Healthcare News & Insights

Readmissions: New penalties & current status of CMS initiative

Despite all the recent unrest over healthcare reform, readmissions penalties from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are proceeding, full steam ahead. Under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, thousands of hospitals are being penalized for their performance in keeping patients from returning to the hospital. 

Good news: When readmissions decrease, fewer people die

Because of the growing focus on readmissions, many healthcare experts were worried that other areas could be negatively affected by the push to keep people out of the hospital – specifically, mortality rates. However, new research offers good news on this front. 

Study looks at readmission causes for all payors

Most studies of readmissions focus on Medicare patients, and for good reason: Hospitals are penalized for high Medicare readmissions rates. However, to get readmissions under control, facilities must look at the full scope of the problem among all types of patients – not just senior citizens. 

Are quality improvement programs really lowering costs?

Hospitals are doing all they can to lower their costs. One way they’re doing this is by using quality improvement programs to prevent readmissions. And while they are having success at lowering readmissions, a new study shows the cost-savings aspect isn’t always there. 

Why elderly patients may need longer hospital stays

Lowering patients’ readmission rates can be challenging for hospitals. Sometimes, a longer stay may be just what a patient needs to prevent a readmission within 30 days – especially if the person’s older and being discharged to a rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility. 

Study: Sepsis tops list for readmissions

Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) doesn’t judge hospitals specifically on their performance with readmissions due to sepsis, it may be on the horizon for the feds in the near future. This is especially true given new research showing just how many readmissions can be attributed to the illness. 

Hospitals use harmonicas to help COPD patients

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of Medicare’s target conditions where hospitals must reduce readmissions for patients. Because it can be tough for facilities to get serious cases of COPD under control, some hospitals are trying unconventional methods to improve patients’ lung function – including harmonica lessons. 

Female doctors may have an edge with patient care

A surprising factor may play a role in patient outcomes, affecting readmissions, recovery and other aspects of a patient’s hospital stay: the physician’s gender. According to the results of a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, elderly patients may fare differently depending on whether their doctors are men […] [MORE]

How new 21st Century Cures Act impacts hospitals

President Obama has just signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. The bipartisan bill, which aims to improve access and treatment for various kinds of care, has several implications for hospitals in 2017 and beyond. 

Social factors affect readmissions for 3 conditions in hospitals

Pneumonia, heart failure and heart attacks are three of the top conditions Medicare’s evaluating to judge hospitals based on 30-day readmission rates. Although there are several aspects of treating patients for these illnesses hospitals can influence, there are other factors outside of a facility’s control. So hospitals may have to look deeper to make significant […] [MORE]