2011 National Health Expenditures

According to research from the CMS Office of the Actuary, healthcare spending growth is decelerating.  As published in Health Affairs:  In 2011 US health care spending grew 3.9 percent to reach $2.7 trillion, marking the third consecutive year of relatively slow growth. Growth in national health spending closely tracked growth in nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010…

The Doc Fix and the Fiscal Cliff

President Barack Obama has signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which continues current Medicare payment rates for the nation’s physicians through Dec. 31, 2013. This bill nullifies the Sustainable Growth Rate which, if implemented, would have reduced Medicare payments to physicians by 26.5 percent.  The doc fix will cost $10.6 billion in fiscal…

Disease Management Programs Don’t Work

That is the conclusion of this study. More information below: Background The ARRA stimulus package included $2.2 billion for health care cost-effectiveness research focusing on chronic disease prevention and disease management initiatives. These programs aim to address increasing health care costs for a number of diseases, such as: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and smoking-related illnesses.…

How Medicare Measures Hospital Quality

There are many ways that Medicare evaluates hospital quality. Medicare conducts patient surveys (i.e,. HCAHPS). Medicare has hospitals report a variety of process of care measures through the Inpatient Quality Report (IQR) Program. Medicare uses data that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) tool to measure…