Opinion: Hospitals should continue to refine performance metrics

Although recommendations for hospitals to improve patient outcomes through performance measurement have existed for some time, some of the efforts undertaken to do so still need to be properly targeted and refined, Charles Kahn, president and CEO for the Federation of American Hospitals, wrote in a Health Affairs blog post.

One important progression was the establishment of the Hospital Quality Alliance in 2002, according to Mr. Kahn. The HQA encouraged hospitals nationwide to gather and report on available clinical process metrics, initially focusing on heart failure, pneumonia and acute myocardial infarction. These efforts grew to influence Congressional legislation and actions on the parts of CMS and HSS, as well as policies and provisions that would become a part of the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Kahn cited an article published in the August 2015 issue of Health Affairs in which "key successes and impacts" are linked to three Medicare quality payment programs: the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, the Value-Based Purchasing Program and the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program. A 10 percent decrease in readmissions is a sign of those successes, he wrote.

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"It is clear we have work to do to improve quality and performance measurement in these Medicare programs. It is imperative that we get these revisions right," Mr. Kahn wrote. "At the same time, we must also pursue improvements to those Medicare and Medicaid initiatives that use these measures to support value-based payment. Effective and relevant measurement is critical to the effort to improve hospital care."

Read the full post here.

More articles on clinical quality:
Survey reveals physicians have negative views of quality metrics, readmission penalties: 5 takeaways
Music in the OR: Soothing or a safety hazard?
The 38 hospitals facing the highest penalties for readmission 

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