Top Healthcare Quality Issues for 2014, Part 2

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , January 7, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services said in its final rule establishing these requirements that "payments from manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals can also introduce conflicts of interest that may influence research, education, and clinical decision-making in ways that compromise clinical integrity and patient care, and may lead to increased health care costs."

See Also: Top Healthcare Quality Issues for 2014, Part 1

When posted online, the data will be "downloadable, easily searchable, and aggregated," the rule requires.

This month, CMS is expected to launch the physician portal that by March 31, will receive reports from group purchasing organizations and manufacturers. Over the next several months, physicians will be able to see these reports through a web portal.

10. Cutting Costs Everywhere
With CMS under much more pressure to release hospital charges and payments, expect more scrutiny and comparison of elective procedures costs to patients. In anticipation of this and expected reductions in payments through penalties and lost incentive payments, hospitals are eliminating many procedures from their order sets that don't add value or improve patient outcomes.

Better blood management in transfusions, less variation in surgical technologies, better supply chain management, greater use of generics instead of brand name drugs, and greater education and awareness for physicians to know the actual costs of hospital care are priority initiatives at most organizations.

Hospitals also are moving toward more efficient use of staffing, which may mean nurse practitioners and physicians assistants performing some activities previously done only by physicians.

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1 comments on "Top Quality Issues for 2014, Part 2"

Steve Wilkins (1/7/2014 at 11:43 AM)
Before we see measurable reductions in diagnostic errors, we will need to see attention paid to a leading cause of such errors - poor patient communication skills in the part of physicians. A physician's ability to effectively "talk and listen" to patients is critical to the accuracy of the patient's DX and TX. As Sir William Osler once said...listen to your patients and they will tell you what's wrong. The challenge today is that there is such a headlong rush to replace face-to-face DX with technology that the patient is being left out of their own care. Steve Wilkins, MPH




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