Refining Accountability in Patient Care

According to a new report, while half of providers believe that value-based reimbursement will eventually foster population health, reduce costs, and improve the patient experience, 80% of providers have found a need for more staff, more time, and more investments in order to make it work.

The article states:

While 75% of providers are participating in some form of accountable care program, availity1just 20% of revenue is currently generated by pay-for-performance models. Two-thirds of providers believe accountable care is best suited to large-scale organizations due to the complexity of infrastructure and increased demands on an organization’s time and staff. Only a quarter of providers think that value-based payment models make it easier to understand and forecast revenue, while fewer than a third think pay-for-performance models will net them more money overall.

It also reports that more than 75% of physician practices believe real-time information sharing and data integrity are critical for success, but data accuracy, governance, and technical implementation assistance are most often cited as areas that need improvement.

We recently blogged about the correlation between hospital demographics and readmission rates. As CMS gears up to penalize about 750 hospitals that have the highest rates of infections and patient injuries, this question becomes even more pertinent.HAC graphic

An analysis of the preliminary penalties conducted for Kaiser Health News by Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, found that publicly owned hospitals and those that treat large portions of low-income patients are more likely to be assessed penalties. So are hospitals that are large, urban or in the West or Northeast. Preliminary penalties were assigned to more than a third of hospitals in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, Medicare records show.

The government takes into account the size of hospital, the location where the patient was treated and whether it is affiliated with a medical school when calculating infection rates. But the Association of American Medical Colleges and some experts question whether those measures are precise enough. “Do we really believe that large academic medical centers are providing such drastically worse care, or is it that we just haven’t gotten our metrics right?” Jha said. “I suspect it’s the latter.”