- Minority-serving hospitals more likely to be hit with readmission penalties, study finds. Hospitals with a large population of minority patients are more likely than their peers to be penalized under CMS' Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, despite making more substantial cuts to their readmission rates, according to a new study in Health Affairs. For the study, researchers compared 30-day readmission rates for congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and pneumonia at 283 hospitals that the researchers categorized as "minority-serving" and at hospitals that the researchers categorized as "non-minority serving." They found minority-serving hospitals curbed readmissions by 0.44% between April 2010 and September 2012, while non-minority serving hospitals curbed readmissions by 0.36%. However, despite those reductions, 84.8% of minority-serving hospitals were penalized under the readmissions program in fiscal year 2013, compared with 68.8% of non-minority serving hospitals.
- SAMHSA accepting grant applications for community mental health care programs. Health care facilities, mental health organizations, and other eligible organizations have through May 29 to apply for grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to set up, maintain, and expand Assertive Community Treatment programs. According to the American Hospital Association, the programs aim to curb hospitalization and mortality rates for people with mental health issues by providing support teams, available around-the-clock at home or other settings, to prevent potential mental health crises. SAMHSA has a total of $23.7 million in funding for the initiative, which the organization said it intends to allocate in up to seven grants of up to $678,000 per year for a maximum of five years.
- How an 'army' at Johns Hopkins takes on wasteful health care spending. Johns Hopkins Health System, Kaiser Permanente, and other hospital systems are taking innovative steps to curb health care spending, saving millions in the process, Maria Castellucci writes for Modern Healthcare. For instance, Johns Hopkins successfully reduced wasteful spending on blood transfusions—and saved $2 million per year—by establishing a new program to cut back on unnecessary two-unit blood transfusions involving EHR notifications and a monthly report comparing department progress on goals. Meanwhile, Kaiser Permanente Northwest curbed unnecessary screening for vitamin D deficiency by 67.6% over six months, saving an estimated $1.4 million per year, by creating guidelines for appropriate screening and implementing EHR pop-up alerts.
From Advisory Board:
- State of the Union: The next wave of health care reform. Join us on Tuesday, April 24 at 1:00 p.m. ET, to get the most up-to-date analysis on the future of health care reform and get our latest guidance on how hospital and health system leaders should proceed amid uncertainty.
- How to develop a comprehensive opioid response strategy. Join us on Monday, April 30 at 3:00 p.m. ET, to learn how to establish a comprehensive, proactive approach to combating the opioid crisis and the data-driven framework and key performance indicators that will help you track your progress in this ongoing effort.
- Transform your business model for Medicaid risk. Join us on Tuesday, May 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET, to learn how, with the increased financial flexibility of Medicaid risk, health systems can adapt their existing care management infrastructure to better manage the Medicaid population.