The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, created by the Affordable Care Act, is trying new ways of delivering health care and testing new incentives and payment models. Some ideas are likely, even expected, to fail. Others may lead to new ways of delivering higher quality care for less money.
CMMI also is supposed to help spread new ideas so they’ll take root in the real world. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has the authority to expand approaches that reduce spending – and halt those that do not. This is a more flexible approach than officials had with “demonstration projects” prior to the ACA.
The agency’s website is a goldmine of health care innovation. Read more about what CMMI is tasked with doing, how it will do it and how the success or failures of its projects will be determined in this new tip sheet.
AHCJ just added 899 hospital deficiencies listed in the searchable data on its HospitalInspections.org website. The latest addition includes inspections into June.
The searchable site includes 16,137 different deficiencies among 2,380 hospitals in the United States. The file came from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition, the site includes records showing that 709 hospital inspection reports have yet to be added to the CMS computer system. Continue reading
Nine journalists have been named to this year’s class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows. The fellowship program was created to increase reporters’ access and understanding of the considerable resources available at NLM and the National Institutes of Health.
The journalists chosen to take part this year are: Continue reading
The National Center for Health Statistics published the latest data on 2014 births last month, and these reports can be unexpected gold mines for enterprise reporting.
The reports themselves are very dry – literally just the most recent statistics available on a particular data set with little to no analysis. However, that means most journalists will be reporting just that – the data without much analysis – while others can take some time to compare the numbers to past reports and look for trends. Continue reading
Whether consumers are choosing a car, a household appliance or even a nursing home, there are ratings and reviews available to make the best choice. But patients are often blind when choosing a surgeon.
Surgeon Scorecard, a database released by ProPublica this week helps shed some light on that area with an analysis of death and complication rates for nearly 17,000 U.S. surgeons for eight common surgical procedures. This is the first time this information has been available to the public. Continue reading
Medicare pays doctors and other providers virtually everywhere in the United States, amounting to more than $70 billion in 2013 alone. The money goes for medical exams, X-rays, injections and a host of other treatments and procedures.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services just released detailed payment data covering 2013. Until 2014, that information was kept secret for 35 years. That year, CMS released detailed payment data covering 2012. Now, health reporters can examine how those public funds have been spent over two years. Continue reading
With an update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data showing what hospitals across the country charge Medicare for the same treatment or procedure in 2013, AHCJ has updated its own version of the dataset that allows members to compare hospitals’ charges from one year to the next.
Last year, CMS released data files that include bills submitted by 3,500 hospitals for the 100 most commonly performed inpatient conditions in 2011 and 2012. The new release includes 2013. This allows a basis for some local or regional comparisons and a starting point for stories on hospital costs and services. Continue reading
Pia Christensen/AHCJAli Mokdad of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington discusses new data on alcohol use in the United States.
Binge drinking and heavy drinking in the United States increased significantly in recent years, particularly among women, according to a new study presented today by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
While the overall rate of drinking remained constant between 2005 and 2012, heavy drinking increased 17.2 percent and binge drinking increased 8.9 percent during that time.
Heavy drinking was defined as averaging more than one drink per day during the past month (for women) or two drinks (for men). Binge drinking was defined as having four or more drinks at one occasion in the past month (for women) and five or more (for men). Continue reading
A recent data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics reported a 23 percent increase in the age-adjusted hypertension-related death rate from 2000 to 2013. In that same period, the rate for all other causes of death combined decreased 21 percent. The report, “Hypertension-related Mortality in the United States, 2000–2013” is part of a series from the Centers for Disease Control on myriad health issues, morbidity and mortality.
Such reports, while an interesting starting point for a story, can easily be taken out of context and mislead your audience. That’s why building a stable of reliable health care experts to whom you can show the data and quote in your story is important.
The authors of the NCHS brief defined hypertension-related mortality as “any mention of hypertension on the death certificate or as the underlying cause of death.” Continue reading
Though deep disparities in oral health remain, preliminary findings in a new federal report suggest that tooth decay among American preschool children may be declining overall.
Experts stress that the study, detailed in a National Center for Health Statistics data brief from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reflects just two years’ worth of data, but hail the news as hopeful.
About 23 percent of children age 2 to 5 years had decay in primary teeth, according to 2011-2012 data from the ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which has become an important tool for assessing the state of the nation’s oral health. Continue reading