Posts Tagged ‘Quality Improvement’

Infographic: Three Ways Virtual Clinics Improve Care Quality

May 30th, 2016 by Melanie Matthews

Integrated virtual care with Carena’s health system partners is outperforming leading commercial providers across three quality benchmarks, according to a new infographic by Carena. Patients who access integrated virtual care experience more time with clinicians, lower prescription rates and better continuity of care than those who use commercial telemedicine providers, which are often disconnected from patients’ primary care networks.

The infographic describes how health systems are meeting quality standards within their virtual clinics.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital HealthPerson-centric health management is slowly acknowledging the device-driven lives of patients and health plan members and incorporating these tools into care delivery and management efforts.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital Health examines program goals, platforms, components, development strategies, target populations and health conditions, patient engagement metrics, results and challenges reported by healthcare organizations responding to the February 2016 Digital Health survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

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CMS: Nearly $11 Billion Paid to MA Organizations from Medicare Advantage Quality Bonus Payment Demo

March 14th, 2016 by Patricia Donovan

The CMS three-year Medicare Advantage (MA) Quality Bonus Payment (QBP) Demonstration paid Medicare Advantage organizations an estimated $10.96 billion under the QBP Demonstration, according to the final evaluation report of the demonstration.

The report indicated that across the QBP demonstration period (calendar year 2012 to 2014), average Star Ratings improved, more beneficiaries enrolled in higher rated plans, and more beneficiaries had access to higher rated plans.

The three-year MA QBP Demonstration, launched in 2012, extended quality bonus payments established in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 to additional plans based upon Star Ratings.

While there is no definitive way to attribute these changes (in whole or in part) to the QBP demonstration itself, CMS said, evaluation analyses do show that the demonstration did not stall or reverse trends—Star Rating and plan enrollment increases that began prior to the demonstration continued throughout the demonstration period—and, in fact, QBP demonstration payments appear associated with reductions in out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries.

Here are more findings from the MA QBP Final Evaluation Report:

  • MA contract ratings continued a pre-demonstration trend of improved overall Star Ratings and increasing beneficiary enrollment for higher rated contracts.
  • Compared to other coverage types, MA contracts show similar trends in average enrollment-weighted scores for selected measures.
  • MA organizations reported that the demonstration encouraged a focus on quality improvement efforts.
  • Enrollment changes are weakly related to changes in Star Ratings and not appreciably different between the QBP demonstration period and previous years.
  • On average, plans receiving bonus payments during the QBP demonstration period had below-expected out-of-pocket costs relative to a linear trend from 2011 to 2015.
  • Contracts that did not offer Special Needs Plans (SNP) had higher Star Ratings compared to contracts that had a mix of SNP and non-SNPs or contracts that had only SNPs.

The full report can be accessed here.

Infographic: Quality Improvement Results from Colorado Hospitals

February 23rd, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Colorado hospitals and health systems, participating in a three-year quality improvement project led by the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA), prevented 2,800 patient harms for an estimated cost savings of $14.8 million. The results are based on data collected from 32 acute care hospitals from January 2012 through June 2014.

A new infographic by CHA breaks down each of the 11 areas targeted for improvement and the impact these improvements had on healthcare utilization and costs.

Value-Based Reimbursement Answer Book: 97 FAQs on Healthcare Models, Measures and MethodologyIf one trend has transformed the healthcare industry post-ACA more than any other, it is the market’s new business model rewarding value over volume.

Value-Based Reimbursement Answer Book: 97 FAQs on Healthcare Models, Measures and Methodology provides a framework for healthcare’s new value proposition, with advice from thought leaders steeped in the delivery and reimbursement of value-based care.

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Infographic: Improving Care Transitions with Quality Improvement Organizations

February 18th, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

In communities where hospitals, other healthcare providers, and community services work together to coordinate evidence-based hospital discharges and provide better support in the community, hospital admissions and readmissions can be reduced.

Led by the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care (CFMC) as a national coordinator, 14 QIOs participated in a three-year project in which the QIOs convened medical, community, and social service providers and facilitated community-wide quality improvement activities to implement evidence-based improvements in patient care transitions.

The QIOs’ efforts included community organizing, technical assistance in implementing best practices, and monitoring of participation, implementation, effectiveness, and adverse effects. The program resulted in a 6 percent drop in hospitalizations and rehospitalizations, per 1,000 beneficiaries in the first two years. The average community netted about $3 million dollars in annual savings for Medicare. These findings were released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in “Associations between quality improvement for care transitions in communities and rehospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries.”

A new infographic illustrates the strategies used by the QIOs and results achieved.

Quality Improvement Organizations

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Care Transitions Toolkit.

10 Hallmarks of a Health-Literate Organization

August 23rd, 2012 by Jessica Fornarotto

Recorded Webinar: Patient Engagement in the Patient-Centered Medical Home — A Continuum Approach

Leadership committed to health literacy and easy access to health information are two attributes of an organizational environment that fosters health literacy, suggests a new study reported in the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

It is possible for a healthcare system to redesign its services to better educate patients in the handling of immediate health issues and also become more savvy consumers of medicine in the long run, says the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH) study. The study identified ten attributes that healthcare organizations should adopt to make it easier for people to better navigate health information, make sense of services and better manage their own health — assistance for which there is a profound societal need.

The ten attributes of a health-literate organization are:

  1. Has leadership that makes health literacy integral to its mission, structure and operations.

  2. Integrates health literacy into planning, evaluation measures, patient safety and quality improvement.
  3. Prepares the workforce to be health-literate and monitors progress.
  4. Includes populations served in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health information and services.
  5. Meets the needs of populations with a range of health literacy skills while avoiding stigmatization.
  6. Uses health literacy strategies in interpersonal communications and confirms understanding at all points of contact.
  7. Provides easy access to health information and services and navigation assistance.
  8. Designs and distributes print, audiovisual, and social media content that is easy to understand and act on.
  9. Addresses health literacy in high-risk situations, including care transitions and communications about medicines.
  10. Communicates clearly what health plans cover and what individuals will have to pay for services.

Some 77 million people in the United States have difficulty understanding very basic health information, which clouds their ability to follow doctors’ recommendations, and millions more lack the skills necessary to make clear, informed decisions about their own healthcare, said senior author Dean Schillinger, MD, a UCSF professor of medicine, chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at SFGH, and director of the Health Communications Program the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at SFGH. “Depending on how you define it, nearly half the U.S. population has poor health literacy skills. Over the last two decades, we have focused on what patients can do to improve their health literacy,” said Schillinger. “In this report, we looked at the other side of the health literacy coin, and focused on what healthcare systems can do.”

The importance of enhancing health literacy has been demonstrated by many clinical studies over the years, said Schillinger. Health literacy is linked directly to patient wellness. People who can understand their health information tend to make better choices, are able to self-manage their chronic conditions, and have better outcomes than people who do not.

Adults with low health literacy may find it difficult to navigate the healthcare system, and are more likely to have higher rates of medication errors, more ER visits and hospitalizations, gaps in their preventive care, increased likelihood of dying, and poorer health outcomes for their children.

Many health policy organizations have recognized that health literacy is not only important to people, but it can also benefit society because helping patients help themselves is a way to keep healthcare costs down. Successful self-management reduces disease complications, cuts down on unnecessary ER visits and eliminates other wasteful spending.

Click here for more information and for a complete description of the ten attributes.