Hospital Compare October update canceled   10/14/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not update Hospital Compare quality data on Oct. 10 as planned, due to the government shutdown, according to a notice on the QualityNet website. The next scheduled update to the website data, including 30-day readmission and complication measures, is Dec. 12. “However, this date may be compromised if the shutdown is not resolved before the end of October,” the notice states.
Study finds HIE reduces ED costs while improving quality of care   10/14/2013
Having access to data from a health information exchange reduced Medicare-allowable charges for 11 hospital emergency departments in South Carolina by an average $1,947 per patient over a 12-month period, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians in Seattle. The finding is based on a survey of clinicians who cared for a sample of 532 patients who had information available in the HIE. Most of the cost savings were due to avoided radiology studies and hospital admissions. More than 80% of the clinicians reported improved quality of care and time savings, with an average time savings of 105 minutes per patient. The study did not consider the cost of sustaining the HIE, which is currently supported by the hospitals. “Sustainability is the number one problem we all face,” said study author Christine Carr, M.D., emergency services medical director at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She is currently working on a larger study that will look at both HIE costs and savings.
Reminder: AHA members-only webinar tomorrow on EHR quality reporting   10/14/2013
AHA will host a members-only webinar Oct. 15 on challenges faced by hospitals using electronic health records to generate clinical quality measures for reporting. Speakers will review Medicare policies for electronic reporting of clinical quality measures and findings from an AHA-commissioned case study of four hospitals’ experiences. To register for the free webinar, from 4-5 p.m. Eastern Time, click here.