Yes, there’s a lot going on these days.
The 2020 election.
(Forget for a minute the cynic’s view that all three things might actually be the same.)
We’re forgetting or perhaps just distracted from drawing our readers’ attention to a preventable problem that kills some 200,000 people a year. Continue reading
Fewer than 20% of nursing homes in the U.S. are considered “best” under a revamped analysis from U.S. News and World Report, which is out with its 2019-20 ratings on Tuesday.
Ratings are provided for homes in every state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas. California tops the list, with 169 nursing homes receiving a “high performing” rating in short-term rehabilitation and 157 “high performing” homes in long-term care, followed by Pennsylvania and Florida. Hawaii, Alaska and Washington, D.C., have the highest proportion of “best nursing homes,” with at least half of all Medicare or Medicaid-certified nursing facilities in these states receiving a high-performing designation in either short-term rehabilitation or long-term care or both. Continue reading
As my colleague Joyce Frieden reported for MedPage Today on Tuesday, in 2020, reporters will be able to compare the quality of some hospital outpatient departments and some ambulatory surgical centers for the first time, using metrics that are somewhat similar to those used to check up on hospital quality.
After all, some 60% of surgical procedures today are performed in an outpatient setting, so patients have a right to know what policies and procedures the facility uses to safeguard against errors and complications. Continue reading
Whenever a major merger is announced in health care, the parties routinely tout the benefits for consumers, saying costs will decline and quality will improve. But do the facts bear out these claims?
During the press events announcing these deals, there’s no way to know. Researchers would need a baseline and several years of data to verify the merging partners’ claims and even then such results such as lower costs and improved quality take years to accumulate and measure. Continue reading
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
Dana Gelb Safran
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.
Last week, we got a clue about how Gawande might approach these three challenges when the initiative hired Dana Gelb Safran, Sc.D., from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Continue reading