NZDoctor.co.nz writes: A pilot survey of patients’ experiences in primary care in New Zealand has begun and is set to be rolled out nationally in July. As part of a new measure in the Integrated Performance and Incentive Framework, showing how patients rate their experience of care, the Ministry of Health and Health Quality and Safety Commission have developed a national survey tool to be run on a quarterly basis. Until now, New Zealand has had no consistent approach to measuring patient experience, though patient satisfaction is the focus of many existing tools. All PHOs and practices will be provided with the tool with no additional IT investment required by them to participate.
Nearly half of American hospitals aren’t taking key steps to prevent a kind of gut infection that kills nearly 30,000 people annually and sickens hundreds of thousands more – despite strong evidence that such steps work, according to a new study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.
While nearly all of the 398 hospitals in the study use a variety of measures to protect their patients from Clostridium difficile infections, 48 percent haven’t adopted strict limits on the use of antibiotics and other drugs that can allow the dangerous bug to flourish, the researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System report.
Hospital patients are especially prone to developing C. diff infections, and suffering serious effects — especially after they take antibiotics that disrupt the community of bacteria in their digestive systems.
Modern Healthcare writes: Inpatient rehabilitation facilities would get a 1.7% rate increase from Medicare in fiscal 2016 under a proposed rule the CMS issued Thursday. The rule would also make a portion of reimbursement contingent on facilities reporting on several new quality measures. The measures—which Medicare is also applying to long-term care, skilled nursing and home health providers—would track the percentage of patients with new or worsened pressure ulcers; the percentage of patients with functional status assessments and care plans; and the percentage of patients experiencing falls causing major injuries. Providers that fail to submit the data are subject to a two percentage-point reduction to their annual rate increase.
Kaiser Family Foundation Poll Finds Few Consumers Are Using Quality, Price Information To Make Health DecisionsMartina Dolan | April 22, 2015
Few people use concrete information about doctors or hospitals to obtain better care at lower prices, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The 2010 health law aimed to make prices for the health care industry more transparent. People shopping for insurance can now compare the prices of competing plans through online marketplaces, including premiums, deductibles and their share of any medical expenses via the federal government quality ratings Websites, large private insurer Websites and provider rating reports by private groups such as Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report. But the poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about two of three people say it is still difficult to know how much specific doctors or hospitals charge for medical treatments or procedures. Only about one in five people said they had seen specific cost or quality information about a hospital, insurer or doctor. The poll found that this information rarely makes a difference. About 6 percent of people ever used quality information in making a decision regarding an insurer, hospital or doctor. And fewer than 9 percent used information about prices, most commonly in relation to health plans. Only 3 percent said they used price information about physicians, the poll found. This lack of practical information may be related to another major finding from the poll: people are overconfident about their ability to pay medical bills without financial strain.
Politico Morning eHealth writes: CMS wants to better align the clinical quality measures hospitals report under the meaningful use program and Medicare’s Inpatient Quality Reporting program, according to a proposed rule published Friday. “We believe that our proposals will ultimately decrease reporting burden to hospitals,” the 1,500-page rule states. “Electronic clinical quality measure collection does not require hospital staff time to find and pull paper medical records and manually review them to abstract data elements used in measure calculation.” There are no new clinical quality measures proposed for fiscal 2016, which starts in October. Hospitals that are not meaningful users will receive a 1.35 percent penalty in their fiscal 2016 Medicare payments.
Kaiser Health News writes: As consumers increasingly are being asked to pay a larger share of their health bills, a coalition of insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and provider and consumer advocacy groups launched earlier this month a new push for greater transparency regarding the actual costs of services. The group includes AARP, Novo Nordisk, the National Consumers League, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, the National Council for Behavioral Health and Aetna. Health care transparency means all consumers have access to information enabling them to estimate accurately the cost of health services, and compare physician quality rankings and outcomes. The initiative, “Clear Choices,” will add to private and government efforts already underway to get more such information to patients, including Medicare’s Physician Compare, and the Health Care Cost Institute’s ‘Guroo,’ which culls data from private insurers to provide average prices regionally.
iHealthbeat writes of an interesting article in The Los Angeles Times on healthcare price transparency tools. While new pricing tools are consistently being developed as patient demand for such information increases, finding accurate information is difficult, and the industry still lacks a comprehensive price database, according to the Times. The reason cited is because competition among providers and insurers discourages them from sharing their cost information.
- ihealthbeat article: Price Transparency Tools on the Rise in the Healthcare Industry
- The Los Angeles Times: Shopping Tools help patients find cash prices for medical procedures
An interesting commentary in The Star Tribune relating to a bill (S.F. 1818) which is currently working its way through Minnesota Senate. This Minnesota health care data bill would prohibit the identification of individual payers, providers, hospitals or clinics. As the legislation is written, according to the commentary authors, if the state’s all-payer claims database contained Medicare, Medicaid and commercial claims, distinguishing data based on whether claims involved a state payer (Medicaid), a federal payer (Medicare), or a commercial payer (even aggregated), would be prohibited. While the bill supports analysis at the geographic, community and population level, many communities do not have competing hospital systems or specialist provider groups, so effective analysis even at these levels may be difficult. Moreover, it is generally understood that prices vary more within markets than across markets, so studies of small markets, prohibited by S.F. 1818, are key but here are prohibited. S.F. 1818 would prohibit the state of Minnesota from sharing its data, even without patient data attached, with health care price transparency initiatives. It would even prevent the state from pursuing its own transparency initiative, as some states are contemplating.
The following is a summary of the latest data refresh on CMS Hospital Compare:
- Patient Satisfaction HCAHPS – data updated to 2013Q3_2014Q2. Note New: H_STAR_RATING (for all measures and summary star rating): Survey of patients’ experiences Star Ratings: 2013Q3_2014Q2 (for more information relating to new star rating for HCAHPS measures see http://blogs.ipro.org/abouthealthtransparency/2015/03/20/cms-adding-hcahps-star-ratings-to-hospital-compare-web-site/
- Heart Attack (HA): data updated for:
4 Outpatient HA measures (OP_3b, OP_5, OP_2; OP_4) to 2013Q3_2014Q2
4 HA measures (AMI_7A, AMI_8a, AMI_2; AMI_10) to 2013Q3_2014Q2
- Heart Failure (HF): data updated for 3 measures (HF_1, HF_2, HF_3) to 2013Q3_2014Q2
- Pneumonia (PN): data updated for PN_6 to 2013Q3_2014Q2
- SCI: data updated for:
2 outpatient measures (OP_6, OP_7) to 2013Q3_2014Q2
8 SCI measures (SCIP_INF_1, SCIP_INF_2, SCIP_INF_3, SCIP_INF_4, SCIP_INF_9, SCIP_INF_10, SCIP_VTE_2, SCIP_CARD_2) to 2013Q3_2014Q2.
Note: SCIP_VTE_1 now reporting under Blood Clot measures
- EMERGENCY DEPT: data updated for 8 measures (EDV, ED_1b, ED_2b, OP_18b, OP_20, OP_21, OP_22, OP_23) to 2013Q3_2014Q2
- PREVENTIVE CARE data updated for 2 measures:
IMM_2: Patients assessed and given influenza vaccination:13Q3_14Q2
IMM_3_FAC_ADHPCT: Healthcare workers given influenza vaccination to 2013Q4_2014Q1.
Note: no data reported for the measure IMM-1a Patients assessed and given pneumonia vaccination
- STROKE CARE: data updated for 8 measures (STK_4, STK_5, STK_1, STK_2, STK_3, STK_6, STK_8, STK_10) to 2013Q3_2014Q2
- BLOOD CLOT PREVENTION AND TREATMENT: data updated for 6 measures (VTE_1, VTE_2, VTE_3, VTE_4, VTE_5, VTE_6) to 2013Q3_2014Q2
- PREGNANCY AND DELIVERY CARE: data updated for1 measure (PC_01) to 2013Q3_2014Q2
- HAI: data updated for 6 measures to 2013Q3_2014Q2
- USE OF MEDICAL IMAGING: data updated for 6 measures (OP_8 to OP_14) to 2012Q3_2013Q2
MSPB_1: Medicare hospital spending per patient (Medicare Spending per Beneficiary): data not updated – still reporting 2013Q1_2013Q4
PAYM_30_AMI: Payment for heart attack patients: data updated to 2010Q3_2013Q2
- NUMBER OF MEDICARE PATIENTS:
MV: Number of Medicare patients treated 2012Q4_2013Q3
Data not updated for the following:
- READMISSIONS, COMPLICATIONS AND DEATHS:
30 DAY OUTCOMES: 3 Mortality measures & 7 Readmissions measures: (data not updated – still reporting 10Q3_13Q2)
(READM_30_AMI, MORT_30_AMI, READM_30_HF, MORT_30_HF, READM_30_PN, MORT_30_PN, READM_30_HIP_KNEE, READM_30_HOSP_WIDE, READM_30_COPD, MORT_30_COPD, READM_30_STK, MORT_30_STK)
- SURGICAL COMPLICATIONS:
COMP_HIP_KNEE: : data not updated – still reporting 10Q2_13Q1
PSI_90_SAFETY; PSI_4_SURG_COMP: data not updated – still reporting 11Q3_13Q2
- STRUCTURAL MEASURES
6 measures (SM_PART_CARD, SM_PART_STROKE, SM_PART_NURSE, ACS_REGISTRY SM_PART_GEN_SURG, OP_25) – data not updated – still reporting 2012Q1_2012Q4
- HIT MEASURES:
2 measurs (OP_12 , OP_17) – data not updated – still reporting 2012Q1_2012Q4
HIT Consultant writes: 74 percent of hospitals that use tablets or other mobile devices to collect information from patients are more efficient than those that don’t, according to a new report by Ricoh. The report reveals more than half (54 percent) say patients are less anxious during hospital visits when healthcare providers use tablets or other mobile devices to perform data collection. These are among the findings of an online survey conducted by Harris Poll of more than 2,000 adults in the United States on behalf of Ricoh Americas Corporation. The focus was information mobility in American hospitals, the ability to efficiently move information among clinical and administrative workers regardless of whether it’s paper-based or digital.