Tag Archives: readmissions

Researchers asking tough questions about Medicare’s readmission reduction program

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Naoki Takano via Flickr

Researchers and health policy experts are questioning the value of Medicare’s efforts to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions.

The latest example came this week when Health Affairs published research on what happened after Medicare added hip and knee replacement surgeries to the list of conditions for which it would penalize hospitals for having high rates of readmissions.

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How are ACA’s quality measures affecting health care?

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

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

Community supports may significantly lower hospital admissions and length of stay

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Steven Martin via Flickr

Investing in affordable housing that offers supportive social services to older adults on Medicare may help reduce hospital admissions and length of stay for inpatient hospital care, according to a recent study in Health Affairs.

When comparing a group of older Medicare beneficiaries in a Queens, N.Y. neighborhood who received community-based supportive services with a similar group who did not, researchers found that hospital discharge rates were 32 percent lower, hospital lengths of stay were reduced by one day and ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSC) were 30 percent lower in the first “intervention” group. Continue reading

Expanding Medicare payment for ‘virtual check-ins’ – will it drive telehealth adoption?

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

Beginning in January 2019, Medicare patients may have more calls and video chats with their physicians in between office appointments.

That’s because, on July 12, federal regulators overseeing the Medicare program included in a large package of proposed rules a provision that would allow for stand-alone reimbursement for so-called “virtual check-ins.” Continue reading

Using technology to monitor patients at home gets boost from Medicare

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

Remote patient monitoring – using technology to keep track of a patient’s health between doctor visits – is gaining traction as our population ages and a health care workforce shortage persists.

Hospital, physician groups and insurers are generally enthusiastic about remote patient monitoring for patients with chronic conditions or who need extra support after a hospital stay (because it can reduce unnecessary hospital admissions). But payment for these services has generally been lacking. Continue reading

OPTIMISTIC program reduces avoidable hospitalizations

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: SalFalko via Flickr

A nursing home demonstration project in Indiana has reduced avoidable hospitalizations among residents by a third, according to a recently released independent evaluation of OPTIMISTIC, (Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care).

OPTIMISTIC is a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) demonstration program designed to improve chronic disease management and boost staff education and training.

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