Report looks at regional variance in hospital readmissions   02/11/2013
The 30-day readmissions rate for Medicare surgery patients fell by a relative 3% between 2008 and 2010, while the readmissions rate for other Medicare patients fell by 1.7%, according to a report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The findings are based on data from the Dartmouth Atlas Project, which found regional readmissions rates for 2010 ranged between 7.6% and 18.3% for surgery patients and between 11.4% and 18.1% for medical patients. The report includes patient and health care provider perspectives on readmissions based on interviews conducted in the Washington, D.C., New York and Dallas areas. "Although hospitals are a key venue of care, the one thing that's clear is that this is not just a hospital problem," said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D. "Patients, families, friends and the entire community have a role to play in reducing avoidable readmissions, and to succeed we need to face this problem together." AHA is a partner in Care About Your Care, a RWJF initiative highlighting effective strategies to improve care transitions and reduce avoidable hospital readmissions. The project will host a Feb. 13 webcast on the report.
Study: Bundled price for hip replacement not readily available   02/11/2013
The "bundled price" for a total hip replacement, including hospital and physician fees, may be difficult for consumers to find and varies widely, according to a study published online today by JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers contacted two randomly selected hospitals from each state and the District of Columbia, and the 2011-2012 U.S. News and World Report top-ranked 20 orthopedic hospitals to obtain pricing information for the procedure. About 16% of those hospitals were able to provide a complete bundled price, though an additional 47% of hospitals could provide a complete price when hospitals and health care providers were contacted separately, the authors note. The study also found that price estimates varied nearly 10-fold across the hospitals. In a statement, AHA said it believes that consumers deserve helpful information about the price of their hospital care, noting that more than 40 states already require or encourage hospitals to report such information to the public. "Sharing meaningful information, however, is challenging because hospital care is unique and based on each individual patient's needs," AHA said.
AHA to host special members-only Advocacy Day webcast   02/11/2013
AHA's hospital and health system members are invited to join AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack and Senior Vice President of Federal Relations Tom Nickels for a live webcast Wednesday in conjunction with AHA's Advocacy Day. The webcast, at 9:30 a.m. ET, will allow hospital leaders who could not travel to Washington, D.C., for Advocacy Day to participate virtually. To access the special webcast, participants must be registered for AHA's 2013 Town Hall Interactive webcasts (even if they have registered in past years). To register, click here.