Noteworthy News

Archive for March, 2016


Socio-Economic Factors Again Tied to Hospital Readmissions

Another study has linked socio-economic factors to increased hospital readmissions. This latest study, published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality, found that … meaningful risk-adjusted readmission rates can be tracked in a dynamic database. The clinical conditions responsible for the index admission were the strongest predictive factor of readmissions, but factors such as age and accompanying comorbid conditions were also important. Socioeconomic factors, such as race, income, and payer status, also showed strong statistical significance in predicting readmissions. Conclusions: Payment models that are based on stratified comparisons might result in a more equitable payment system while at the same time [&hellip

MedPAC Offers DSH, 340B Recommendations

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has recommended that Congress direct changes in the 340B prescription drug discount program and in the manner in which Medicare makes disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH). In its annual report to Congress, MedPAC recommended a reduction in 340B prescription drug payments to hospitals. The proposed reduction would cut 340B program spending approximately $300 million. MedPAC then recommended that those 340B savings be redirected to the Medicare DSH uncompensated care pool. And it also called for distributing the money in that pool based on better data on the uncompensated care hospitals provide, as reported on [&hellip

MACPAC Unhappy With How DSH is Dished

Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicaid DSH) are not getting to the hospitals that need them most, according to the independent agency that advises Congress and the administration on Medicaid access, payment, and care delivery issues. In its March 2016 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission found …little meaningful relationship between DSH allotments and three aspects of DSH payments that Congress asked us to study: 1) the relationship of state DSH allotments to data relating to changes in the number of uninsured individuals, 2) data relating to the amount and sources of [&hellip

Hospitals Failing to Prevent Avoidable Readmissions

Hospitals continue to fail to prevent many avoidable readmissions, a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine has concluded. Among the causes? Patients who shouldn’t have been admitted through the ER in the first place, post-discharge instructions written at too high a level for patients, failure of patients to keep follow-up appointments, and hospitals discharging patients too soon. NAUH has long pointed to two of those causes – hard-to-understand discharge instructions and difficulty keeping follow-up appointments – as problems that are especially prevalent among the patients urban safety-net hospitals serve. In all, the study of 12 academic medical centers concluded that [&hellip

IOM Weighs in on Social Determinants Training

If patients’ symptoms and conditions are the product of who they are, where they are from, and how they have lived, can better understanding those circumstances help providers serve those patients more effectively? Increasingly the answer to that question has been yes, it can, and now, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and the Institute of Medicine have proposed an approach to training caregivers on the social determinants of health. Their new publication, A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health, notes that The World Health Organization (WHO) defines social determinants of health [&hellip

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