Costs & Cost Controls

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December 2017
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Value of voluntary bundled-payment program unclear

Editor's Note For the third year in a row, researchers with the Lewin Group couldn’t determine whether Medicare’s voluntary Bundled Payment for Care Improvement initiative cuts costs and improves care, the October 31 Modern Healthcare reports. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) funded analysis found that although providers…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 1, 2017
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Study: No advantages to robotic-assisted nephrectomy

Editor's Note Robotic-assisted nephrectomy is more expensive and takes longer than conventional laparoscopic nephrectomy and confers no additional benefits, this study finds. The proportion of robotic-assisted nephrectomies increased from 1.5% in 2003 to 27% in 2015. Of 23,753 patients analyzed, no significant differences were found in major postoperative complications between…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 31, 2017
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Track ASC metrics to produce a healthy bottom line

Each day seems to bring new tasks for leaders of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), adding to their already overflowing plate. One task that can easily fall off that plate is collecting and analyzing metrics, yet failing to do so can have serious financial consequences. OR Manager recently asked ASC leaders…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
October 19, 2017
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Low-cost, high-volume services account for most of unnecessary healthcare spending

Editor's Note Low-cost, high-volume healthcare services account for a high percentage of unnecessary spending, adding strain to the healthcare system, this study finds. In this analysis of 5.5 million patients in Virginia, researchers found that services providing no net health benefits cost the state’s healthcare system more than $586 million…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 12, 2017
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Factors linked to readmission after total hip

Editor's Note All-cause readmission is the only metric in widespread use, but it overlooks important information that enables readmission risk to be understood, this study finds. Of 514,455 patients in the UK analyzed over a 10-year period, there were 30,489 all-cause readmissions, 16,499 readmissions related to the surgical site, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 5, 2017
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ECRI Institute's new SERVICEguide helps reduce costs of outsourced services

Editor's Note SERVICEguide is the ECRI Institute’s new membership-based advisory service that helps hospitals maintain and manage their outsourced services. SERVICEguide includes an interactive assessment dashboard with spend analytics that reveal the highest potential areas for savings. Recently, for example, ECRI Institute helped a large healthcare system save more than…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 25, 2017
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Editorial

Since July, when repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stalled, healthcare reform has been somewhat overshadowed by events such as natural disasters and concerns about national security. Now, with insurers due to announce rates for the coming year, Congress is working on a bill to stabilize the…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
September 20, 2017
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Price transparency tool did not reduce spending for California public employees, retirees

Editor's Note Offering a price transparency tool to California public employees and retirees that focused on services such as lab tests, office visits, and advanced imaging services did not lower spending, this study finds. Only 12% of employees used it in the first 15 months after it was introduced, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 5, 2017
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California county goes surgery shopping

Editor's Note California's Santa Barbara County and other government employers are joining private employers in shopping for lower-cost bundled surgical care, even if it means going out of town, the September 1 Kaiser Health News reports. The voluntary program that includes incentives such as waived copays and deductibles as well…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 5, 2017
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Costs vary widely for common surgical procedures

Editor's Note There is wide cost variation for five common surgical procedures in the US, this study finds. Cost observed-to-expected ratios ranged widely: 14.9-fold for colectomy 5.5-fold for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) 12.5-fold for lung resection 10.6-fold for total knee arthroplasty 28.0-fold for cesarean section. High-cost hospitals were more…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 30, 2017
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