Patients Have a 52% Lower Chance of Dying at Top-Rated Hospitals
HealthGrades released The Twelfth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study which examined nearly 40 million Medicare hospitalization records for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. The study looks at trends in mortality and complication rates and also provides the foundation for HealthGrades’ quality ratings of procedures and diagnoses at each individual hospital.
Commonwealth Fund state-by-state analysis finds nationwide ceclines in coverage and rising costs
The cost and quality of health care, as well as access to care and health outcomes, continue to vary widely among states, according to the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System's second state scorecard report released today.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) annual release of State-by-State quality data continues to give States mixed reviews for the quality of care they provide. As in previous years, AHRQ's 2008 State Snapshots show that no State does well or poorly on all quality measures.
New performance reports are now available on WhyNotTheBest.org, a health care quality improvement resource from The Commonwealth Fund. The site is updated with the most recent quarterly data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the Hospital Quality Alliance measures, which gauge how often hospitals delivered recommended care processes for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgery. In addition, The Commonwealth Fund has added new reports on patient satisfaction, drawn from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). New case studies exploring the improvement strategies of the nation's top-performing hospitals have also been added.
A study in the November/ December Health Affairsshows that although many quality reporting services, often in the form of Web sites, have been established to help consumers choose a hospital based on quality measures, they all use different metrics and rankings to determine quality, reports American Medical News. The study compared the quality rankings of nine Boston-area hospitals from five different quality ranking Web sites: HealthGrades, Medicare's Hospital Compare, the Leapfrog Group, U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals," and Massachusetts Healthcare Quality and Cost.
The RAND Corporation today launched an online tool to provide policymakers and interested parties with a way of understanding and evaluating the effects and unintended consequences of health care reform proposals certain to be introduced in the new 111th Congress and beyond. COMPARE (Comprehensive Assessment of Reform Efforts) is an online resource that synthesizes what is known about the current heath care system, provides information on proposals to modify the system and delivers insight about how potential policy changes are likely to affect health care delivery and costs in the United States.
The Institute of Medicine. Dec. 17, 2008
Stakeholders and Public Should Use 20 Specific Health Indicators To Measure and Track Health and Well-being of Americans
Policymakers, the media, and the public should focus on 20 specific health indicators as "yardsticks" to measure the overall health and well-being of Americans, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. By providing information that can be compared over time, these 20 indicators will also help Americans track the nation's progress on improving our health and the effectiveness of public health and care systems, the report says.
A new report says 72 people died in New Jersey hospitals last year as a result of preventable errors. That's 30 more than in 2006, but state health officials and patient advocates say the increase appears to be more the result of better reporting than worsening care. The state Department of Health and Senior Services released its third annual Patient Safety Act report on Wednesday. The Patient Safety Act requires hospitals to report surgical errors, medication errors, falls, bed sores and other incidents. Hospitals reported 456 such incidents for 2007, a number that has grown each year since the state began tracking the data in 2005. Falls and Pressure Ulcer events are the largest types of events reported.
The Commonwealth Fund has launched a new Web site, WhyNotTheBest.org, that allows health care providers, researchers, and professionals to easily conduct side-by-side comparisons of 4,500 hospitals nationwide, track performance over time against numerous benchmarks, and download tools to improve health care quality.
Massachusetts residents can now search a new website to compare the cost and quality of care at different hospitals, part of an ambitious state plan to help control healthcare costs by giving consumers more information.
The site, www.mass.gov/myhealthcareoptions, gives consumers access to previously confidential information about how much insurers pay individual hospitals for surgical procedures such as knee and hip replacements and for treating illnesses such as pneumonia. It also allows comparisons of patient satisfaction ratings and patient safety measures at different hospitals.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added two quality measures for anemia care to Dialysis Facility Compare, a Web site providing quality and other information on 4,700 dialysis facilities certified by Medicare. The measures show the percentage of patients with high and low hemoglobin levels, respectively. See the news release.
(SOURCE: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.org, November 21, 2008)