New HHS Data Show Quality Improvements Saved 15,000 Lives and $4 Billion in Health Spending

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 424

AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.

May 13, 2014


AHRQ Stats

More than 25 percent of the population was uninsured at some point during 2011. During the first part of the year, 21.1 percent of the population was uninsured, while 14.5 percent of the population was uninsured for the entire year. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #420: The Uninsured in America, 1996-2012: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population under Age 65.)

Today's Headlines

  1. New HHS Data Show Quality Improvements Saved 15,000 Lives and $4 Billion in Health Spending.
  2. New Study Examines Financial Health of Hospitals After Recession .
  3. AHRQ Study Finds That New Tool Identifies Children With Complex Chronic Disease.
  4. Now Available: AHRQ 2014 Hospital User Comparative Database Report.
  5. Registration Opens May 14 For Two-Part HCUP Webinar.
  6. Register Now: May 20 AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange Webinar on Patient- and Family-Centered Care For Adults With Chronic Conditions.
  7. Register Now for May 21 Nurse Practitioner Faculty Webinar on Teaching Evidence-Based Care Tools.
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature.

1. New HHS Data Show Quality Improvements Saved 15,000 Lives and $4 Billion in Health Spending

New preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) show an overall 9 percent decrease in hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) nationally during 2011 and 2012. National reductions in adverse drug events, falls, infections and other forms of hospital-induced harm are estimated to have prevented nearly 15,000 hospital deaths, avoided 560,000 patient injuries and saved approximately $4 billion in health spending during that period. The Affordable Care Act is also helping to reduce hospital readmissions. After holding constant at 19 percent from 2007 to 2011 and decreasing to 18.5 percent in 2012, the Medicare all-cause 30-day readmission rate further decreased to approximately 17.5 percent in 2013. This represents an 8 percent reduction in the rate and an estimated 150,000 fewer 30-day hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries between January 2012 and December 2013. These major strides in patient safety are a result of public-private partnerships and active engagement by patients and families. Partnerships include the federal Partnership for Patients initiative, Hospital Engagement Networks, Quality Improvement Organizations, AHRQ, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many others. Select to access the HHS news release and an AHRQ report about the methods the agency used to estimate the national rate of HACs.

2. New Study Examines Financial Health of Hospitals After Recession

A new AHRQ-funded study examines the financial health of almost 3,000 hospitals across the country. "Hospital Financial Performance in the Recent Recession and Implications for Institutions That Remain Financially Weak” was published May 5 online in Health Affairs. Overall, the study findings imply that the recession did not appear to have a permanent effect on the vulnerable hospitals studied, according to the abstract and article. Hospitals that were financially weak before the recession maintained their position compared with the financially strong. The recession did not create additional fiscal pressure for hospitals that were initially financially weak or in safety net roles, but both groups have financial deficiencies that could limit their resources for meeting growing demands on the industry. Financially strained hospitals may find it difficult to address policy changes and invest in innovations that can make patient care safer.

3. AHRQ Study Finds That New Tool Identifies Children With Complex Chronic Disease

A new study, funded by AHRQ and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, found that a tool called the Pediatric Medical Complexity Algorithm (PMCA) can identify children with complex chronic disease. The tool was designed to allow Medicaid and other health care programs to target limited health care resources for care coordination to children with the most need. The PMCA is based on the Chronic Disability Payment System algorithms developed by AHRQ Director Richard Kronick, Ph.D. It was developed and tested for specificity and sensitivity by studying records for 700 children insured by the Washington State Medicaid program and treated at Seattle Children's Hospital during at least one emergency department visit and/or inpatient stay in 2010. The PMCA correctly identified children with and without complex chronic disease, but it was unable to identify children with noncomplex chronic disease. The study and abstract of "Pediatric Medical Complexity Algorithm: A New Method to Stratify Children by Medical Complexity” are featured in the May 12 online issue of Pediatrics.

4. Now Available: AHRQ 2014 Hospital User Comparative Database Report

AHRQ has released the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2014 User Comparative Database Report, which provides the latest results for hospitals that administered the survey to use in comparing their patient safety culture to other participating U.S. hospitals. Results from 653 U.S. hospitals and 405,281 staff are reported. The database report also presents trend data from 359 hospitals on changes in patient safety culture perceptions over time. Also included are statistics such as averages, standard deviations, minimum and maximum score and percentiles on the patient safety culture composites, and items from the survey. More information on the report is available via Email or phone, 888-324-9790.

5. Registration Opens May 14 For Two-Part HCUP Webinar

Registration opens May 14 for AHRQ's two-part webinar on using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) databases, products and tools for health services and policy research. The first 1-hour webinar, on May 21 at 2 p.m. ET, covers HCUP databases and related resources useful for research. The second 1-hour webinar, on June 4 at 2 p.m. ET, introduces HCUP products and tools that facilitate research, with particular emphasis on HCUPnet, a free online data query system. Separate registration for each webinar is required. Registration details are available on the HCUP User Support Web site. Space is limited, and capacity is often reached quickly.

6. Register Now: May 20 AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange Webinar on Patient- and Family-Centered Care For Adults With Chronic Conditions

The AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange is hosting a webinar May 20 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET about practicing patient- and family-centered care to improve the quality of health care services patients receive. The Innovations Exchange is an online repository of information where health professionals and researchers can share, learn about and ultimately adopt evidence-based practices and tools for an array of health care settings and populations. The webinar will feature health care innovator Bernard Roberson, administrative director, Division of Patient- and Family-Centered Care at Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta. Roberson will discuss how the hospital convened and engaged a patient and family advisory team in the quality improvement process and implemented cost changes that helped reduce medical errors and staff turnover and decrease the length of hospital stays for adults with chronic conditions. The moderator for the webinar will be Beverley H. Johnson, president and CEO of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care in Bethesda, Maryland.

Registration is open.

7. Register Now for May 21 Nurse Practitioner Faculty Webinar on Teaching Evidence-Based Care Tools

AHRQ is hosting a webinar on May 21 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET on the value of integrating the agency's tools for evidence-based care into nurse practitioner (NP) course curricula. The webinar, developed for faculty who instruct and supervise NP students, will highlight evidence-based resources available from AHRQ, including AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program, the National Guidelines ClearinghouseTM and the Electronic Preventive Services Selector tool, and will explain how these resources can be integrated into the NP and advanced practice registered nurse educational offerings. Continuing Education credits will be available to participants at no cost. Registration is free, but space is limited.

8. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Kaye E, Mack JW. Parent perceptions of the quality of information received about a child's cancer. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013 Nov;60(11):1896-1901. Epub 2013 Jun 18. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Dubin PH, Boehme AK, Siegler JE, et al. New model for predicting surgical feeding tube placement in patients with an acute stroke event. Stroke 2013 Nov;44(11):3232-4. Epub 2013 Aug 20. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Rinke ML, Bundy DG, Chen AR, et al. Central line maintenance bundles and CLABSIs in ambulatory oncology patients. Pediatrics 2013 Nov;132(5):e1403-12. Epub 2013 Oct 7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Lyles CR, Sarkar U, Ralston JD, et al. Patient-provider communication and trust in relation to use of an online patient portal among diabetes patients: The Diabetes and Aging Study. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2013 Nov-Dec;20(6):1128-31. Epub 2013 May 15. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Gurses AP, Martinez EA, Bauer L, et al. Using human factors engineering to improve patient safety in the cardiovascular operating room. Work 2012;41 Suppl 1:1801-4. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Shermock KM, Lau BD, Haut ER, et al. Patterns of non-administration of ordered doses of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis: implications for novel intervention strategies. PLoS One 2013 Jun 14;8(6):e66311. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Wagner LM, Castle NG, Reid KC, et al. U.S. Department of Health adverse event reporting policies for nursing homes. J Healthc Qual 2013 May-Jun;35(3):9-14. Epub 2011 Nov 21. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Mogos MF, Rahman S, Salihu HM, et al. Association between reproductive cancer and fetal outcomes: a systematic review. Int J Gynecol Cancer 2013 Sep;23(7):1171-7. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.


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Current as of May 2014
Internet Citation: New HHS Data Show Quality Improvements Saved 15,000 Lives and $4 Billion in Health Spending: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 424. May 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/424.html