Vol. 4, No. 4, 2014
Many states use the collected data on Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) and other serious adverse events for quality improvement initiatives and to provide greater transparency through public reporting. Although innovative and partially influenced by Medicare’s HAC program, these initiatives suggest an opportunity to develop a national reporting system template with standard definitions, methodology, and reporting.
Trends In Complicated Newborn Hospital Stays & Costs, 2002–2009: Implications For The Future
Study of data on newborn hospital stays showed that complicated births billed to Medicaid increased from 2002 to 2009. Policies to prevent common birth complications have the potential to reduce costs for public programs and improve birth outcomes.
Effect of Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agent Policy Decisions on Off-Label Use in Myelodysplastic Syndromes
In 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released safety warnings about a treatment involving drugs that stimulate the bone marrow to produce blood cells for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)—specific blood-related forms of cancer. The warnings discouraged the treatments’ use in non-MDS forms of cancer. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services restricted the coverage of ESAs for Medicare non-MDS cancer patients. The warnings and restriction resulted in an unanticipated lowering of ESA use in Medicare MDS patients by 7.9% by the first half of 2008. Two out of three MDS treatment guidelines examined had worsened in the same period.
Beneficiary Activation in the Medicare Population
Authors evaluate patient activation in a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries, using the Patient Activation supplement in the 2012 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Access to Care file. Increasing patient activation among Medicare beneficiaries may improve quality of care and lower national healthcare costs.
The Impact of Hospital-Acquired Conditions on Medicare Program Payments
Researchers find that certain conditions acquired by Medicare patients during hospital stays cost the Medicare program over $146 million per year more than if those conditions were prevented. Improving care quality in hospitals by applying evidence-based guidelines could prevent such conditions and reduce Medicare costs.