Geisinger, Bon Secours and Baptist Among Thomson Reuters’ Top Hospitals Award Winners

Monday, April 23rd, 2012
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

Geisinger, Bon Secours and Baptist Medical Center, all frequent contributors to HIN, have facilities named to the list of top 100 hospitals in Thomson Reuters’ annual study. Determined by publicly available information from such sites as the CMS Hospital Compare Web site, and judged on such factors as patient safety and satisfaction, profitability, adherence to clinical standards of care and readmission rates, the top 100 facilities were selected from nearly 3,000 short-term, acute-care, non-federal hospitals.

Those readmission rates may be misleading, however. According to a new report from the UCSF Medical Center, publicly reported all-cause hospital readmission rates include scheduled readmissions and readmissions that have nothing to do with the original admission. This finding is particularly troubling for spinal surgeons, who often have to stage multiple surgeries to ensure safety and healing. Researchers hope the inaccuracies, which can affect hospital ratings and public perception, don’t adversely affect surgeons as well. More in this issue.

Also publicly available is a new consumer assessment tool from CMS. On the Home Health Care Web site, consumers can now review patients’ responses to the Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) survey about care they received in Medicare-certified home health agencies. Data on overall care, their providers’ communications skills, and safety will be updated every 4 months.

Medicare Part D beneficiaries with CV conditions falling between the cracks, or “donut hole” of financial coverage between 2006 and 2007 generally stopped taking their medications, instead of buying cheaper, generic alternatives, as opposed to those with consistent drug coverage, says a new study from Harvard University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and CVS Caremark. Researchers stated that CV medications account for the largest proportion of spending and volume in the Part D program. The effects of this discontinuation are twofold: the short-term effects of stoppage didn’t result in any negative impacts; but the long-term effects were unclear.

And finally, are you participating in an ACO? Or are you interested in learning about them? Either way, we invite you to participate in our second annual survey on ACOs. All respondents will be e-mailed an executive summary of results once the survey closes on May 16. A sneak peak at the data so far: health plans are helming a majority of ACOs; case managers are key players outside of providers. Even if you’re not yet in an ACO, take the survey so you don’t miss out on this eagerly anticipated research on this emerging model of care.

All this and more in this week’s issue of Healthcare Business Weekly Update.

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