The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) thinks Indiana University may be on to something when it comes to more effective nursing home care. It recently announced a second round of funding for Project OPTIMISTIC, which stands for Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical Quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care. Continue reading
When I told a friend at Health Journalism 2016 that I would be attending and writing a short post on the “health ratings” session, she replied “I do not write about quality ratings!”
I’ve felt this same fatigue myself.
But the four panelists at the session, “Rating health care providers, when journalists measure quality” showed how ratings reports can be an important tool in covering either your local area or getting at national stories. Continue reading
Research from the Health Care Pricing Project shows that when hospitals have a monopoly in a market, prices are 15.3 percent higher than prices in hospitals where there are four or more hospitals, even after controlling for costs in those markets.
No doubt there’ll be lots of talk about hospital consolidations at AHCJ’s upcoming Health Journalism 16 conference in Cleveland. At one session in particular, Zack Cooper, Ph.D., an assistant professor of health policy and of economics at Yale University, will talk about the research he and his colleagues published last year on how hospital consolidations affect what hospitals charge consumers and insurers. Continue reading
Hospitals have been merging and acquiring physician practices at a breakneck pace. They say it’s what they have to do to save money on big-ticket items like health care information technology, and to move toward the coordinated care models encouraged by the Affordable Care Act.
But insurers, state attorneys general and federal antitrust enforcers have a different take. They say consolidation can give hospitals monopoly power to drive up prices and hurt consumers. Continue reading
While experts are setting policy on this small proportion of spending, most Americans — almost 60 percent of the population — have employer-sponsored health insurance. Yet, until now, few researchers had access to robust spending data from private insurers. Continue reading