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Quality

 

The establishment of a primary care-led regional health improvement collaboration in the Cleveland area reduced hospitalizations attributed to conditions like heart failure and bacterial pneumonia, saving nearly $40 million, according to a study published in the February 2017 issue of Health Affairs.

In a single year, more than 600,000 patients in Washington state received services that would be considered low value or wasteful, resulting in $282 million in unnecessary healthcare spending.

A five-star rating on CMS’s Nursing Home Compare website may not equate to “five-star service,” according to a Florida Atlantic University (FAU) study that found nursing homes’ scores may be artificially inflated.

A study from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) found the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) has largely achieved its goals—and contrary to the findings of an earlier study, it didn’t increase mortality rates.

Hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission which offer services for labor and delivery will have three new documentation elements of performance (EPs) beginning on July 1.

 

Recent Headlines

Study lends support to targeted interventions in erasing cancer screening disparities

Being poor raises the risk of dying from cancer considerably for many reasons, not the least of which is the disparity in cancer screening rates between rich and poor. A new study appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine adds research support to the importance of targeted interventions in erasing such disparities.

Leading treatment centers and patient group form alliance to improve AFib care

Five heart treatment centers in four states, along with an atrial fibrillation (AFib) patient advocacy group have formed a national alliance to improve arrhythmia treatment by sharing information on best practices, creating better care standards and gathering outcome information.

Hawaiian hospital’s pediatric asthma initiative cuts readmission rates

For a study appearing in Pediatrics, researchers took a look at the outcome measures of the Asthma Task Force changes implemented at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children and University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii. They found that yes, not surprisingly, better patient adherence to treatment plans correlated with a significant reduction in readmission rates.

Premier analysis finds Medicare tracking of hospital-acquired conditions insufficient

Creating an accurate system for evaluating hospital quality for payments, as well as spotting areas where savings could be achieved and deaths prevented, is becoming increasingly important to health system leaders. However, the current list of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) that Medicare uses to set payments for hospitals, may be too narrow finds an analysis of discharge codes conducted by the Premier Inc. healthcare alliance.

State Hospital Engagement Network saves $446 million and 46,112 patients from harm

Reductions in falls, infections, adverse drug events, and other patient harm at hospitals participating in the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network (PA-HEN) are collectively making a big impact on both health care spending and patient outcomes in the state says the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

Joint Commission counted 887 sentinel events in 2013

Among the 887 sentinel events the Joint Commission recorded last year, the top three were delays in treatment that resulted in death or permanent disability; wrong-site, wrong-patient or wrong-procedure mistakes; and unintended retention of a foreign object after a procedure.

Three out of four medical directors now say their duties are tied to patient-satisfaction and care-quality metrics

According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Medical Directorship Compensation Survey, last year, more than 75 percent of the 1,621 medical directors that participated in the survey said their duties were specifically tied to patient-satisfaction and quality-of-care numbers. In addition, more than 35 percent reported that their duties were tied to patient safety metrics.

Lean, Six Sigma techniques reduce incidence and severity of hospital patient falls

Falls in the inpatient setting prolong hospital stays, increase costs and can be fatal, but a Joint Commission program applying elements of Lean, Six Sigma and change management to healthcare process improvement reduced falls 35 percent when it was implemented by seven healthcare systems.

8 ways policy makers could reduce diagnosis errors

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is taking on the problem of diagnosis errors in healthcare and has issued eight recommendations for how these types of medical errors could be reduced through policy and healthcare system changes.

Community factors key to readmission rates, study finds

A new study appearing in Health Services Research lends support to the argument of hospital operators that patients’ odds of being readmitted within 30 days of an inpatient stay may have more to do with the type of community the patient is released into than the quality of the care provided by the hospital.

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