CMS launches multi-pronged attack on care disparities

In March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services unveiled a new tool aimed at tracking racial health disparities among Medicare patients, but the tool is only part of the agency's broader push to address care disparities among different racial groups, genders and socioeconomic classes, a CMS official told Hospitals & Health Networks.

Kaiser initiative aims to meet social needs of 'superusers'

The nation's largest integrated health delivery organization plans to expand its "Total Health" wellness mission to address unmet social needs for disadvantaged patients in order to close the gaps in U.S. healthcare outcomes between rich and poor

Hospital superusers often lack access to healthy food

Patients who are frequently hospitalized may also be hungry, according to a new study. 

Pain management critics call for changes to hospital standards, surveys

Critics have called for changes to the Joint Commission's pain management standards and to patient surveys designed to stop the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Coordinated hospital efforts can lower spread of CRE superbug

Hospitals and healthcare institutions can reduce the spread of the emerging "superbug" carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) by 75 percent when they coordinate their efforts, according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Patients' hospital ratings may predict care quality

The score patients assign their hospitals according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' star rating system appear to correspond with the quality of the hospitals' patient outcomes, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

One year into tenure, Geisinger CEO praises patient engagement, satisfaction initiatives

Hospital executives who want their organizations to deliver top patient experience must engage directly with patients, the CEO of Geisinger Health System tells Healthcare IT News.

5 ways to create a great healthcare workplace

Healthcare organizations named to Fortune's 20 Best Workplaces in Health Care share a sense of camaraderie and pride in their work, and offer lessons to other hospitals and systems that strive to create a positive work environment that can attract and retain the best talent.

Brazil bets big on telehealth in fight against Zika

Faced with insufficient infrastructure and geographical barriers to healthcare access, many providers in Brazil are turning to telehealth to confront the threat of Zika, according to NPR.

Senators urge feds to delay release of hospital star ratings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is set to reveal overall star ratings for hospital quality on April 21, but 60 senators have urged the agency to delay the release amid concerns about incomplete and misleading data.

Readmission reduction: Intervention helps lower rates but doesn't meet national goals

Medicare's goal of reducing all readmissions by 20 percent "may be overambitious," according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Quality Improvement Organizations prevented 27,000 early discharges, saved $9.4M

Medicare's Quality Improvement Organizations had a banner year, according to a 2015 progress report that shows the organizations exceeded recruitment targets for six initiatives, prevented thousands of improper early discharges and saved more than $9.4 million.

Outpatient clinic staff fail to wash hands more than one-third of the time

Medical staff in outpatient settings failed to follow established hand-hygiene practices nearly 4 out of 10 times, according to an observational study that also found staff failed to follow practices for safe injections one-third of the time.

9 out of 10 New York hospital emergency room visits unnecessary

Millions of New Yorkers use the emergency room for conditions that could be treated in less expensive settings, according to a new study conducted by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. But a leading association of emergency physicians disputes the findings, calling the statistics flawed and misleading.



Rural pediatric patients at higher risk for readmissions, complex conditions

Rural children have far higher rates of chronic conditions than non-rural children, as well as higher risks of readmission and steeper costs of care, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

Mass shooting aftermath: Nurses need time to heal too

In the modern healthcare landscape, healthcare workers must be prepared for the fallout from mass shootings or other mass casualty events. Hospital leaders, meanwhile, must be ready to support nurses for any trauma caused by proximity to such events, according to

Sepsis fight complicated by vague guidelines, data variations

Sepsis affects one in 10 patients and is considered one of the deadliest, costliest hospital-acquired infections. But the fight to prevent it is made more difficult due to a combination of ineffective messaging and variations in measurement, according to Slate and a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Avoid legal battles: Don't punish nurses who speak up

Hospitals can protect themselves from legal action simply by listening to nurses who speak up about patient safety problems and then correcting the problems instead of covering them up, according to a Medscape article that examines two legal cases involving nurses who were fired after reporting concerns about patient safety.

Baltimore turns to hospital "violence interrupters" to prevent street violence

Baltimore hospitals are at the center of an attempt to reduce violence across the city, NPR reported.

Six years in, Affordable Care Act appears likely to go the distance

Guest post by Kent Bottles, M.D, a lecturer at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Population Health. Last month I was so busy doing my income taxes and preparing MACRA presentations for...