Study: Health Providers Often Rewarded for Volume Over Value

By Russ Mitchell for Kaiser Health News. This story was produced in collaboration with USA Today For decades, reformers have sought to change how doctors and hospitals are paid to reward quality and efficiency – efforts that accelerated as a result of the health care overhaul. But surprisingly little progress has been made to date, a consortium of large employers reported today. Only 10.9 percent of health care spending last year by employer-sponsored plans was based on “value,” as opposed to …

Facing Penalties, Hospitals Aim to Lower Readmissions

By Jordan Rau, Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News This story was produced in collaboration with The New York Times In the past, the only thing a patient was sure to get after a hospital stay was a bill. But as Medicare cracks down on high readmission rates, hospitals are dispatching nurses, transportation, culturally specific diet tips, free medications and even bathroom scales to patients deemed at risk of relapsing. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., has nurses …

Meet the Hospital of the Future (No Double Rooms!)

By Russ Mitchell for Kaiser Health News This story was produced in collaboration with Fast Company. Rarely is nurse Cindy Steckel possessed by fantasies of unspeakable revenge. Toilet design, however, does provoke her fury. Whoever is responsible for the slim-doored, cramped configuration of patient bathrooms in most American hospitals draws her scorn. “I don’t know if there wasn’t such a thing as a walker back then,” she says. “But if I could get my hands on the guy who designed …

“Genius Grant” for Geriatrician Who Helped Cut Hospital Readmissions

A geriatrician known for his work reducing hospital readmissions, Eric Coleman is among the 23 men and women revealed yesterday as recipients of the 2012 MacArthur fellowships. Nicknamed the MacArthur “genius grants,” these fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation come with an award of $100,000 per year for five years, no strings attached.

The Takeaway: Hospital Lets Artists Paint, Perform to Pay Medical Bills

A Bronx hospital is launching a program that lets artistic patients knock $40 off their medical bills for every hour they spend providing some other “creative activity or service” at the hospital. The Lincoln Art Exchange, at the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, is essentially a bartering program where actors, musicians, dancers, writers and visual artists can trade their talents for medical care.

The Takeaway: Personal Care Homes – An Exposé in Georgia Lays Bare the Ugly Truth

Many of us worry about ending up in a nursing home, a fear that surely has to do with the shocking stories we’ve read over the years: neglect and abuse at the hands of caregivers, the inappropriate use of antipsychotics to drug residents into submission or stupor, the lack of adequate oversight by regulators at all levels. Now, from Georgia, comes an equally disturbing look at licensed personal care homes in that state. These facilities – which are little more …