Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Here's a link to a comprehensive CMS actuarial projection of health care costs over the remainder of this decade that recently was published in Health Affairs. The AMA News comments on the report here. (Spoiler -- The report projects increase spending on doctors so the AMA News is happy. However, the AMA News understandably is freaking out over the fact that the Medicare Part B physician reimbursement patch expires at year end -- the same time that Congress is obligated to consider its "Super Committee's" debt reduction package

CNN Money is reporting that the Walgreen's pharmacy chain is planning to start selling health insurance in its stores "through a private insurance exchange." According to the article, Walgreen's is neither confirming nor denying the report.

CMS is holding a conference call tomorrow beginning at noon to discuss the Affordable Care Act's funding opportunity for so-called CO-OP plans.

Kaiser Health News reports on the seven U.S. hospitals with the worst readmission rates for patients suffering from heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia:
The hospitals were:
  • San Juan VA Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Florida Hospital in Orlando
  • Franciscan St. James Health in Olympia Fields, Ill.
  • Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston
  • Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.
  • Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Patchogue, N.Y.
Their rates ranged between 20 percent and 31 percent of patients being readmitted within 30 days of discharge.
Another 54 hospitals had worse-than-expected rates for two of the three types of patients, and 231 hospitals had worse-than-expected readmission rates for one of the three categories.

The readmission rates are posted on the CMS Hospital Compare website.

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