10 Recent Findings on Healthcare Quality's Impact on Cost

Here are 10 findings related to the connection between healthcare quality and cost from the past month, beginning with the most recent.

1. The top five hospital-acquired infections cost hospitals in the U.S. approximately $9.8 billion annually, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

2. A study in the journal Pediatrics found that medication non-adherence increases healthcare use and costs in pediatric patients with chronic medical conditions.

3. Inpatients who received oral nutritional supplements, such as nutrition drinks, had a shorter length of stay, lower costs and a lower readmission risk than patients who did not receive supplements, according to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care.

4. Infection control and prevention programs are cost-effective for hospital finances, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

5. Needlestick injuries affect approximately 1,000 people per day across U.S. hospitals, generating more than $1 billion in unnecessary costs, according to a Safe in Common report.

6. The Colorado Hospital Association and UnitedHealthcare's joint initiative to reduce readmissions cut 30-day all-cause readmission rates 43 percent in one year, leading to approximately $2.9 million in saved costs.

7. Each Medicare hip surgery readmission could cost a hospital an average net loss of $11,494 if CMS stops reimbursing for them, according to a study in The Journal of Arthroplasty.

8. From 2008 to 2010, readmissions rates at Florida hospitals participating in a quality initiative decreased 15 percent, preventing 1,500 readmissions and saving at least $25 million.

9. Physicians who perceive greater legal risks associated with practicing medicine are more likely to practice defensive medicine, driving up healthcare costs, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

10. Patient Safety First, a three-year campaign run by a collaborative of California hospitals, has saved more than $60 million and prevented more than 3,500 deaths through healthcare-associated infection reduction.

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