see their physician was 20 minutes in 2016, a five-minute improvement from the previous year, according to a survey of more than 1,200 practices released by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Only 3.3% of ED visits are avoidable

Health systems looking to limit overutilization of healthcare services may not find much to combat in the emergency department (ED), where only 3.3 percent of visits between 2005 and 2011 were classified as “unavoidable,” according to a study published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care.

Medicare Shared Savings ACOs saved $1B over 3 years

Accountable care organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program reduced Medicare spending by almost $1 billion, with ACOs saving more as the program progressed.

No consensus on what defines a ‘high-performing’ health system

If you’re looking for a strict definition of what makes for a “high-performing” health system, you’re out of luck, according to a new study published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Evidence lacking that Medicaid APMs deliver on promises of reduced costs, better quality

All states are adopting value-based reimbursement models for Medicaid, but there’s limited evidence on how these alternative payment models (APMs) back up claims of reducing costs while improving care quality.

How Houston hospitals are handling Hurricane Harvey

With 50 inches of rainfall expected in parts of Houston before the storms of Hurricane Harvey move out, medical facilities in the nation’s fourth-largest city have taken extra precautions—and in some cases, decided to evacuate patients and staff.

Hospitals falling short on consumer demands

While hospitals may say new patient engagement and consumer-friendly strategies are a priority, only 8 percent were applying such practices successfully according to a report from Kaufmann, Hall & Associates.

CMS opens Hospice Compare website

Joining other CMS sites covering hospitals, dialysis facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities is a new Hospice Compare website allowing patients and their families to compare more than 3,800 providers.

Primary care clinicians, staff increasingly dissatisfied with working conditions

Clinicians and staff at 296 clinical sites participating in CMS’s Advanced Primary Care Demonstration were surveyed on 21 different measures of professional satisfaction, work environment and practice culture between 2013 and 2014. On almost every measure, they reported “significant declines.”

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