iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

What C-Suite Executives Want in 2017

Birth Defects Account for 5.2% of Hospital Costs

The CDC recently released an analysis of the hospitalization costs associated with birth defects. Here are some key findings from the report:

• Structural or genetic birth defects affect 3% of live births in the U.S.
• 20% of infant deaths in the U.S. are due to birth defects.
• Birth defects accounted for 3% of all hospitalizations.
• 5.2% of total hospital costs are attributable to birth defects.
• Birth defect–associated hospitalizations cost $22.9 billion in 2013.
• Cardiovascular defects accounted for 14% of birth defect hospitalizations.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 20, 2017

January 30, 2017 | Categories: Cost,healthcare,hospitals,quality | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

State Board information available to consumers

A newly released report of the Informed Patient Institute, done in conjunction with Consumer Reports,  that evaluates what type of information is available to consumers on medical board websites nationwide. Medical boards are state government agencies established to protect the public from the unprofessional, improper and incompetent practice of medicine. Seeking Doctor Information: A Survey and Ranking of State Medical and Osteopathic Board Websites in 2015 http://www.informedpatientinstitute.org/Seeking%20Doctor%20Information%20Online.pdf

After evaluating 65 state medical and osteopathic board websites, the report concludes that the information you find on these sites varies greatly—and all can be improved to make it easier to access information about doctors.  In some states, a site may be easy to use, but have little information about a doctor.  In others, the information may be comprehensive, but is hard to find.

Sixty-one criteria were used to evaluate the boards including their search capabilities, complaint process, general board information, and what types of information about board disciplinary actions, hospital actions, malpractice, Federal actions and criminal convictions could be found on an individual doctor.  Each website was rated on a scale of 1 to 100.  The results ranged from a low of 6 (for the Mississippi Board) to a high of 84 (for the Medical Board of California).  All of the state medical board websites were rated using the signature Consumer Reports Red and Black circles. The report also includes over 20 recommendations for making medical board websites more consumer-friendly. The report is also available at Consumer Reports’ Safe Patient Project, and is mentioned in the latest version of Consumer Reports magazine cover story on doctors.

30% don’t trust their employers to be involved in their health and well-being

According to a recent survey:

  • Just half of employees participated in a wellness activity or health management-related program in the last year
  • 71% of employees prefer to manage their own health
  • 32% said the wellness initiatives offered by their employers don’t meet their needs
  • 46% don’t want their employers to have access to their personal health information
  • 30% don’t trust their employers to be involved in their health and well-being

Source: “Primary Care physicians accepting Medicare: A Snapshot ,” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, October 2015, http://files.kff.org/attachment/data-note-primary-care-physicians-accepting-medicare-a-snapshot

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.

IOM: Improving Diagnosis in Health Care

The 2015 report Improving Diagnosis in Health Care says that patients and their loved ones should be central members of the diagnostic team; they provide vital input that informs diagnosis and decisions about the path of care. Yet for a variety of reasons, patients may not be effectively engaged in the diagnostic process.Visit this page with resources to facilitate communication between patients and clinicians.

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, http://iom.nationalacademies.org/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2015/Improving-Diagnosis/DiagnosticError_ReportBrief.pdf

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

NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015–2016

Using a new methodology, NCQA has announced their Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015–2016. NCQA studied 1,358 health plans and rated 1,016: 491 private (commercial), 376 Medicare and 149 Medicaid. The ratings align with the CMS Star Ratings of Medicare Advantage plans, and incorporate health outcomes and consumer satisfaction data. Click to continue.

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, http://www.leapfroggroup.org/policy_leadership/leapfrog_news/5268377

Quality of Care and Patient Safety Are Improving, Particularly for Hospital Care, Though Additional Work Remains

New AHRQ Report:

The overall quality of health care and patient safety are improving, particularly for hospital care and for measures that are being publicly reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to the newly released 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Among the highlights in this year’s report:

  • Hospital care was safer in 2013 than in 2010, with 17 percent fewer harms to patients and an estimated 1.3 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions, 50,000 fewer deaths, and $12 billion in cost savings over three years (2011, 2012, 2013). However, quality is still far from optimal, with millions of patients harmed by the care they receive, and only 70 percent of recommended care being delivered across a broad array of quality measures.
  • A few disparities among racial groups for services such as childhood vaccinations have been reduced to zero; however, much additional work remains to address a broad range of other disparities affecting quality of care.

This year’s report has been consolidated and tracks performance measures that align with the National Quality Strategy. Chartbooks on specific topics such as patient safety and care coordination will be issued in coming months to provide more detailed information and easy-to-understand slides that can be downloaded for presentations.

The report provides a snapshot of health care quality and disparities based on trend analyses from 2000-2002 to 2011-2012 (except for select measures of access to care tracked through the first half of 2014, and for adverse events in hospitals tracked through 2013). Because most data precede implementation of a majority of the health insurance expansions included in the Affordable Care Act, the report serves as a baseline for measuring progress in future years.

Select here to download your complimentary copy of the report. To order a print copy, email ahrqpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov or call 1-800-358-9295.

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