iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

4 in 5 expect that by 2021, patients will compare ratings before choosing a hospital

Survey: Most Patients Will Belong to Incentivized Health Plans by 2021

The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development recently conducted a survey on healthcare leaders’ thoughts on emerging trends in healthcare. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • 99% agreed that by 2021 patients will demand a greater role in treatment planning.
  • 4 in 5 expect that by 2021, patients will compare ratings before choosing a hospital.
  • 89% said that most of their hospital’s insured patients will belong to incentivized health plans by 2021.
  • Most practitioners (88%) predict that at least a quarter of chronic disease patients will receive it remotely.
  • Two-thirds of practitioners predict that most chronic illness patients will receive primary care that includes some type of psychotherapy service.

Source: Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development, January 26, 2016

AHRQ Report: Hospital-acquired Conditions Continue to Decline, Saving Lives and Costs



The Department of Health and Human Services released an AHRQ report today showing that an estimated 87,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and nearly $20 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of reductions in hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) from 2010 to 2014. The report indicates that HACs were reduced by 17 percent in 2014, contributing to an overall reduction of 2.1 million HACs since 2010. To develop the report Saving Lives & Saving Money: Hospital-Acquired Conditions Update, AHRQ analyzed the incidence of avoidable HACs compared to 2010 rates, using as a baseline estimates of deaths and excess health care costs that were developed when the Partnership for Patients was launched.  AHRQ’s analysis included a number of HACs including adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line associated bloodstream infections, pressure ulcers, and surgical site infections, among others. AHRQ has produced a variety of tools and resources to help hospitals and other providers prevent hospital-acquired conditions, such as reducing infections, pressure ulcers, and falls. Recently the Toolkit for Reducing CAUTI in Hospitals was released, which is based on the experiences of more than 1,200 hospitals nationwide that participated in an AHRQ-funded project to apply the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to reducing catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). This new report updates data released in December 2014.

Getting the right diagnosis the first time is critical

According to a recent report from the Institute of Medicine, it is estimated that:

  • 5% of U.S. adults who seek outpatient care each year experience a diagnostic error
  • diagnostic errors contribute to approximately 10% of patient deaths
  • diagnostic errors account for 6 to 17% of adverse events in hospitals

Source: “Improving Diagnosis in Health Care,” Institute of Medicine/the National Academy of Sciences, Report in Brief, September 22, 2015,

October 2, 2015 | Categories: healthcare,hospitals,quality | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

AHRQ Stats: Hospital Mortality Rates


Hospital mortality rates among adults declined from 2002 to 2012 for four common health conditions, decreasing by 45 percent for pneumonia, 41 percent for heart attack, 29 percent for congestive heart failure and 27 percent for stroke. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #194: Trends in Observed Adult Inpatient Mortality for High-Volume Conditions, 2002-2012.)

We must all do better for patients . . . ultimately for our families and ourselves

According to a recent report:

  • Medication errors affect 3.8 million patients annually
  • In 2014, 59% of hospitals entered at least 75% of all medication orders electronically
  •  In 2013 and again in 2014, 36% of potentially harmful medication orders that were entered electronically did not trigger an appropriate warning
  • 13.9% of potentially fatal medication orders that were entered electronically were not flagged

Source: “Despite Improvement, New Report Reveals Technology to Prevent Medication Errors Fails Too Often,” The Leapfrog Group News Release, April 9, 2015,

Lean Six Sigma is a key enabler for hospital value improvement

Study Examines Five Hospital Systems’ Implementation of Lean

Organizational contexts have a profound effect on the successful implementation of Lean strategies and tools and may affect other types of process redesign and quality improvement, according to an AHRQ-funded study. Adopted from Toyota Production Systems, Lean is a continuous quality improvement strategy for standardizing and streamlining work flow. “Effects of Organizational Context on Lean Implementation in Five Hospital Systems” appeared online December 23 in the journal Health Care Management Review. Researchers, including AHRQ’s Michael I. Harrison, Ph.D., identified several ways intra-organizational context shapes Lean implementation and outcomes. These include CEO commitment and support, prior organizational capacity for performance improvement, alignment of the Lean initiative with the organizational mission, dedication of resources and experts, training, appropriate project management and effective communication within and across teams. The findings underscore the importance of ensuring that the management system, information technology and other organizational conditions can support an improvement initiative.

Patrick Conway on lower hospital ED use

Patrick Conway will be one of the Novembe 2015 Cracking the Code on Health Care speakers in Rochester, NY

CMS official links lower hospital, ED use to support for primary care
A 2% decrease in hospital admissions and emergency department visits can be linked to increased CMS support for primary care, the agency’s chief medical officer, Patrick Conway, told the National Quality Forum’s annual conference. He highlighted several population health and coordinated care projects, initiated by hospitals and physician practices, that have reduced costs and improved quality of care. HealthLeaders Media

Health Care: People are not going to the places closest to their homes

According to a recent analysis of data from the 2009-2010 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey:

  • The emergency departments (EDs) that patients visited were located an average of 6.8 miles from the patient’s home, although the nearest ED was an average of 3.9 miles from the home
  • 43.8% of all ED visits occurred at the ED closest to the patient’s home
  • Only 37.2% of ED visits within metropolitan areas took place at the closest ED, compared with 70.1% of visits outside of metropolitan areas
  • In metropolitan areas, the average wait time for being seen (by a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner) at the ED closest to a patient’s home was 52.3 minutes, compared withan average wait time of 62.3 minutes for visits to EDs that were farther away

Source: “Emergency Department Visits and Proximity to Patients’ Residences, 2009–2010,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCHS Data Brief Number 192, March 2015,


What if restaurants billed like hospitals



March 9, 2015 | Categories: Cost,healthcare,hospitals | Comments (0)

Calling all stakeholders – working together to reduce readmissions

Readmissions become bigger issue for primary care physicians CMS penalties on hospitals with high readmission rates have put pressure on primary care physicians to help keep patients from needing additional inpatient stays. Physicians are using post-discharge care management programs and forming accountable care organizations that focus on performance-based care. Medscape (free registration)

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