On a recent What the Health podcast, where I’m a frequent guest, we took some listeners’ questions. One was about what CMS does with all the data it collects on quality from health care facilities and providers – and whether there’s any evidence that the quality reporting actually improves outcomes for patients. Continue reading
Last spring, Atul Gawande, M.D., became chief executive officer of an unnamed initiative that will cover the health costs of 1.2 million employees and family members of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan. Shortly after being named CEO, Gawande said the initiative would aim to eliminate three kinds of waste in the health care system: administrative costs, high prices, and inappropriate use of health care services, as Zachary Tracer reported for Bloomberg News.
The Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the educational arm of the Association of Health Care Journalists, has been awarded a grant of more than half a million dollars to strengthen the knowledge and skills of health care journalists.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation made the three-year grant of $509,400 to the Missouri-based center to assist in educating journalists in building their knowledge base in several areas.
Along with continuing the foundation’s support of a web-based core curriculum on health information technology, the grant will support a new curriculum on patient safety, curated resources for freelance journalists and an endowing sponsorship of the annual conference of AHCJ.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services does not have adequate procedures in place to ensure potential abuse or neglect of Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes are identified and reported, according to recent testimony from the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
While the agency has taken some action, based on earlier OIG recommendations, it has not yet acted on the other suggestions to help consumers better understand nursing home quality and make distinctions between nursing homes. Continue reading
There’s no doubt that the health system needs new payment models to replace the aging fee-for-service (FFS) method criticized for providing incentives for physicians to do more procedures, prescribe more drugs, and see more patients more frequently.
Among efforts to control costs and improve patient outcomes, health insurers and health systems have been shifting from the FFS model, which drives volume, to a payment model that rewards value. They hope value-based payment will help keep costs down while improving patient outcomes. Health system marketers call it better care at lower cost. Continue reading
The federal government released its final rule for 2018 on a law that governs physicians’ adoption of electronic health records and rewards them for meeting quality measures when treating Medicare patients.
However, the final rule includes some changes that mean that fewer physicians will be required to participate. One prominent physician group said that the rule will slow the transition to value-based care. Continue reading