Study: HAC measure could unfairly penalize hospitals   10/15/2013
Administrative data may frequently misclassify hospitals as having high or low rates of Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers, according to a study published in today’s Annals of Internal Medicine. Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the study compared HAPU rates based on administrative data with those based on direct surveillance for California hospital patients in 2009. “In summary, large differences in hospital performance scores and HAPU rates that were based on whether administrative or surveillance data were used suggest that using administrative data to compare hospital HAPU rates for public reporting and financial penalty may be inappropriate,” the authors conclude. “Use of administrative data could unfairly penalize hospitals because those with higher HAPU rates may simply do a better job in documenting skin examinations and pressure ulcers in provider notes used by coders to generate administrative data.” The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has publicly reported Hospital Acquired Condition rates based on administrative data since 2011, and plans to reduce Medicare payments to hospitals with the highest HAC rates by 1% beginning next October. AHA will continue to urge CMS not to use this measure in public reporting or pay-for-performance programs due to the inaccuracy of the claims-based measures.
CMS issues additional guidance on CAC organizations   10/15/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently issued additional guidance for organizations applying to become designated Certified Application Counselors in states with federally-facilitated health insurance marketplaces. Topics include eligibility and training, the application process, and the difference between CACs and other types of enrollment assisters.
Hospitals urged to complete AHA survey on health coverage activities   10/15/2013
The AHA is surveying hospitals through Oct. 25 to learn more about their activities to help Americans enroll in private health coverage and Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For example, hospitals are applying and receiving grant funding to support their enrollment activities, voluntarily engaging in enrollment activities by training staff and volunteers to be Certified Application Counselors, conducting outreach and partnering with other organizations. Instructions for completing the short online survey were emailed to all hospital CEOs today. For more information, contact AHA Member Relations at (800) 424-4301.