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December 2017
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Purpose of CMS readmission program questioned

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program has only seen a drop in readmissions by 0.1% from 2013 to mid-2016, which has industry experts and hospital leaders questioning its purpose, the August 12 Modern Healthcare reports. The Affordable Care Act mandated program, which…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 14, 2017
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Hospitals partnering with ASCs to perform outpatient total joints

Editor's Note With the growth of ambulatory surgeries and the shift to Medicare reimbursement for outpatient hip and knee replacements, hospitals are acquiring and forming joint ventures with ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), the August 5 Modern Healthcare reports. This allows hospitals to keep part of the revenue and better aligns…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 10, 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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Medicare ‘meaningful use’ data to be submitted via QualityNet

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced August 7 that hospitals and critical access hospitals participating in  Medicare’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program will submit their “meaningful use” data via QualityNet rather than the EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System beginning January 2, 2018,…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 9, 2017
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Mayo Clinic tops US News Honor Roll of Best Hospitals

Editor's Note The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, was ranked the nation’s top hospital by US News & World Report in its 2017-2018 Honor Roll of Best Hospitals. The Honor Roll consists of 20 hospitals with the highest combined overall scores in 16 medical-surgical specialties. Cleveland Clinic was second, Johns Hopkins…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 9, 2017
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CMS push to value-based care leading to more burnout

Editor's Note The push by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to transform healthcare delivery at community health centers to value-based care is increasing staff dissatisfaction and burnout, this study finds. From 2013 to 2014, clinicians and staff at 296 centers reported statistically significant declines in multiple measures…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 8, 2017
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CMS releases FY 2018 inpatient PPS final rule

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on August 2 issued the FY 2018 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule, which updates Medicare payment and policies when patients are discharged from hospitals. The rule increases rates by 1.2%. This includes an initial market-basket update of 2.7%…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 4, 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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Reduction in readmissions not linked to increased mortality

Editor's Note Reductions in readmissions associated with the Affordable Care Act have not had the unintended consequence of increasing mortality after hospital discharge, finds this study. Analysis of more than 5 million Medicare patients hospitalized for heart failure, heart attack, or pneumonia, found that reductions in hospital 30-day readmission rates…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 18, 2017
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