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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

CMS star ratings criticized for ignoring socioeconomic factors

CMS’s star rating system is more about the affluence of patients than quality of care, argued Missouri Health Association CEO Herb Kuhn and Vice President of Research and Analytics Mat Reidhead.

CMS funding quality initiatives focused on both local and national improvement

CMS has announced new awards to a dozen regional organizations to create new initiatives or expand existing plans for improving quality for Medicare beneficiaries.

Healthgrades ranks top 50 hospitals based on clinical outcomes

The annual report by Healthgrades listing the top 50 hospitals based solely on clinical outcomes has been released, and 22 states don’t have a single hospital which made the cut.

‘It’s an outrage’: Psychiatric patients face long waits, stays in unprepared EDs

Patients experiencing psychiatric emergencies may wait for up to five days for a bed in an emergency department, according to a survey released by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

CMS primary care initiative meeting quality, savings goals

The second year of results from CMS’s Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative were largely positive, according to the agency, with 95 percent of participating practices meeting quality requirements and generating $57.7 million in gross savings.

Understaffing, outdated technology plague Native American hospitals

Substandard care at hospitals operated by the Indian Health Service isn’t a new issue, but a new report offered some specific reasons why the facilities have such severe deficiencies.

Why 30-day readmissions aren’t an accurate measure of quality

Measuring hospital readmissions within seven days, instead of the typical 30, would more accurately assess the quality of factors the hospital can control, according to a study published in the October issue of Health Affairs.

$13.4 million awarded to test new children’s quality measures

Six grantees will receive a total $13.4 million in federal funding over four years to test and implement new pediatric quality measures.

CMS awards $347 million to hospitals in new safety, quality initiative

CMS has announced 16 organizations receiving a total of $347 million in grants in its new Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks (HIINs) program.


CMS hospital star rating system ripped by Medicare advisors

The hospital star ratings from CMS may not be fair to hospitals with sicker patients and create “unneeded complexity,” according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), which hinted at creating its own quality measures and payment structure.