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Quality

 

Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago has alleged the Leapfrog Group knowingly used incorrect information in awarding the facility a “C” grade in its fall 2017 safety grade report. But Leapfrog’s response to the suit said Saint Anthony had ample time to review its grade and said nothing about a suspected error in data the hospital itself had submitted until six days before grades were to be published.

The mortality rate for patients hospitalized for opioid-related conditions more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2014, with increases in admissions related to opioids among whites, people aged 50 to 64, Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities and people from lower-income areas.

Emergency management, physical environment and life safety codes were the most frequently cited areas for deficiencies at healthcare facilities surveyed by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) in 2016, according to the organization’s latest quality report.

The annual list of measures being considered by CMS for inclusion in Medicare quality reporting and value-based programs is less than a third of the length of the previous list, reflecting the agency’s new commitment to reduce what physicians see as burdensome reporting standards.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to report disciplinary action taken against providers and delayed reviews of complaints against physicians, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

 

Recent Headlines

Hospitals with lower admissions have higher 7-day mortality rates

Lower inpatient admission rates at hospitals seemed to correlate to higher rates of unexpected deaths within seven days of discharge from an emergency department, according to a new study published in BMJ.

Mold found in NIH pharmacy

Safety issues have again popped up in pharmaceutical units at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with the problem this time being “environmental mold” found in a sucrose solution.

California hospitals with high infection rates have gone 5+ years without inspection

In California, 131 hospitals have gone at least five years without being inspection by public health officials, including 80 facilities that have reported significantly higher rates of hospital-acquired infections.

McKesson settles ‘suspicious’ pharmacy orders case for $150 million

McKesson has agreed to pay $150 million and suspend sales of controlled substances from distribution centers in four states to settle allegations that it failed to notice and report pharmacies’ suspicious orders of opioid painkillers.

Adding UVC light to hospital cleaning can reduce ‘superbugs’—but not cheaply

Using a certain type of ultraviolet (UV) light while disinfecting hospital rooms can cut down on transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by as much as 30 percent.

ACO hospitals reduced readmissions from SNFs more quickly

While all hospitals have reduced readmissions of skilled nursing facility (SNF) patients, those affiliated with accountable care organizations (ACOs) did so more quickly, according to a study published in the January 2017 issue of Health Affairs

Patient safety indicators need to be optimized

A link between patient safety indicators (PSIs) and patient outcomes can be found—but only after researchers went deeper than claims data would allow and questioned the accuracy of billing based on PSIs.

Financial penalties successful in reducing readmissions

Being penalized under the Hospitals Readmissions Reduction Act (HRRA) led to lower 30-day readmissions at those hospitals compared to non-penalized facilities, according to a study published in JAMA.

Female physicians have lower mortality, readmission rates

Elderly patients have better outcomes when hospitalized if cared for by a female physician than a male, according to a Harvard University study published in JAMA Internal Medicine

FDA finalizes ban on powdered gloves

Beginning January 19, 2017, powdered medical gloves will be banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which cites “an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury.”

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