Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend Update

The House of Representatives and the Senate are back in session this week following the Presidents' Day recess.

Business Insurance offers a gallery of the ten health plan sponsors that took the most cash out of the now depleted Early Retiree Reinsurance Program created by the Affordable Care Act. The big winners are large businesses and state governments. The FEHBP likely dodged a political bullet by being excluded from this program.

NCQA is seeking public comment on proposed changes to its HEDIS measures for 2013.  HEDIS measures are intended to measure health plan quality. The major changes appear to involve the CAPHS member survey associated with the HEDIS measures.  The new measures concern treatment of schizophrenia. The one terminated measure concerns call center abandonment.

Kaiser Health News reports on a new federal government effort to improve patient safety called HENS.
Recent research by the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and others has found a much higher rate of harm. A Medicare patient today has a one-in-seven chance of suffering harm in the hospital, a risk about four-to-seven times greater than in the IOM report.
Moreover, nearly 9 out of 10 incidents are never reported, the OIG concluded, even including incidents that led to patient deaths. "If you measure all-cause harm, you find it in about one-third of patients," says the University of Utah's Dr. David Classen, lead author of a 2011 study that appeared in Health Affairs.
Why aren't the hospitals and doctors leading this effort on their own?

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