Daily Briefing Blog

What you missed while everyone was talking about Obamacare


There's more happening in health care than the rollout of the ACA's insurance exchanges. Here's a quick roundup of top Daily Briefing stories and research highlights from last week's issues.

Walmart, Lowe's enter bundled pay deal with four health systems (Oct. 9)
A first-of-its-kind network of large U.S. employers—that includes the two retail giants—will offer no-cost coverage for hip and knee implant procedures at four U.S. health systems starting next year.

"The Walmart announcement is another sign that large employers are demanding affordable, consistent prices—and they're not afraid to pay for airfare to find them," according to Rob Lazerow, who leads the Advisory Board's research into bundled payment contracts. "For these employers, the market for elective, acute care services is moving from a local to a national playing field."

Boosting nurse staff levels could reduce readmissions (Oct. 10)
A new study in Health Affairs found that hospitals with higher nurse staffing levels were 25% less likely to incur Medicare readmissions penalties than their less well-staffed peers.

  • How should you read that new nursing study? In a Daily Briefing Q&A, Jennifer Stewart offers context on why simply expanding the nurse workforce isn't as easy as it sounds, identifies key takeaways for hospital leaders, and shares new Nursing Executive Center staffing benchmarks.

How the shutdown puts some cancer patients' treatment on hold (Oct. 9)
For each week that the federal government shutdown continues, an estimated 200 cancer patients are turned away from NIH clinical trials. One patient says it "is a matter of life or death."

The bottom line: Hospitals don't care enough about safety, Jha says (Oct.7)
Harvard's Ashish Jha argues that the wrong incentives have led hospitals to prioritize flashier investments—from around-the-clock room service to spa-like amenities—at the expense of investing millions in patient safety.

Five ways Cleveland Clinic improved its patient engagement strategies (Oct. 8)
In an interview with Healthcare IT News, Cleveland Clinic executives discuss how the organization first defined its "patient engagement" strategy and then took steps to make it real.

Me, myself, and I: What your words say about you (Oct. 11)
People who frequently use the word "I" tend to be less powerful and confident than those who limit their use of the pronoun, according to new research from the University of Texas.


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