For the first time, data from Medicare’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program are available on WhyNotTheBest.org, The Commonwealth Fund’s free health care performance benchmarking tool. These data—unavailable on Hospital Compare—enable users to see which hospitals received penalties (equal to a reduction of 1 percent or 2 percent of their full Medicare reimbursement) for having what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) deemed an “excess” number of readmissions among acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, or pneumonia patients over a three-year period.
CDC Report Finds Despite Progress, Ongoing Efforts Needed to Combat Infections Impacting Hospital PatientsMartina Dolan | March 28, 2014
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have released two reports – one, a New England Journal of Medicine” article detailing 2011 national healthcare-associated infection estimates from a survey of hospitals in ten states, and the other a 2012 annual report on national and state-specific progress toward U.S. Health and Human Services HAI prevention goals. Together, the reports show that progress has been made in the effort to eliminate infections that commonly threaten hospital patients, but more work is needed to improve patient safety.
The CDC Multistate Point-Prevalence Survey of Health Care-Associated Infections, published in NEJM, used 2011 data from 183 U.S. hospitals to estimate the burden of a wide range of infections in hospital patients. That year, about 721,800 infections occurred in 648,000 hospital patients. About 75,000 patients with healthcare-associated infections died during their hospitalizations. The most common healthcare-associated infections were pneumonia (22 percent), surgical site infections (22 percent), gastrointestinal infections (17 percent), urinary tract infections (13 percent), and bloodstream infections (10 percent).
The second report, CDC’s National and State Healthcare-associated Infection Progress Report, includes a subset of infection types that are commonly required to be reported to CDC. On the national level, the report found a:
* 44 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections between 2008 and 2012
* 20 percent decrease in infections related to the 10 surgical procedures tracked in the report between 2008 and 2012
* four percent decrease in hospital-onset MRSA between 2011 and 2012
* two percent decrease in hospital-onset C. difficile infections between 2011 and 2012
To access both reports and to see the updated healthcare-associated infection data, see CDC’s website: www.cdc.gov/hai.
Data has been updated on the NYS Hospital Profileas follows:
- hospital surveillance and complaints data was updated to report citations and complaints from January 2005 through March 2013.
- hospital and extension clinic data on names, addresses, available services, and certified beds were updated.
- CMS hospital quality data updated through March 2013
Inside Jersey joined with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., one of the nation’s most respected health care research and information companies, to identify New Jersey’s top hospitals. Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. asked licensed physicians throughout the state to name the top hospitals for various medical conditions, as well as for overall care. Doctors were asked to vote for the five leading hospitals for treatment of a selection of medical conditions. They also were asked to vote for top overall hospitals in New Jersey. Additionally, Inside Jersey and Castle Connolly partnered with IPRO, an independent not-for-profit health care consulting organization, to present post-discharge ratings of New Jersey hospitals by patients.
Healthgrades, the online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals, announced America’s 50 and 100 Best Hospitals™, according to a new report entitled “Voices of America’s Best: Strategies that Sustain Quality.” The report includes in-depth interviews with C-level executives from some of these top performing hospitals who provide insights to the goals, processes and strategies that have helped them achieve a place in the top one or two percent of hospitals nationwide.
To put the achievements of Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals into perspective, from 2010 to 2012, the hospitals as a group had an overall 24.53% lower risk-adjusted mortality rate across 19 procedures and conditions where in-hospital mortality was the clinical outcome, compared to all other hospitals. During this same period, if all other hospitals had performed at the level of America’s 100 Best Hospitals, 160,701 lives could have potentially been saved.
According to a new study published in Health Affairs, high-price hospitals tend to be larger, belong to systems with large market share, and offer specialized services, but the quality indicators are mixed. Private insurers pay widely varying prices for inpatient care across hospitals. Previous research indicates that certain hospitals use market clout to obtain higher payment rates, but there have been few in-depth examinations of the relationship between hospital characteristics and pricing power. This study used private insurance claims data to identify hospitals receiving inpatient prices significantly higher or lower than the median in their market. High-price hospitals, compared to other hospitals, tend to be larger; be major teaching hospitals; belong to systems with large market shares; and provide specialized services, such as heart transplants and Level I trauma care. High-price hospitals also receive significant revenues from nonpatient sources, such as state Medicaid disproportionate-share hospital funds, and they enjoy healthy total financial margins. Quality indicators for high-price hospitals were mixed: High-price hospitals fared much better than low-price hospitals did in U.S. News & World Report rankings, which are largely based on reputation, while generally scoring worse on objective measures of quality, such as postsurgical mortality rates. Thus, insurers may face resistance if they attempt to steer patients away from high-price hospitals because these facilities have good reputations and offer specialized services that may be unique in their markets.
Read full study: Understanding Differences Between High- And Low-Price Hospitals: Implications For Efforts To Rein In Costs, Health Affairs, February 2014
AHRQ has released its 2011 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), the largest all-payer emergency department (ED) database in the United States. The NEDS was created to provide data for analyses of ED utilization patterns and to support public health professionals, administrators, policymakers, and clinicians in their understanding of and decisionmaking about this critical source of health care. Constructed with records from AHRQ’s State Emergency Department Databases and the State Inpatient Databases, the 2011 NEDS contains data from nearly 29 million ED visits and encompasses all encounter data from more than 922 hospital-based EDs in 30 states. It approximates a 20-percent stratified sample of EDs from community hospitals. Weights are provided to calculate national estimates about the 131 million ED visits that took place in 2011. The NEDS provides information on “treat-and-release” ED visits, as well as ED visits in which the patient was admitted to the same hospital for further care. The NEDS has many research applications as it contains information on hospital and patient characteristics, geographic region, and the nature of the ED visits (e.g., common reasons for ED visits, including injuries). The database includes information on all visits to the ED, regardless of payer – including persons covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and the uninsured. The 2011 NEDS is a product of AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and is available for purchase through the HCUP Central Distributor. Selected aggregate statistics from the NEDS can be accessed at no charge via HCUPnet.
The Minnesota Department of Health has released two reports, the Adverse Health Events in Minnesota Report, January 2014, and the 10 Year Adverse Health Events Evaluation Report. 2013 which marks the 10-year anniversary of Minnesota’s Adverse Health Events reporting system that tracks 28 types of serious events, such as wrong-site surgeries, severe pressure ulcers, falls, or serious medication errors, which should rarely or never happen. Before the system was launched, there was no statewide system for assessing how frequently preventable errors such as these happened in hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers.
Read full reports:
New and updated performance data comparing health care outcomes, quality and safety, timely access to care, patients’ experiences, and spending in hospitals and regions are now available on WhyNotTheBest.org, The Commonwealth Fund’s free benchmarking tool for health care professionals. For the first time, WhyNotTheBest.org is reporting on:
- the incidence of MRSA and C.diff. infections;
- timely and effective stroke care;
- blood clot prevention and treatment; and
- rates of early elective deliveries.
In addition, the following have been updated with the most recently available data from CMS Hospital Compare:
- process-of-care measures for recommended heart attack care, heart failure care, pneumonia care, and surgery;
- Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) measures of patients’ experiences;
- measures of timely emergency care;
- vaccination rates;
- the incidence of central line–associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and two different types of surgical site infections; and
- spending levels per hospitalized Medicare patient.
To get started, explore these featured reports:
- Early Elective Delivery Rates: Interstate Variation (Regional Report)
- Blood Clot Prevention and Treatment: California Regions (Regional Report)
- Health Care-Associated Infections: Florida Hospitals (Hospital Report)
The California Office of the Patient Advocate’s (OPA) will release the 2014 Edition of the State of California Health Care Quality Report Cards on January 28, 2014. The Report Card details how California’s commercial HMOs, PPOs, and over 200 medical groups rate on quality of care for persons with chronic conditions (heart disease, diabetes, etc.) and many other important quality of care measures, as well as on member experience