Severe sepsis causes hospital readmissions at a rate comparable to more commonly addressed conditions such as pneumonia and heart failure, according to a study presented at the 2015 American Thoracic Society International Conference, writes Fierce Healthcare. While previous research has analyzed quality measures associated with sepsis, such as length of stay, researchers (led by Darya Rudym, M.D., of New York University School of Medicine) sought to specifically analyze its effect on 30-day readmission rates. Analyzing inpatient discharge and readmission data from New York City’s Bellevue Hospital from July 2011 to July 2014, researchers monitored 22,712 discharges; more than 15 percent, or 3,477, were readmitted within 30 days. Using three different reporting methods for severe sepsis identification, they identified 1,801, 798 and 579 discharges, respectively, among the discharges. Of those, they found 266 (14.77 percent), 119 (14.91 percent) and 71 (12.26 percent) readmitted within 30 days, respectively.
The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council released its latest report, “Volume One: General Acute Care Hospitals.” The council releases three “volumes” annually looking at different aspects of cost and outcomes for hospitals and medical facilities. This report focuses on “general acute care hospitals, with particular focus on two measures that can help show a hospital’s financial health: The operating margin (the percent of money left over after all operating costs are paid), and the total margin (a similar figure that includes income other than operating expenses, such as money from a gift shop). The report notes that while many factors can impact the two margins, lower margins can be a sign of financial stress. If a hospital has a negative margin, it is not taking in enough money to cover expenses and must find money elsewhere.
Health IT company Athenahealth, in conjunction with the healthcare marketing communications firm ReviveHealth, released its tenth annual payer report cards (PayerView), rating payers performance. The payer report cards show payers strong on operational performance, but lacking in provider trust. PayerView measures payers’ financial, administrative and transactional performance and identifies top performing payers for efficiency, transparency, and consistency. The 2015 edition ranks the performance of 166 payers based on metrics such as days in accounts receivable, first-pass claim resolution rate, denial rate and provider collection burden.
The United Health Foundation released its third edition of America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities. The report found Vermont is the healthiest state for seniors, rising from fourth place last year, while New Hampshire ranks second and Minnesota ranks third. Louisiana ranks 50th as the least healthy state for older adults. The America’s Health Rankings Senior Report shows positive trends nationwide for senior health, especially for measures that look at whether seniors are getting the right care in a setting of their choice.
America’s Health Rankings Senior Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities offers a comprehensive analysis of senior population health on a national and state-by-state basis across 35 measures of senior health. In commissioning the report, United Health Foundation seeks to promote discussion around the health of older Americans while driving communities, governments, stakeholders and individuals to take action to improve senior health.
Researchers draw data from more than 12 government agencies and leading research organizations to create a focused, uniquely rich dataset for measuring senior health at the state level, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Labor, The Dartmouth Atlas Project, the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger and the Commonwealth Fund.
- Read full report (PDF)
iHealthbeat writes: About 56% of U.S. physicians electronically prescribed medication in 2014, according to Surescripts’ 2014 National Progress Report. For the report, Surescripts analyzed health data transactions that took place on the company’s network last year. Overall, the report found that Surescripts processed about 6.5 billion health data transactions in 2014, including764 million medication history-related transactions; and 7.4 million clinical messages. In addition, the report found that 67% — or 1.2 billion — of all new prescriptions in 2014 were e-prescribed via Surescripts’ network; and 95% of pharmacies were on the company’s network in 2014. Read more.
Patients want to receive health care that is of the highest quality. Physicians want to provide it. But what is “high quality health care?” writes Forbes.com. The Institute of Medicine (IOM), a highly regarded independent organization established by Congress to advise on health care issues – the gold standard on improving our nation’s health – last month released a report. “Vital Signs: Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress.” The IOM panel of experts identified 15 measures, narrowed down from hundreds, with the best potential for improving health, including reducing the overall rate of preventable deaths.The consensus: if the U.S. systematically raises its performance in each of these 15 domains, the quality of life for millions would improve dramatically. Forbes.com contributor recommends focusing on the seven that relate to direct health care delivery and better care for patients – Overweight and obesity; Addictive behaviors; Preventive services; Patient safety; Unintended pregnancy; Access to care; Evidence-based care.
- How to deliver true quality, Forbes.com
- Vital Signs – Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress, Institute of Medicine (PDF)
AHA News writes: The number of patients treated for mental disorders grew by 14 million between 2002 and 2012, while expenditures for mental disorders grew by $25 billion, according to a new report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. That’s a larger increase in cases and expenditures than for heart disease, cancer or any of the other top five costliest conditions, the report indicates. The five most costly conditions in 2012, from most to least, were heart conditions, trauma-related disorders, cancer, mental disorders, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease/asthma, the same as in 2002. For people with expenses for these conditions, the average expenditure per person was highest for cancer ($5,631) and heart conditions ($4,349). About 45.2 million people had expenses for mental disorders in 2012, slightly more than for COPD/asthma and more than for any of the other conditions. The estimates are based on data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, co-sponsored by AHRQ and the National Center for Health Statistics. Additional reports look at the costliest conditions for children and adults. To access the reports, visit meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb.
An analysis by US News & World Report found that thousands of U.S. medical centers patients face a greater risk of death and complications because their surgical teams do too few procedures, even common ones, for doctors, nurses and technicians to maintain their skills. These large numbers of low-volume hospitals, the analysis found, continue to put patients at higher risk even after three decades of published research have demonstrated that patients are more likely to die or suffer complications when treated by doctors who only occasionally see similar patients rather than by experienced teams at hospitals with more patients and established protocols.
Read more: Risks Are High at Low-Volume Hospitals
iHealthbeat writes: HHS this summer plans to launch an updated version of HealthData.gov to improve the usability of its datasets. The database, launched under President Obama’s open government initiative in 2011, contains more than 1,900 datasets on health issues. According to HHS Health Data Initiative Director Damon Davis, HHS’ IDEA Lab will assist in developing new tools for the data portal. He said the update is intended to provide users with more data in machine-readable formats and facilitate data sharing and collaboration within HHS and with outside experts. Read more