Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Quality' Category

The cost of quality measurement

An interesting editorial in JAMA by Schuster, Onorato and Meltzer (2017) makes the following point: So how should quality measures be prioritized? Many factors are currently considered, including a measure’s expected effect on patients and health care, potential for promoting improvement, scientific underpinnings, usability, and feasibility. But there is a major omission from this list: […]

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Identifying high quality providers in the presence of heterogeneous preferences

Why is it so difficult for health care payers to identify a “best” provider?  A paper by Gutacker and Street (2017) explains: There are two key elements that complicate assessment of how well public sector organisations are doing their job (Besley & Ghatak, 2003; Dixit, 2002). First, they lack a single overarching objective against which […]

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The news you didn’t notice when reading about the $475,000 treamtent

David Augus and and Dana Goldman weigh in on Novartis’ decision to price their new chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy known as Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel).  The treatment represents ground-breaking technology, but is priced at $475,000 per treatment.  But the authors note that there is something else novel about this technology: There was another announcement from […]

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What outcomes matter to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

That is the question that the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) Working Group attempted to answer. Specifically, the working group aimed to determine the core set of outcome domains for measuring the effectiveness of shared decision-making (SDM) interventions within clinical trials used to treat rheumatic diseases.  These diseases included osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriatic […]

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Appropriate Use Criteria, or how I learned to love CMS telling doctors what to do

As part of Section 218(b) of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act, CMS instituted the appropriate use criteria (AUC) for the use of advanced diagnostic imaging.  In order to be reimbursed for these diagnostic imaging services, physicians must consult with and document that they used AUC software before recommending advanced diagnostic imaging.  Failing to document use […]

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Did P4P work among VA Minorities with Hypertension?

Background Do pay-for-performance (P4P) programs work?  P4P programs pay paying providers (or health plans) more if they have better outcomes or follow specific best practices. Whether or not they lead to better outcomes has been much debated.  However, many P4P programs implemented in the real world have been evaluated using a pre-post design which could […]

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Value-Based Payments and Incentives to Improve Care

Please check out my latest publication in Value in Health titled “Value-Based Payments and Incentives to Improve Care: A Case Study of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in Medicare Advantage“. This work is based on research conducted with my co-authors Jesse Sussell, Kata Bognar, Taylor T. Schwartz, John J. Sheehan, Wade Aubry, and Dennis Scanlon, […]

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Medicare’s value-based purchasing fail?

Value-based payment is the latest hot topic.  One question remains, however, does it work?  Does paying for quality improve quality.  A study by Zuckerman et al. (2016) finds that the hospital readmissions reduction program (HRRP) did appear to reduce re-hospitalization rates among the targeted conditions. What about the hospital value-based purchasing program (HVBP).  Beginning in […]

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Can physician quality be captured by a single composite measure?

Value-based payment for providers is often predicated on being able to measure physician quality with a single composite measures.  For instance, Medicare’ s Value-Based Payment Modifier (Value Modifier) combines a variety of individual quality metrics across domains to create a single quality score.  Payment to physicians is adjusted based on a combination of physician quality […]

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Does more spending improve outcomes?

A number of studies have claimed that increased health expenditures may result in no better, or even worse outcomes.  For instance, a paper by Fisher et al. (2003) looking at patients with acute myocardial infarction, colorectal cancer, or hip fracture finds that “Quality of care in higher-spending regions was no better on most measures and […]

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