In the News: November 3-9
Sg2 is dedicated to helping our clients interpret the latest news and trends in health care. Below you’ll find our analysis of this week’s key industry headlines, along with links to related Sg2 resources.
Joint Commission Reports Patient Quality Continues to Improve
The Joint Commission recently published its annual report reviewing hospital performance on accountability measures associated with quality of care and positive patient outcomes. Over 3,000 Joint Commission–accredited hospitals reported 2015 data in the following areas: children’s asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke care, venous thromboembolism, perinatal care, immunization, tobacco use treatment and substance use care. Overall, composite performance increased across nearly all measure sets.
Health care reform will increasingly burden organizations to demonstrate high performance to payers, regulators and patients. Access an Sg2 resource kit that contain actionable strategies to help hospitals cut costs, improve quality and increase efficiency of care.
Study Reveals a Significant Increase in Pediatric Hospitalizations for Opioid Poisoning
A study published in JAMA Pediatrics analyzed national hospital discharges from 1997 to 2012 and found that hospitalizations for opioid poisonings in children aged 1 to 19 almost doubled. To assess trends in poisonings over time, researchers examined data from 13,052 pediatric hospitalizations due to ingestion of prescription opioids.
Opioid use is also impacting volumes in the nation’s neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Sg2 predicts short-term growth in NICU volumes due to neonatal abstinence syndrome. Read this year’s pediatric forecast report for additional trends impacting NICUs.
CMS Makes Concessions in Medicare Outpatient Payment Final Rules
CMS released a pair of highly anticipated final rules for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System. After applying all adjustments required by law:
- Clinician payment rates will increase by 0.237% for calendar year 2017; rather than the 0.08%, reduction calculated by the proposed rule.
- Outpatient department payment rates will increase by 1.65%, rather than the 1.55% increase calculated by the proposed rule.
- Ambulatory surgery center payment rates will increase by about 1.9%, rather than the 1.2% increase calculated by the proposed rule.
In addition to these modest fee rate updates, CMS finalized a less rigid implementation of site neutral payment for newly constructed off-campus hospital outpatient departments and finalized payments for new telehealth services.
Sg2 will review the 2017 Medicare payment changes in depth, as well as summarize the health care policy changes finalized through regulations in the past year. Register now for these upcoming webinars:
- 2016 Health Care Policy Year in Review | Wednesday, December 7, Noon–12:45 pm CT
- Acute Care and Ambulatory Payment Update for 2017 | Wednesday, December 14, Noon–12:45 pm CT