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The final rule updates Medicare inpatient rates to acute care hospitals by 1.21 percent, provides flexibility in reporting of electronic clinical quality measures, and changes the payment adjustment methodology for the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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A study finds hospitals penalized more often in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program's first years — including safety-net hospitals — were more likely to be penalized all five years.

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America’s Essential Hospitals encourages CMS to improve transparency, risk adjust, and reduce regulatory burden for essential hospitals.

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The study found that the penalty burden was greater in hospitals treating a high share of patients with socioeconomic disadvantages.

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The rule would raise inpatient operating payment rates, revise Medicare DSH payment methodology, and apply a transitional methodology for HRRP penalties.

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The rule contains provisions on the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, Medicare DSH, the Inpatient Quality Reporting program, and more.

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Hospital participation in Medicare value-based programs in 2015, including ACOs and bundled payments, was associated with 2,377 fewer readmissions and $32.7 million in savings.

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CMS on Dec. 19 refreshed its Hospital Compare site, including data on the Ambulatory Surgical Center Program, Hospital Readmission Reduction Program & more.

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President Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes the historic risk adjustment provision and also provides partial relief to hospitals from cuts to off-campus outpatient department payments.

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The legislation, expected to quickly receive the president's signature, includes two key advocacy goals for the association: risk adjustment of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program and partial relief from hospital outpatient department payment cuts.

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In this webinar we looked back at the 2016 advocacy landscape, discussed the progress we have made on key issues affecting essential hospitals, reviewed our interaction with the Trump transition team, and looked forward to 2017. Webinar Recording

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Essential hospitals thank House lawmakers for voting to protect access to health care services for vulnerable patients and underserved communities by accounting for patients' social and economic status in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP).

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The campaign of online and print advertisements and media outreach calls on Congress to pass legislation to risk adjust the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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CMS has awarded $347 million to the 16 organizations — including Premier Inc. — to support the next phase of a patient safety initiative.

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Association president and CEO argues that hospitals serving disadvantaged communities are penalized by federal quality initiatives that do not account for socioeconomic obstacles.

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The webinar will introduce AHRQ's updated hospital guide for delivering transitional care to reduce readmissions among adult Medicaid patients.

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Flavor Harvest @ Home, a medical nutrition therapy program, provides meals to Lee Memorial Health System patients who are at risk for being malnourished.

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America’s Essential Hospitals supports H.R. 5273, the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act. Section 102 of the bill would help level the playing field for essential hospitals in Medicare's readmissions reduction program.

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Association supports bill, which would add needed risk adjustment to the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program and provide some relief for recent cuts to off-campus hospital outpatient department payments.

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Tool, developed by association member University of Chicago, shows geographic disparities in health outcomes, health care use, and health care spending.

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State hospital association says risk adjusting CMS readmissions methodology results in significantly less variation in measured quality differences among hospitals.

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The guide focuses on reducing readmissions for racial and ethnic minority groups and is part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare.

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First of five consensus reports from National Academy of Medicine (NAM) ad hoc committee identifies social risk factors for Medicare payment and quality programs, and the measures they can impact.

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Essential hospitals 2.67 times more likely than other hospitals to receive penalties under Medicare readmissions program in FY 2016

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Rule includes a net increase in IPPS payment rates of 0.9 percent, Medicare DSH cuts of $1.2 billion in FY 2016, and updates to the HAC Reduction, Hospital VBP, IQR, and EHR Incentive programs.

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Comments caution CMS about Medicare DSH payment cuts and urge CMS to ensure measures and methodologies used in quality reporting programs are adjusted for sociodemographic factors.

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AHRQ-funded study shows heart disease drives readmissions overall, while orthopedic conditions drive readmissions to the same hospital. Original admission from the ED also drives same-hospital readmissions.

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May 29 webinar will focus on quality reporting program proposals, impact of changes to HAC Reduction Program and Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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The national provider call will cover alignment and goals for a number of Medicare pay-for-performance programs, including the Inpatient Quality Reporting Program and the Value-Based Purchasing Program.

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The rule includes provisions on several topics, including a payment update, Medicare disproportionate share hospital cuts, Medicare payment for short inpatient hospital stays, and the Readmissions Reduction Program.

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Socioeconomic factors affect health and health care outcomes. Medicare's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program must account for this to avoid unfairly penalizing hospitals that care for large volumes of vulnerable patients.

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America's Essential Hospitals supports legislation, which seeks to ensure hospitals are not unfairly penalized for patients' sociodemographic challenges

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Recent journal articles explore socioeconomic status, accountable care organizations, and other issues relevant to essential hospitals.

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Recent journal articles explore interventions to reduce readmissions, uncover barriers to recovery for vulnerable adults, decrease emergency department utilization, and more.

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The interactive toolkit and guide aim to address the unique clinical and socioeconomic characteristics of Medicaid patients that can lead to readmissions.

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An examination of a recent study highlighting the challenge of providing financial incentives fairly based on outcomes and hospital characteristics.

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A recent study published in Health Affairs found that California essential hospitals were more likely to be penalized than other California hospitals under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, despite lower 30-day risk-adjusted mortality rates.

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NQF board adopts recommendation to assess sociodemographic risk adjustment of certain quality measures during a trial period.

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Recent articles from Health Affairs, the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, the Journal for Healthcare Quality, and The New England Journal of Medicine explore efforts to reduce readmissions and infection rates, improve patient safety, and more.

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Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital recognized an opportunity to lead the way by developing a comprehensive, systems-based care transitions program to give patients proper care and the tools they need to stay out of the hospital.

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Recent journal articles curated from Health Affairs and the New England Journal of Medicine highlight payment reform programs and strategies and the impact of socioeconomic status on readmissions.

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CMS is inviting interested stakeholders to review and comment on a hospitalwide all-cause unplanned readmission hybrid electronic clinical quality measure.

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Comments cover topics such as Medicare disproportionate share hospital payment cuts and risk adjustment for socioeconomic status.

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The bill would require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to consider socioeconomic status of hospital patient populations in its calculation of penalties under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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The letter addresses the unintended consequences for essential hospitals of the current readmissions penalty methodology and asks federal agencies to work with Congress.

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Boston Medical Center has released an update to Project RED, their toolkit focused on discharge safety and reducing hospital readmissions. Included is a new chapter that provides guidance to hospitals on how to best integrate family caregivers into the discharge plan.

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America's Essential Hospitals joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in recognizing the recent accomplishments of hospital engagement networks and other safety and quality initiatives. Federal officials announced May 7 that the initiatives have decreased patient harm by 9 percent and readmissions by 8 percent.

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Legislation expected next week from Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) would help ensure Medicare's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program does not unfairly penalize hospitals that care for vulnerable patients. The association offered support for the bill, which would protect hospitals whose patients might experience higher readmission rates due to socioeconomic conditions.

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The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services launched a pilot program that aims to prevent avoidable rescue-care visits by automatically notifying patient-centered medical homes when a patient enters the health care system and better engaging discharged patients in their follow-up care.

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The federal Partnership for Patients initiative will support for a third year the association's Essential Hospitals Engagement Network (EHEN), one of 26 such networks nationally working to reduce nine hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and 30-day readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014.

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Penalties will disproportionately fall on hospitals serving a high number of dual eligibles

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Learn innovative ways to guide patients across the care continuum safely and efficiently.

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Hospitals that treat a large share of low-income patients receive add-on payments to the amount designated by IPPS

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Innovative, team-based programs to keep patients from coming back to the hospital

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Rule finalizes several inpatient prospective payment system provisions

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An electronic medical record–based model helped Parkland reduce readmissions and costs

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SFGH's Care Management Program offers focused care coordination and health coaching

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Highlights from the America's Essential Hospitals 2013 Annual Conference

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Rule includes proposed formula to make Medicare DSH reductions under ACA

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Rule proposes several inpatient prospective payment system provisions

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Learn how to redesign internal processes to improve medication reconciliation

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UT Health Northeast sharply reduces readmissions by analyzing possible causes and identifying specific areas in need of attention and resources, including staff follow-up efforts and patient discharge instructions.

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A look at the Transitions Care Program at St. Luke's Treasure Valley

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Harbor-UCLA shared successes and challenges with cutting readmissions using BOOST tools

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This session reviewed key driver diagrams and highlighted an electronic risk assessment model – derived from clinical and nonclinical factors – that helps predict which patients are at risk for 30-day readmission within 24 hours of admission.

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Truman Medical Centers employed a strategy that integrated diabetes care across all inpatient and outpatient departments, designated physician champions, and used data to identify high-risk patients.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.