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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

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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