Health Care Reform

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October 2020
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Waste in US healthcare spending, potential for savings

Editor's Note This study finds that the estimated cost of waste in the US health care system ranges from $760 billion to $935 billion and accounts for some 25% of healthcare spending. Projected potential savings from interventions to reduce waste, excluding savings from administrative complexity, range from $191 billion to…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 9, 2019
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CMS: New round of readmission penalties affects 2,583 hospitals

Editor's Note Data from the Affordable Care Act’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) shows that Medicare cut payments to 2,583 hospitals on October 1 because of the number of patients readmitted within a month, the October 1 Kaiser Health News reports. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 2, 2019
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HealthStream’s top 10 healthcare trends

Editor's Note 2019 continues to be a year of change in the healthcare industry as well as great innovation. HealthStream has broken down the top 10 trends and identifies solutions that can help an organization streamline initiatives and improve outcomes. Among the top trends: Amazon is becoming a major disrupter.…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 26, 2019
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Study: AI equal to humans in medical diagnosis

Editor's Note When deep learning algorithms were compared with health-care professionals in classifying diseases using medical imaging, diagnostic performance was equivalent between the two. In this meta-analysis of 14 studies, researchers found that deep learning systems correctly detected a disease state 87% of the time, compared with 86.4% for healthcare…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 25, 2019
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Amazon launches Amazon Care

Editor's Note Amazon has launched Amazon Care, a virtual primary care clinic, with an option for home visits from nurses, the September 24 CNBC.com reports. Employees will have an option to see a physician, nurse practitioner, or RN via a mobile app or website, and they can text a nurse…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 25, 2019
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Effect of ‘regression to the mean’ on excess readmissions

Editor's Note Strong evidence suggests that most declines in excess readmissions--after implementation of Medicare’s Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP)--at poorly performing hospitals can be explained by a statistical phenomenon called “regression to the mean [RTM],” this study finds. In RTM, entities farther away from the mean in one period are…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 4, 2019
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EHR efficiency, usability, stress differ by physician gender

Editor's Note There are gender differences in how physicians perceive EHR-related stress, satisfaction, and usability, finds this study. Of 25 ICU physicians who participated in the study, 48% were men and 52% were women. Overall task performance scores were similar, but men reported significantly higher perceived EHR workload stress and…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 3, 2019
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Family healthcare costs outpacing wages, inflation

Editor's Note Enrollees in large employer insurance plans are facing higher healthcare spending through rising premium contributions and increased cost-sharing, according to an August 14 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Healthcare costs outpaced wage growth from 2008 to 2018, with employees spending $4,706 for premiums and $3,020 on out-of-pocket…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 20, 2019
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Hospital revisits have increased since implementation of HRRP

Editor's Note Hospital revisits (ie, treat-and-discharge visits to ED, observation stays, or inpatient readmissions) within 30 days of discharge have increased since implementation of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), this study finds. Though hospital readmissions have dropped since HRRP was implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act, there…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 14, 2019
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Changes in hospital referral patterns to skilled nursing facilities under HRRP

Editor's Note The Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), which penalizes hospitals for higher-than-expected readmission rates, did not prompt substantial changes in hospital referral patterns to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), this study finds. However, readmissions for patients referred to SNFs decreased more than for other patients. In this analysis of nearly…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 24, 2019
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