Hospital billing varies wildly, government data shows

From the New York Times: A hospital in Livingston, N.J., charged $70,712 on average to implant a pacemaker, while a hospital in nearby Rahway, N.J., charged $101,945. In Saint Augustine, Fla., one hospital typically billed nearly $40,000 to remove a gallbladder using minimally invasive surgery, while one in Orange Park, Fla., charged $91,000. In one … Continue reading Hospital billing varies wildly, government data shows

The million-dollar workplace wellness heart attack screen

From the Health Affairs blog: Three years after wellness was hailed as perhaps the only truly bipartisan component of the Affordable Care Act, both lay and trade commentators have begun observing that the assumptions behind it were incorrect while downsides were overlooked. As a predictable result, savings have proven elusive even in seemingly ideal baseline circumstances for health improvement. For example, a wellness program … Continue reading The million-dollar workplace wellness heart attack screen

Costs for Hospital Stays in the United States, 2010

From the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ): Statistical Brief #146 presents data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) on costs of hospital stays in the United States in 2010. Both aggregate hospital costs and the average costs per hospital stay are presented, by age and primary payer. The most costly inpatient conditions are … Continue reading Costs for Hospital Stays in the United States, 2010

Lower emergency room use from patients with after-hours physician access

From Health Affairs: The first study to use a nationally representative sample to describe after-hours care in the US demonstrated that emergency room usage is significantly lower when patients have access to after-hours services with their primary care provider. According to the study, 30.4 percent of patients with after-hours access to their primary care providers … Continue reading Lower emergency room use from patients with after-hours physician access

IOM Consensus Report – For the Public’s Health: Investing in a Healthier Future

On April 10th, the Institute of Medicine released their consensus report, For the Public's Health: Investing in a Healthier Future. From their press release: "To improve America's lackluster performance on health outcomes compared with its peer nations and to maintain its international competitiveness, the United States needs to invest more in its chronically underfunded public … Continue reading IOM Consensus Report – For the Public’s Health: Investing in a Healthier Future

The Cost Of Medicare: You Get What You Pay For

In a post from the Health Affairs Blog, Caroline Poplin commnents on a  recent article in teh journal Health Affairs that describes the growth of new cardiac surgery programs at the same time that the number of grafts fell.  Were the new programs in underserved areas? No, most were in areas with existing services, resulting in … Continue reading The Cost Of Medicare: You Get What You Pay For

Need state-specific information on healthcare quality?

The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) has released the 2010 state snapshots based on data collected in the National Healthcare Quality Report.  Pick a state & compare its quality ranking against national or best-performing states on specific measures. New this year is a list of online resources for each state to help them take action to improve … Continue reading Need state-specific information on healthcare quality?

Social media & brain trauma treatment

Among the many interesting stories in the May issue of Research Findings from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality is a story on  how social media, such as instant messaging and mobile phone applications, can be used to provide patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury with remote cognitive rehabilitation sessions to improve their memory and … Continue reading Social media & brain trauma treatment

News from Kaiser Health–Insurance for young adults, Medicare funding & rewards for quality care

Lots of good stories from First Edition this morning.  Here's a sampling: Continued analysis of Rep. Ryan's plan from the New York Times and the Washington Post. (Is it really just like Congress's health plan as claimed?  Well, the federal government would still help pay premiums, but aside from that, not so much.) Stories on Medicare's … Continue reading News from Kaiser Health–Insurance for young adults, Medicare funding & rewards for quality care

Decrease in Michigan’s rate of pneumonia in patients on ventilators

In the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) latest Research Activities newsletter is a report the success of a program in Michigan that reduced rates of pneumonia in patients on ventilators by 70% and maintained that rate for 2 1/2 years. The complete study can be found here:  Collaborative cohort study of an intervention to reduce ventilator-associated … Continue reading Decrease in Michigan’s rate of pneumonia in patients on ventilators