Costs & Cost Controls

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April 2019
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IV and oral acetaminophen work equally well after THA

Editor's Note Intravenous (IV) acetaminophen did not result in a significant difference in pain scores, opioid consumption, or opioid-related adverse events compared with oral acetaminophen, finds this study presented March 12 at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. A total of 154 patients having total…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 13, 2019
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Haven is new name for Amazon-backed healthcare venture

Editor's Note The healthcare organization founded by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase announced on March 6 its new name−Haven−along with the launching of its new website www.havenhealthcare.com. The website outlines some of the areas where Haven intends to make improvements on the current healthcare system, including access of…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 7, 2019
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Editorial

Interest in data analytics, artificial intelligence, technology, and innovation has skyrocketed with rapid advances in systems and devices designed to improve patient care. When it comes to data analytics, asking the right questions is key to finding answers that will enhance efficiency and patient safety, according to David Wyatt, PhD,…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
February 20, 2019
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Government payment policies linked to hospital performance fail to improve CAUTI rates

Editor's Note This study found no evidence that value-based incentive programs (VBIPs), which link financial incentives or penalties to hospital performance, had any measurable association with changes in catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine analyzed 592 hospitals across the country, and found that…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 14, 2019
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Use of ‘hot spotting’ to identify high-cost surgery patients

Editor's Note Because a subset of patients are responsible for a disproportionate share of Medicare spending, targeting high-cost patients (ie, “hot spotting”) for cost containment efforts would be an effective strategy to reduce costs in surgical patients, this study finds. Using Medicare claims data from 2010 to 2013, University of…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 14, 2019
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Effect of Medicare ACOs on spending for inpatient surgery

Editor's Note Though Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have had some success in reducing spending for medical care, they have not had similar success with surgical spending, this study finds. Of 341,675 patients at 427 ACO hospitals and 1,024,090 patients at 1,531 non-ACO hospitals analyzed, average baseline payments were similar…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 14, 2019
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Surgical VAC mines new software for deeper look at products

After transitioning from a paper-based data and operations management system to one that uses relational database software, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (LHMC) in Burlington, Massachusetts, saved more than $1 million in product purchases in 2017. The surgical value analysis committee (VAC) evaluated 150 product requests and managed the conversion…

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By: Robert Dolan, MD,, Kristen Murphy, MBA, and Edward Aiello
January 14, 2019
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Medicare’s bundled payments for joint replacements show moderate savings

Editor's Note In the first 2 years of Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program, there was a modest reduction in spending per procedure without an increase in complication rates, this study finds. Comparing costs associated with 280,161 joint replacement procedures in 803 hospitals required to participate in the…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 3, 2019
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Effect of routine preop urine screening on postop outcomes

Editor's Note Antimicrobial treatment of asymptomatic organisms identified in preoperative urine cultures was not associated with reductions in the risk for postoperative infections, including urinary tract infections (UTIs) and surgical site infections (SSIs), this study finds. In this analysis of 68,265 patients in 109 Veterans Affairs hospitals who had cardiac,…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 2, 2019
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Editorial

A greater focus on cost cutting and improving quality of care, a rise in outpatient procedures, and increased demand for cost and quality transparency were among the major healthcare trends projected for 2018. It’s safe to say these will continue to dominate in 2019 and beyond. A year ago, all…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
December 13, 2018
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