Hospitals’ Struggles To Beat Back Familiar Infections Began Before Ebola Arrived
While Ebola stokes public anxiety, more than one in six hospitals — including some top medical centers — are having trouble stamping out less exotic but sometimes deadly infections, federal records show.
Nationally, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection, and 75,000 people die each year from them—more than from car crashes and gun shots combined. A Kaiser Health News analysis found 695 hospitals with higher than expected rates for at least one of the six types of infections tracked by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 13 states and the District of Columbia, a quarter or more of hospitals that the government evaluated were rated worse than average for at least one infection category, the KHN analysis found.Continue reading...
Most Kindergartners Are Getting Their Shots: CDC
Still, small percentage of parents refuse vaccinations for their kids, experts note
Most American kids entering kindergarten are getting their required vaccinations, a new report shows.
Coverage for the 2013-2014 school year ranged from 95 percent for the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine to 94.7 percent for two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and 93.3 percent for two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, the report found.Continue reading...
Smoking-Related Illnesses in U.S. Total 14 Million, Report Finds
Many Americans suffer from multiple conditions related to cigarettes
Cigarette smoking accounts for approximately 14 million major medical conditions that plague the lives of U.S. adults, according to a new government report.
"For each annual death, there are 15 to 20 people living with major disease caused by smoking," said senior study author Terry Pechacek, associate director for science at the office on smoking and health of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Smoking not only will kill you, it will damage your health and make your life worse."Continue reading...
AHRQ: Top 1% of Patients Account for 22% of Costs
The top 1 percent of patients ranked by their healthcare expenses accounted for 22.7 percent of total healthcare expenditures with an annual mean expenditure of $97,956, according to recent data published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Overall, the top 50 percent of the population ranked by their expenditures accounted for 97.3 percent of overall healthcare expenditures, while the lower 50 percent accounted for only 2.7 percent of the total.
The data, comprised of 2012 reports, was published in the recent AHRQ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.Continue reading...
If you don't want pricing transparency, start reading now
Last week, Massachusetts became the first state to require health insurers to post real-time pricing for healthcare services, by provider, online.
The move didn't get much press (perhaps because the state has put in place a series of regulations to make pricing more transparent over the last few years), but is significant. It provides consumers with a way to compare provider pricing for a certain test or procedures under their specific health plan.
As consumers take on more responsibility for the cost of their care, one can expect more state action around healthcare price transparency. However, state lawmakers aren't the only ones pushing for price transparency. Leading the charge for price transparency are a number of nonprofit and for-profit entities, each with their own motivations to push for more information on healthcare pricing and quality.Continue reading...
CMS Releases Medicare Hospital Payment Data, New Online Tools
On June 2, CMS released Medicare hospital pricing data for 2012 in an effort to increase transparency, lower costs and improve the quality of care, The Hill reports (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 6/2).About the Data
The information, which was revealed at the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C., is the agency's first annual update to Medicare hospital charge, which compare the average amount a hospital charges for services provided with a similar inpatient stay or outpatient visit (HHS release, 6/2).Continue reading...
CMS releases PQRS, eRx progress report
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a new report on two of its pay-for-reporting incentive programs for eligible professionals (EPs): the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and electronic prescribing (eRx).
The 90 page report on 2012 participation results and trends in the programs demonstrates "exciting progress," according to CMS officials.Continue reading...
MedPAC Recommends No ASC Pay Increase for 2015; 3.25-5.25% Increase for HOPDs
On Friday, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission approved a final recommendation for Medicare pay rates in 2015, recommending that ambulatory surgery centers get 0 percent pay raise, according to an AHA News report.
At the same time, MedPAC recommended increasing hospital inpatient and outpatient prospective payment systems by 3.25 percent in the absence of sequestration cuts and 5.25 percent if spending cuts continue. The sequestration that begun last April enacted automatic 2 percent Medicare payment cuts for the next 10 years.
However, MedPAC did suggest reducing or eliminating pay differences between hospital outpatient departments and physician offices for some procedures, as currently hospital outpatient departments are paid significantly more.Source
NHA is one of the 20 Most Promising Data Analytics Companies
Companies today recognize that they have opportunities to use data and analytics to raise productivity, improve decision-making, and gain competitive advantage. CIOs understand that analytics will define the difference between the losers and winners going forward. As the market evolves a vast array of data analytics technology and solution vendors are positioning themselves for leadership. A large number of venture-backed startups are battling against established BI and enterprise software providers.
While there are plenty to choose from, organizations that succeed with Big Data analytics will be those that understand the possibilities, see through the vendor hype and choose the right deployment model. In the last few months, we have looked at hundreds of data analytics companies and shortlisted the ones that are at the forefront of tackling the real analytics challenges. We present to you CIOReview's 20 Most Promising Data Analytics Companies. A distinguished panel comprising of CEOs, CIOs, VCs, industry analysts and the editorial board of CIOReview selected the Final 20.Continue reading...