Find Out Whether Your Hospital Has Too Many Readmissions

Is your hospital’s revolving door turning too quickly? Each year, more than a million Americans wind up back in the hospital within 30 days after leaving for reasons that could have been prevented. That includes one in five Medicare hospital patients. Medicare has begun penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates for patients being treated for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia – new categories will be added in the future – and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) …

Is Your Doctor a 10? Medicare Site Takes Next Step Toward Ranking Providers

By Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News Medicare Thursday added new features to its Physician Compare website as it prepares to start including quality data on thousands of doctors. The federal health care law requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to publish performance data on doctors, including how patients rate them, how well the physicians’ medical interventions succeed and how well they follow clinical guidelines for basic care. The site has been up since 2010, but contained only basic …

Doctors’ Extreme Prescribing – Footprints of Medicare Fraud?

Diagnosis: possible Medicare fraud. That’s the gist of a report from the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that found hundreds of doctors with “very extreme” prescribing practices – practices that could be harming Medicare patients and costing the government untold millions. Government investigators zeroed in on doctors writing hundreds of prescriptions per patient and large numbers of prescriptions for painkillers and other addictive drugs, among other practices. Related: 6 Common Medicare Scams After sifting through …

What Do Hospitals in Your Area Charge? Look It Up

Last week the Obama administration started publishing comparative data on what more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation charge for services – information that has long been hidden from consumers. And the results were pretty shocking. As Modern Healthcare reports, the data show enormous disparities in what hospitals charge for the same treatments – not just from region to region, but even among hospitals in the same metropolitan area. Treatment for kidney and urinary tract infections, for example, typically costs $40,902 …

New Website to Post Payments to Doctors From Health Industry

By Ankita Rao, Kaiser Health News Blog For the first time, the government will make information about financial relationships between doctors, teaching hospitals and drug manufacturers publicly available. To comply with a provision in the Affordable Care Act, drug and device manufacturers, along with group purchasing organizations, will have to disclose all of their payments and other compensation to physicians and teaching hospitals. Those who don’t comply could be fined. The information will be gathered beginning in August and disclosed by Sept. 30, …