Daily Archives: October 9, 2011

Low-performing hospitals care for greater numbers of elderly minority patients

A recent study,  Low-Quality, High-Cost Hospitals, Mainly In South, Care For Sharply Higher Shares Of Elderly Black, Hispanic, And Medicaid Patients,  published in Health Affairs reported some previously unknown statistics that could have serious implications for Medicare‘s Value-Based Purchasing Program.   In the Commonwealth Fund supported study, the Harvard researchers led by Ashish K. Jha found that low-performing hospitals with high costs have double the proportion of elderly black patients compared to high-quality, low-cost hospitals. Similar disparities were also found for elderly Hispanic and Medicaid patients.

The researchers report that the lower-performing hospitals are the typical small public or for-profit institutions in the South, while the higher-performing facilities are mostly nonprofit institutions in the Northeast.  According to the authors of the study “The fact that the worst hospitals have more than twice the proportion of elderly black patients than the best hospitals is both startling and unknown.”

Hospital data was drawn from different sources including Hospital Compare, Medicare, the American Hospital Association, and the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). Process measures were used to assign quality of care scores for acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and prevention of surgical complications. 

Because the Affordable Care Act authorizes Medicare to give out higher payments to hospitals that achieve better performance while cutting reimbursements for those hospitals that fail to perform better, hospitals that can simultaneously provide high-quality care and manage their costs well are likely to come out ahead under health reform, the authors say.  Financial penalties  incurred by lower-performing hospitals may inadvertently worsen existing disparities in health care unless these hospitals improve on quality and cost of care.


Posted by on October 9, 2011 in General, Healthcare


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A beginning…….finally……

I created this blog over a year ago……it was one of those days, the do-nothin’ days…I’m sure you all have those days.  I was browsing and checked out WordPress…..and before I knew it, I owned a WP blog 🙂  Now that I had my own space to rant, I’d to decide its theme, i.e. should I showcase my baked goodies here or write a travelogue, or write about healthcare.  As you can see, a decision was never made.  So, why am I here now?

An arm surgery last week has me homebound and browsing with one hand…and I stumbled on WP and our paths crossed again.  Is WP sending me a message that I should be back?  OK, I’m now on medical leave for 3-4 weeks, can type with one hand, and have all the time in the world to blog, so here I am, blogging my first post.  So, have I decided what to blog about?  I am leaning toward healthcare given our current healthcare climate in the nation.  Let us see if I succeed…..

See y’all soon.

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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in General