August 17, 2017

ACO roundup: Health care quality continues to improve, but care disparities persist, AHRQ says

Daily Briefing
    • Groups say Trump admin has not contacted them about ACA enrollment outreach. Organizations that were involved in Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment outreach efforts in previous years—including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Student Association—say the Trump administration has not contacted them to help with such efforts for the ACA's upcoming open enrollment period scheduled to begin Nov. 1. Former HHS officials and representatives from organizations that in the past have helped with ACA enrollment outreach said such partnerships have been critical in maintaining the ACA exchange market. As of Aug. 15, HHS did not respond to a request for comment on the partnerships and open enrollment promotion, according to Talking Points Memo.

    • How Advocate Health Care saved $4.8M and cut readmissions with nutrition programs. Advocate Health Care in 2014 launched two programs to improve patient nutrition, leading to reduced patient stays, lower readmission rates—and more than $4.8 million in savings, according to new research published in American Health & Drug Benefits. Under the program, Advocate screened patients for malnutrition and gave at risk patients nutrition supplements in addition to their normal hospital meals.as the patients also received information about the importance of adhering to their supplement regimen, as well as post-discharge nutrition services, including coupons and follow-up phone calls. The programs were associated with a 27 percent reduction in 30-day readmission rates, a nearly two-day reduction in average length of a hospital stay, and between $1,499 and $3,858 in savings per program participant.

    • US continues to improve on care quality, report finds. The overall quality of health care in the Unites States improved between 2000 and 2015, according to the latest report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The report assessed six categories of quality measures and found improvements for 80 percent of person-centered care measures, nearly two-thirds of patient safety measures, 60 percent of healthy living measures, more than 50 percent of effective treatment measures, and about half of care coordination measures. However, the report found no improvements for about 70 percent of care affordability measures, and that "most disparities have not changed significantly for any racial or ethnic group."

    From Advisory Board:

    • What you need to know about CMS' proposed changes to CJR and cancellation of EPMs. CMS announced a proposal that would cancel three mandatory bundled payment programs for cardiac and orthopedic episodes and make significant changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program. Join us on Wednesday, Aug. 23, to unpack of the details of the proposed changes and learn what this means for providers going forward.

    Register Here

    • Is your Medicare risk strategy MACRA-ready? While the GOP's health reform effort continues to evolve, Medicare payment reform has quietly marched on with bipartisan support. And with MACRA well underway, the new administration has shown no signs of reversing course. As a result, hospital and health system leaders need to develop an intentional Medicare risk strategy. Check out our new research report to learn how to navigate the Medicare ACO programs, expand into the Medicare Advantage market, and ensure the longevity of your Medicare risk strategy by actively cultivating contracts over time.

    Get the Report

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