- 2,573 hospitals will face readmission penalties this year. Is yours one of them? Medicare under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) will reduce reimbursement for 2,573 hospitals for fiscal year (FY) 2018, according CMS data released last week, Jordan Rau reports for Kaiser Health News. The latest penalties, based on readmissions between July 2013 and June 2016, will apply to Medicare payments that CMS makes to the affected hospitals between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018. Overall, the number of penalized hospitals this year marks a slight decline from FY 2017, when Medicare reduced reimbursements for 2,597 hospitals. According to KHN, since the readmissions penalties took effect, hospital readmissions for related conditions have dropped nationwide.
- Few consumers compare health care prices, study finds. While most consumers say comparing prices for health care services is important, just 3 percent said they actually compared provider prices before care, according to a new study in Health Affairs. For the study, researchers surveyed 2,996 adults who paid at least partly out-of-pocket for health care within the past year. According to the study, the most common barrier to price comparison was the difficulty of finding price data and desire to avoid disrupting current patient-provider relationships. The "results emphasize that simply passing price transparency laws or regulations (as over half of states have done) appears insufficient to facilitate price shopping," the researchers concluded. "Efforts to encourage price shopping may need to be targeted to selected clinical contexts that are suitable for shopping."
- Hospital patients receive little quality data on SNFs, study shows. Patients being transferred from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) are rarely given quality data about the SNFs when asked to make their decision from a list of hospital-provided options, according to a new study in Health Affairs. For the study, researchers in 2015 surveyed 138 staffers at 25 SNFs and 16 hospitals across eight states, as well as 98 Medicare beneficiaries receiving care at 14 SNFs. According to the researchers, hospitals indicated they didn't share quality data on SNFs with patients because of legal restrictions and a focus on patient choice.
From Advisory Board:
- What does health care reform beyond the ACA look like? Join our new webconference series. Across this eight-part series, we'll recap the key insights and top case studies from our new research presentations, focusing on how to position hospitals and health systems for long-term success amid political uncertainty.
- Is your Medicare risk strategy MACRA-ready? While the GOP's health reform effort continues to evolve, Medicare payment reform has quietly marched on with bipartisan support. And with MACRA well underway, the new administration has shown no signs of reversing course. As a result, hospital and health system leaders need to develop an intentional Medicare risk strategy. Check out our new research report to learn how to navigate the Medicare ACO programs, expand into the Medicare Advantage market, and ensure the longevity of your Medicare risk strategy by actively cultivating contracts over time.
- Learn how to reduce care variation for orthopedics. Join us on Thursday, September 14, to learn how to identify and manage care variation reduction opportunities for orthopedic procedures.