Kaiser Health News writes of rise in consumers using online cost estimator offered through their insurance companies to price-shop for care as patients shoulder a bigger share of the cost of their medical care. Outside companies are developing the online calculators, and most insurers offer them. However inaccuracies with online estimators are making price comparison difficult due to the variability in the information that’s provided to consumers. Some estimators reflect an aggregate range of possible costs; others are based on historic pricing, or claims data from varying sources. Many are limited in the type of procedures they include.
Medscape Medical News writes the Joint Commission – the nation’s main accreditation agency for hospitals and one of several groups that annually rate and rank hospitals – will not issue a Top Performers list of hospitals in 2016. Since 2010 the Joint Commission has identified Top Performing hospitals for scoring consistently high measures of evidence-based care, now covering 49 clinical processes. Last week the Joint Commission published its list of 1043 hospitals that attained Top Performer status. It also announced it would not issue a list in 2016 for 2015 performance, intending to use this pause to rethink how it should evaluate hospitals in the future.
Read more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/855005
A new study, published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemology, found current public hospital-acquired infections (HAI) data presentation methods may be inadequate. Public reporting of hospital quality data is a key element of US healthcare reform. Data for hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are especially complex. The study sought to assess interpretability of HAI data as presented on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare website among patients who might benefit from access to these data. When presented with numeric HAI data, study participants incorrectly compared hospitals on the basis of HAI data in more than 40% of the responses. The findings suggest research is needed to identify better ways to convey these data to the public.
Read more: Lack of Patient Understanding of Hospital-Acquired Infection Data Published on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare Website. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemology.
CMS to Develop Survey Regarding Patient and Family Member Experiences With Care Received in Long-Term Care HospitalsMartina Dolan | November 24, 2015
The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is preparing a new patient-satisfaction survey tailored to long-term-care hospitals in order to gain more information about the quality of care Medicare beneficiaries get in these facilities. If implemented, the findings from the LTCH Patient and Family Member Experience of Care (PEC) Survey may be published on the CMS website to help consumers make more informed decisions about long-term-care settings and drive improvements in the quality of care.
The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) released the Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD). The NRD is a new annual database designed to support various types of analyses of national readmission rates for all payers and the uninsured. This database addresses a large gap in health care data—the lack of nationally representative information on hospital readmissions for all ages.
The HCUP databases are available for purchase through the online HCUP Central Distributor. Applications are available at:
The Joint Commission released its America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety: The Joint Commission’s Annual Report 2015, summarizing data on 49 accountability measures reported by more than 3,300 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals in 2014.
New infographics, from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, about the value consumers receive from accessing their electronic health data and the surge in providers who offer online access to health information,
- The Value of Consumer Access & Use of Online Health Records [INFOGRAPHIC]: https://www.healthit.gov/newsroom/value-consumer-access-use-online-health-records
- A Majority of Providers Offer Online Access to Health Information [INFOGRAPHIC]: https://www.healthit.gov/newsroom/majority-providers-provide-online-access-health-information
Findings from a newly released OECD report says Australia needs to collect more information to measure the quality of care that hospitals provide to patients nationally. The OECD’s review of Australia’s health system, released today, said that while Australia had improved its national standards for health care, a surprising lack of data on the quality and outcomes of care marks out Australia from its peers.
Australia’s National Health Performance Authority’s currently reports on the performance of over 1,000 public and private hospitals on a range of indicators, including emergency department waiting times, types of surgery and rates of infection, through its MyHospitals website (www.myhospitals.gov.au).
To improve the quality of its health care system, the OECD Report suggests Australia should also:
- Build on the Practice Incentives Programme with a more robust blended payment system comprising more indicators of quality and outcomes, to provide GPs with financial incentives to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes;
- Require GPs to begin reporting data on a wide range of indicators linked to quality and patient outcomes and publish more indicators of quality online, including hospital-level data for adverse events and the results of patient experience surveys for public and private hospitals;
- Expand the scope and alignment of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards not only in hospitals, but also across primary health care, long-term care and mental health services;
- Improve the quality of rural and remote health care by extending Australia’s basic information set on health service needs, service use and outcomes to rural and remote settings.
Read full report: OECD Review of Health Care Quality: Australia
52 ACS NSQIP® Participating Hospitals Recognized for Achieving Meritorious Outcomes for Surgical Patient CareMartina Dolan | November 16, 2015
The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) has recognized 52 of 517 hospitals participating in the adult program for achieving meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in 2014. ACS NSQIP participating hospitals are required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and then analyze their results.
The ACS NSQIP recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for achieving a meritorious composite score. That composite score was determined through a weighted formula combining eight outcomes. The outcome performances related to patient management were in the following eight clinical areas: Mortality; Cardiac: cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction; Pneumonia; Unplanned Intubation; Ventilator > 48 hours; Renal Failure; SSI: superficial incisional SSI, deep incisional SSI, and organ/space SSI; and UTI: urinary tract infection.
Risk-adjusted data from the July 2015 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report, which presents data from the 2014 calendar year, were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated meritorious outcomes.
Interesting article in Kaiser Health News asking the question when something goes wrong in the hospital, Who’s responsible? If treatment makes things worse – meaning patients need more care – who pays? The answer, it seems, is that it depends. Read full article at http://khn.org/news/when-something-goes-wrong-at-the-hospital-who-pays/