AHRQ Study: Slower Price Increase Rates for Two Cardiac Procedures Linked to Medicare's Hospital Compare Quality Scores

Issue 459
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
February 17, 2015

AHRQ Stats

One percent of the U.S. population accounted for nearly 22 percent of total health care spending in 2011. Nearly one in five of those people remained in the top 1 percent of health care spenders in 2012. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #449: The Concentration and Persistence in the Level of Health Expenditures over Time: Estimates for the U.S. Population, 2011-2012.)

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ Study: Slower Price Increase Rates for Two Cardiac Procedures Linked to Medicare's Hospital Compare Quality Scores.
  2. AHRQ Announces Grant Opportunity for Ambulatory Patient Safety Research.
  3. Register Now: Final Webinar in AHRQ's Practice Facilitation Training Series February 26.
  4. AHRQ Online Continuing Education Available for Wide Range of Health Professionals.
  5. AHRQ in the Professional Literature.

1. AHRQ Study: Slower Price Increase Rates for Two Cardiac Procedures Linked to Medicare's Hospital Compare Quality Scores

An AHRQ-funded study that looked at price trends for two common heart procedures found prices increased at a lower rate in states that did not have a public reporting system before Medicare began publishing Hospital Compare quality scores in 2008. The evidence suggests Hospital Compare provided leverage to purchasers in moderating price increases while adding competitive pressures to hospitals, researchers concluded. The study and abstract, "Medicare's Hospital Compare Quality Reports Appear To Have Slowed Price Increases For Two Major Procedures," appeared in the January issue of Health Affairs. To assess the relationship between quality reporting and hospital prices, researchers tracked pricing for coronary artery bypass graft and percutaneous coronary intervention before and after the 2008 start of Hospital Compare's outcome-based quality scores. These cardiac procedures are among the most common major medical interventions in the United States and are among the most costly, accounting for more than $15 billion in health care spending in 2012.

2. AHRQ Announces Grant Opportunity for Ambulatory Patient Safety Research

Patients can experience harm in different clinical environments, and ambulatory settings are no exception. AHRQ is seeking to expand its patient safety knowledge in the ambulatory setting through high-impact research projects that can produce results quickly. Details about this grant opportunity are available in a recently released Special Emphasis Notice (SEN). AHRQ has developed multiple evidence-based tools to make hospital inpatient care safer. However, more knowledge about the extents and nature of harm in ambulatory settings is needed. To address this need, AHRQ is looking for grant proposals to adapt or refine an existing method or develop a new method to study safety and harm in ambulatory settings. AHRQ expects that the proposals will include validation and testing of the method or its application for conducting research related to ambulatory patient safety. Of special interest are projects that can fill gaps where there is little scientific evidence and that can link research results with actions. This includes describing how to apply the research in the real world by using strategies that mitigate and eradicate harm and adverse events. For questions, contact AHRQ via email and reference NOT-HS-15-006 and visit the AHRQ Web site for information on grant mechanisms that apply to this SEN.

3. Register Now: Final Webinar in AHRQ's Practice Facilitation Training Series February 26

AHRQ is hosting the fifth and final webinar in a series designed to share tools and resources for training primary care practice facilitators on February 26 at 3 p.m. ET. During this 90-minute webinar, speakers will provide insights on the development of AHRQ's new and expanded primary care practice facilitation training curriculum. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to discuss how the curriculum might be used to build the practice facilitation workforce. Topics in the first four webinars involved practice facilitation case studies, use of health information technology, supporting patient safety and patient engagement. AHRQ's Prevention & Chronic Care Program provides a variety of resources and tools for improving primary care. Registration is open.

4. AHRQ Online Continuing Education Available for Wide Range of Health Professionals

AHRQ Online Continuing Medical Education (CME)/Continuing Education (CE) provides inter-professional accreditation and CE awards focusing on patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) for physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, case managers, health education specialists and medical assistants. New modules are in video and monograph formats. Eligible professionals can view courses on topics such as screening for hepatitis C, strategies for preventing weight gain in adults and children and treatments for adults with post-traumatic stress disorder. A complete list of PCOR CME/CE is available on the AHRQ Web site.

5. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Lebrun-Harris LA, Fiore MC, Tomoyasu N, et al. Cigarette smoking, desire to quit, and tobacco-related counseling among patients at adult health centers. Am J Public Health 2015 Jan;105(1):180-88. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Khazeni N, Hutton DW, Collins CI, et al. Health and economic benefits of early vaccination and nonpharmaceutical interventions for a human influenza A (H7N9) pandemic: a modeling study. Ann Intern Med 2014 May 20;160(10):684-94. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Quick B, Harrison TR, King AJ, et al. It's up to you: a multi-message, phased driver facility campaign to increase organ donation registration rates in Illinois. Clin Transplant 2013 Sep-Oct;27(5):E546-53. Epub 2013 Aug 17. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Leotsakos A, Zheng H, Croteau R, et al. Standardization in patient safety: the WHO High 5s project. Int J Qual Health Care 2014 Apr; 26(2):109-16. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Weissman JS, López L, Schneider EC, et al. The association of hospital quality ratings with adverse events. Int J Qual Health Care 2014 Apr;26(2):129-35. Epub 2014 Jan 30. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Schweizer ML, Cullen JJ, Perencevich EN, et al. Costs associated with surgical site infections in Veterans Affairs hospitals. JAMA Surg 2014 May 21. [Epub ahead of print]. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

McGuire TG, Glazer J, Newhouse JP, et al. Integrating risk adjustment and enrollee premiums in health plan payment. J Health Econ 2013 Dec;32(6):1263-77. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Taha J, Czaja SJ, Sharit J, et al. Factors affecting usage of a personal health record (PHR) to manage health. Psychol Aging 2013 Dec;28(4):1124-39. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed February 2015
Page originally created February 2015
Internet Citation: AHRQ Study: Slower Price Increase Rates for Two Cardiac Procedures Linked to Medicare's Hospital Compare Quality Scores. Content last reviewed February 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/e-newsletter/459.html