Modern Healthcare By Virgil Dickson | October 26, 2015
Under the value-based purchasing program, the CMS imposed an across-the-board 1.75% reduction in Medicare payments (up from 1.5% for fiscal 2015) for most inpatient acute-care hospitals. The reduction created a budget-neutral bonus pool of about $1.5 billion to reward hospitals that perform well on certain metrics and patient surveys. The hospitals that performed the worst won’t see any of the reduction restored. Read more
Kaiser Health News By Michelle Andrews
When the health insurance marketplaces open on Sunday, consumers shopping for 2016 coverage may encounter steeper premium increases than last year and more plans that offer no out-of-network coverage.
According to an analysis released Monday evening by the Health and Human Services Department, the cost of the second-lowest silver plan in states using the federal marketplace will rise an average of 7.5 percent for 2016 coverage. Silver plans are the most popular type of marketplace plan. They pay 70 percent of medical costs, on average, leaving consumers to cover 30 percent. And premium tax credits that are available to people with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level — about $47,000 for one person — are benchmarked to the second-cheapest silver plan. Read more
CMS reports these outcomes for patients who are admitted to the hospital for a heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery, and for total elective hip and knee replacement. CMS also The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated hospital performance results on its consumer-oriented Hospital Compare website (www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html).
One of CMS’s goals is to improve health care for patients. CMS evaluates hospital quality of care and gives incentives to hospitals to make improvements that can impact patients’ wellbeing. Continue reading
Triaging the Transitions — It’s time to fix the broken process for transitions of care, says Fred N. Pelzman, MD.
Fred N. Pelzman, MD.
It seems that our transitions of care leave something to be desired.
These delicate tipping points, when patients are sometimes at their most fragile, need to be set up with exquisite attention to detail, and often leave our patients at high risk for bad outcomes…..
…. The best discharge summary I ever got was written by a nurse practitioner at an unnamed hospital in Boston, who sent a patient home for follow-up in our practice after a prolonged hospitalization.
This thing read like a short story, the prose was succinct and informative, and after I finished it I felt like I had been there through his entire hospitalization, and I was ready to continue taking care of him. A successful, warm handoff. Read more
With providers moving to electronic medical record systems, they often still don’t “talk” to each other. Just think how much safer your care could be if all of your providers could see the same complete data and know what each other is doing. There would be less duplication of testing, everyone would be on the same page, and we would expect that much less information would fall through the cracks. Read Lisa Freeman’s comments in this CT Mirror article, Can the state build a better system to get your medical records to your doctors?.
In response for the call to reduce the costs associated with health care, hospitals are trying new ways to treat patients without the higher costs by providing hospital-level treatment at home. Treating patients at home may be a win-win solution for everyone. This is Patient-Centered care taken to another level. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to be followed closely in your own home? You would have open “visiting hours”, the love of family, comfortable clothing, home cooked food, less disruptions and still be getting the needed care. Something you may want to ask about should you find yourself in the emergency room one day. Read more
The ACA is accomplishing one of its goals: to see all Americans covered by health insurance. It is a first step. But we now need to ask if that coverage is getting Americans better health care? Do Americans understand their coverage and do they know how to access care? And even more importantly, is health care yet affordable? Our website has many resources to help you maneuver the health care system. This article assessing the progress made in terms of enrollment, talks about the future of the Affordable Care Act. Read more.
The current legislative session in Hartford holds promise for improving the safety and quality of health care in Connecticut. There are a number of bipartisan bills introduced by Senator Looney and Senator Fasano, as well as other Senators that call for transparency of infection rates, health care costs, prices and quality information as well as a bill to allow for dispute resolution of surprise billing and emergency services. Letters to your legislators are always encouraged and you can get more information about the bills at the CGA Public Health Committee and the Insurance Committee websites. You can also read Lisa Freeman’s Op-Ed from the CT Mirror here.