Health Care Reform

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March 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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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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Editorial

Early in a new year, there’s a tendency to reflect on how past events might inform the future. The January issue of OR Manager looked at 2018 legislative changes and their potential impact on healthcare. In just the past few weeks, several legal and financial actions have already changed the…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
January 14, 2019
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Reduced readmissions credited to HRRP overstated

Editor's Note Medicare’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), which penalizes readmissions for several targeted conditions, has been credited with lowering readmission rates; however, these reductions now appear to be overstated, this study finds. A concurrent change in electronic transaction standards that increased diagnostic coding allowed hospitals to document a larger…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 10, 2019
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CMS underpaid hospitals by $76.8 billion in 2017

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) underpaid hospitals by $76.8 billion in 2017, according to data from the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of Hospitals. Medicare underpayments totaled $53.9 billion, and Medicaid underpayments were $22.9 billion. Hospitals also provided $38.4 billion in uncompensated care, the January…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 7, 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 CJR bundled payment program on care delivery

Editor's Note Participation in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) bundled payment program was associated with changes in care delivery and compensation practices, this study finds. This survey of 73 orthopedic surgeons found that those practicing in CJR hospitals were more likely to report their hospitals had implemented programs…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 6, 2018
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Most hospitals will get increased Medicare payments in 2019

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced December 3 that more than 1,550 hospitals will share $1.9 billion in bonus payments under the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program for FY 2019. Though it is a slight decline from FY 2018, average performance scores were higher at 38.1%, compared…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 6, 2018
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HHS issues draft strategy to reduce burdens linked to EHRs, health IT

Editor's Note The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on November 28 issued a draft strategy to reduce administrative and regulatory burdens caused by electronic health records (EHRs) and health information technology (health IT). The draft “Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 29, 2018
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Study: 'Meaningful use' of EHRs linked to shorter LOS

Editor's Note Hospitals that successfully attested to "meaningful use" of electronic health records (EHRs) experienced a shorter patient length of stay (LOS) in this study. This analysis of patient data from California categorized hospitals into one of three categories−partial adoption of EHRs, full adoption of EHRs, and meaningful assimilation of…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 28, 2018
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