Costs & Cost Controls

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December 2017
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Payment variation in CABG episodes of care can affect bundled payments

Editor's Note Wide variation was found in 90-day coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) episode payments for Medicare and private payer patients in this study. The differences were driven by increased use of evaluation and management services, higher utilization of inpatient rehabilitation, and patients with multiple readmissions. In the analysis of…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 25, 2017
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Voluntary bundled-payment models shifting to outpatient procedures

Editor's Note Though the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is rolling back mandatory bundled-payment programs, it is expected to release more voluntary, outpatient-focused programs, which shifts power from hospitals to physicians, the August 21 Healthcare Finance News reports. Physician-focused does not require a hospitalization, which creates a complete…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 24, 2017
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Obese cardiac surgery patients use more ICU resources

Editor's Note After cardiac surgery, obese patients required significantly more ICU resources and longer recovery times, resulting in more expensive, labor-intensive care, this study finds. Of 5,365 patients included in the analysis, 1,948 were classified as obese. Patients with greater obesity were: four times more likely to have longer time…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 10, 2017
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AHRQ: Cost trends for inpatient stays

Editor's Note From 2005 to 2014, the average inflation-adjusted cost of a hospital inpatient stay increased by 12.7%, from $9,500 to $10,900, according to new statistics from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Average costs for stays increased: 16% for Medicaid 18% for private insurance 8% for Medicare…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 2, 2017
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ECRI Institute announces new white paper on value analysis

Editor's Note The ECRI Institute on July 31 announced a new free white paper titled, “Value Analysis: Best Practices for Navigating the Evidence Maze. The white paper features three case studies that show how hospital value analysis committees can use the PICOTS (patients, intervention, comparators, outcomes, time frame for follow-up,…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 1, 2017
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Editorial

The inaugural Bundled Payment Bootcamp on June 20 in Nashville, Tennessee, was a timely opportunity for healthcare providers to learn how reimbursement is changing the way they do business. Though the uncertain direction of US healthcare legislation continues to cause consternation, this workshop—which will be presented again in fall 2017—clarifies…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
July 13, 2017
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Outcomes, costs associated with appendectomy in safety-net hospitals

Editor's Note Safety-net hospitals treat a disproportionate number of patients with advanced appendicitis and use laparoscopy less often, but their rates of morbidity and costs are similar to other hospitals, this study finds. In this analysis of 349 nonfederally funded hospitals in California performing 274,405 appendectomies, safety-net (compared with non-safety-net)…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 10, 2017
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Economic benefits of low-temperature vs steam sterilization of endoscopes

Editor's Note This Australian study finds it is a good economic decision for large healthcare facilities to invest in low-temperature systems for sterilization of steam-sterilizable endoscopes. Increased costs associated with low-temperature systems were outweighed by savings from fewer instrument repairs. Based on their calculations, the researchers estimated a savings of…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 29, 2017
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Avoiding blood wastage in the OR can improve bottom line

Keeping a close eye on implants that are opened and not used is one way OR leaders can track practices that add significantly to costs. But what about blood products? Blood taken to the OR and not used also can be costly. Although an individual unit of blood doesn't compare…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
June 20, 2017
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New instrument shows promise as low-cost alternative to robot

Researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M), Ann Arbor, have invented a new surgical instrument with the goal of addressing a vast, unmet need in minimally invasive surgery. For less than a thousand dollars, this platform technology—currently being commercialized by the start-up FlexDex Surgical—offers capabilities similar to those of the…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
June 20, 2017
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