Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health Care

Go into almost any hospital these days and you’ll hear a constant stream of beeps and boops. To most people it sounds like medical Muzak. But to doctors and nurses, it’s not just sonic wallpaper. Those incessant beeps contain important coded messages. “The three-burst is a crisis alarm,” systems engineer James Piepenbrink of Boston Medical […]

Medicare identifies hospitals with high readmission rates

Medicare’s new comprehensive measure of hospital readmissions shows that at least 20 percent of the hospitals in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have higher rates of patients returning than the national average. Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Washington led the states with the highest proportion […]

Health Care Reform: Views From The Hospital Executive Suite

Pessimism pervades the national dialogue surrounding healthcare reform. Despite fixes to the federal exchange website and marked improvements in enrollment, politicians and pundits continue to assail the Affordable Care Act (ACA), offering grim predictions about the future of healthcare after its implementation. The law, they claim, is an unworkable train-wreck. It will produce a healthcare system […]

3M to Release Cloud-based CAC App for Small Hospitals

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Leitchfield, Ky., a 75-bed facility, was the developmental partner for the technology, which essentially is a stripped down version of 3M’s 360 Encompass suite of health information management software. 3M started working on the software in February 2013 after conducting an audit at Twin Lake and the CFO bemoaned […]

FAQ: Hospital Observation Care Can Be Poorly Understood And Costly For Medicare Beneficiaries

Some seniors think Medicare made a mistake.  Others are just stunned when they find out that being in a hospital for days doesn’t always mean they were actually admitted. Instead, they received observation care, considered by Medicare to be an outpatient service. Yet, a recent government investigation found that observation patients often have the same health problems […]

Senators defend Medicare money for rural hospitals

Federal experts suggested Thursday that Medicare drastically shrink a program that provides hundreds of millions of extra dollars to rural hospitals. But both of Iowa’s U.S. senators said many of the state’s hospitals would fail if the proposal were enacted. The dispute is about Medicare’s Critical Access Hospital program, which provides extra income to 82 […]

Hospitals Facing Money Woes

Health insurance exchanges will only complicate the headwinds that hospitals are facing, Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania President A.J. Harper said Tuesday. Treatment outcome measurements, insurers’ pay-for-performance programs and cuts in Medicare reimbursement are among the economic pressures facing hospitals, Harper said at a seminar to help small businesses prepare for full implementation of health care reform in 2014. […]

Boston hospital settles Medicare complaint

BOSTON — A Boston hospital has paid a $5.3 million to resolve allegations that it overcharged the Medicare system. The Boston Globe reports that a federal review of records from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found the hospital frequently admitted patients for brief stays who could have been received treatment as outpatients at less expense to […]

Hospitals Struggle With EHRs For Quality Reporting, AHA Says

Hospitals encountered major problems collecting quality data electronically to meet the requirements of Meaningful Use stage 1, according to a report prepared for the American Hospital Association (AHA). Unless there are significant policy changes, the report warned, those difficulties will continue in MU stage 2. This is the not the first time the AHA has complained about […]

Medicare considers using stars to rate hospitals

Star wars may be coming to a hospital near you. Medicare is considering assigning stars or some other symbol to hospitals so patients can more easily compare the quality of care at various institutions. The ratings would appear on Medicare’s Hospital Compare website and be based on many of the 100 quality measures the agency already publishes. […]