Hospitals urged to verify Leapfrog safety data by Oct. 24   10/01/2012
The Leapfrog Group today mailed CEOs at roughly 2,600 general acute-care hospitals instructions for reviewing the accuracy of their Leapfrog Hospital Safety Scores before they are publicly reported in mid- to late November. AHA alerted Leapfrog to concerns with the initial scorecard's methodology and data accuracy in June. In response, Leapfrog is making the data available for confidential review by hospitals. AHA encourages hospitals to preview and verify the data online before the Oct. 24 deadline. Critical access hospitals, specialty hospitals, federal hospitals, mental health facilities, freestanding children's hospitals, hospitals in Maryland and U.S. territories, and those with fewer than nine process measure scores or three outcome scores are excluded from the scorecard.
Study looks at states' proposed EHB benchmark plans   10/01/2012
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have recommended benchmark plans to serve as their "essential health benefits" benchmarks, according to a report released today by Avalere Health. The states are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. The report focuses on prescription drug coverage in eight of the proposed state plans: California, Connecticut, Mississippi, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Kaiser Health News also reported today on state progress to define essential health benefits. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the Department of Health and Human Services to define the minimum package of benefits that certain health plans must cover, including those participating in health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014. The agency last December proposed that states use a "benchmark" plan approach that reflects the scope of services offered by a "typical employer plan" in that state, but has yet to issue a proposed rule. HHS has encouraged states to identify benchmark plans by Oct. 1, 2012, but no formal deadline has been announced.
Census: Americans report fewer medical care visits   10/01/2012
Working-age Americans made an average of 3.9 visits to doctors, nurses or other medical providers in 2010, down from 4.8 in 2001, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. More than 29% of uninsured adults visited a medical provider or dentist in 2010, including emergency departments (13%) and other hospital facilities (10%). The estimates are from the Survey of Income and Program Participation.
Reminder: AHA Town Hall webcast tomorrow   10/01/2012
Tune in for the next AHA members-only Town Hall Interactive webcast - tomorrow at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock will discuss hospital and physician relations with John Combes, M.D., AHA senior vice president and head of the association's Physician Leadership Forum; Craig Becker, president and CEO of the Tennessee Hospital Association; and Patrick Cawley, M.D., chief medical officer at the Medical University of South Carolina. Becker and Cawley serve on the AHA's Physician Leadership Forum advisory council and will share their experiences from the field. Hosted by AHA leaders, members-only Town Hall Interactive webcasts focus on advocacy and other important developments in the hospital and health care field. For more information, call (800) 424-4301.