Patient Concerns Not Compromised When Practices Switch Ownership From Physicians to Systems

Issue 598
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
January 16, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Cost of Hospital Stays for Kidney Failure

The cost for a hospital stay in 2014 involving acute kidney failure averaged $19,200, nearly twice the $9,900 average cost for stays not involving kidney failure. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #231: Acute Renal Failure Hospitalizations, 2005-2014.)

Today's Headlines:

Patient Concerns Not Compromised When Practices Switch Ownership From Physicians to Systems

Physician-owned practices that switch to ownership by a hospital, health care system or insurance company do not become significantly less responsive to patient concerns, according to an AHRQ-funded study in Health Services Research. Researchers collected data from three nationally representative surveys of about 900 physician organizations. Forty-minute interviews were conducted with medical directors, presidents or chief executive officers. The study found that ownership transitions may, in fact, modestly increase practices’ responsiveness to patient concerns. Researchers concluded the findings may have important implications related to implementation of the Medicare Access and Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015, which established value-based payment incentives and quality of care targets. This research was funded by AHRQ’s Comparative Health System Performance Initiative, which studies how health care delivery systems promote evidence-based practices and patient-centered outcomes research in delivering care. Access the abstract.

AHRQ Announces Funding Opportunities for Patient Safety Learning Labs

An AHRQ funding opportunity announcement is available for creating and utilizing Patient Safety Learning Laboratories. Patient Safety Learning Laboratories comprise multidisciplinary teams such as doctors, engineers, designers, nurses, information technology experts and researchers, who investigate threats to safe patient care and proper diagnosis. The learning labs take a systems engineering approach to developing, testing and revising solutions to patient safety and diagnostic challenges that occur in a variety of health care settings. Such teams increase the likelihood of generating innovative designs that have the potential to alter the status quo and shape a safer future rather than simply adding a new safety practice on top of the existing system. AHRQ will fund up to eight awards. Letters of intent are due Feb. 26. Access the funding opportunity announcement.

Academy Health Journal Accepting Manuscripts on Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support

Manuscripts are due Jan. 31 for a special section of eGEMS, AcademyHealth’s online journal dedicated to accelerating research and quality improvement using electronic health data. The special section, announced recently in an AcademyHealth blog post, will highlight novel approaches in patient-centered clinical decision support to address emerging issues within health systems, advance health care quality and improve outcomes and health equity. AHRQ supports eGEMS, the Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support Learning Network and other initiatives that advance the science of how patients and providers can make decisions together using the best available evidence. There is no fee to submit an eGEMS manuscript. Access more information about the call for papers.

Study Finds Wellness Coordinators Improve Rural Preventive Health Care

Preventive health services among Oklahoma residents in a rural county increased significantly when wellness coordinators working with primary care practices, the county health department, the county hospital and a health information exchange organization contacted county residents to help arrange for them to receive evidence-based preventive services, according to an AHRQ-funded study. The coordinators used a wellness registry developed from electronic medical records to flag gaps in patients’ preventive care, track outreach efforts and document the delivery of preventive services. Among about 5,000 patients who received calls from wellness coordinators, the delivery of 10 selected preventive services improved about 35 percent. Access the abstract of the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

Free Continuing Education Credits Available for TeamSTEPPS® Course on Office-Based Care

Register now for AHRQ’s free TeamSTEPPS® for Office-Based Care Online course, which focuses on enhancing communication and teamwork skills among office-based professionals to improve patient safety and quality. Participants may begin pre-course work now and will earn free continuing education credits for each activity completed. Master Trainer certificates will be awarded for completing all course requirements. TeamSTEPPS for Office-Based Care offers tools and strategies to help health care professionals enhance team knowledge and performance in a medical office setting. It is intended for individuals who play a key role in leading and assisting office-based practices with quality improvement and practice transformation efforts. Watch the video to learn more or email questions to

New Research and Evidence From AHRQ

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Spending carveouts substantially improve the accuracy of performance measurement in shared savings arrangements: findings from simulation analysis of Medicaid ACOs. DeLia D. Inquiry 2017 Jan 1;54:46958017734047. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Implementing antimicrobial stewardship in long-term care settings: an integrative review using a human factors approach. Katz MJ, Gurses AP, Tamma PD, et al. Clin Infect Dis 2017 Nov 13;65(11):1943-51. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Assigning responsibility to close the loop on radiology test results. Kwan JL, Singh H. Diagnosis (Berl) 2017 Sep;4(3):173-7. Epub 2017 Jun 15. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Cardiac rehabilitation and readmissions after heart transplantation. Bachmann JM, Shah AS, Duncan MS, et al. J Heart Lung Transplant 2017 May 23. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A family-centered rounds checklist, family engagement, and patient safety: a randomized trial. Cox ED, Jacobsohn GC, Rajamanickam VP, et al. Pediatrics 2017 May;139(5). Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Impact of programs to reduce antipsychotic and anticholinergic use in nursing homes. Carnahan RM, Brown GD, Letuchy EM, et al. Alzheimers Dement (N Y) 2017 Mar 6;3(4):553-61. eCollection 2017 Nov. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Evaluation of the association between Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPS) measures and catheter-associated infections: results of two national collaboratives. Meddings J, Reichert H, Greene MT, et al. BMJ Qual Saf 2017 Mar;26(3):226-35. Epub 2016 May 24. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Factors associated with the receipt of antimicrobials among chronic hemodialysis patients. Snyder GM, Patel PR, Kallen AJ, et al. Am J Infect Control 2016 Nov 1;44(11):1269-74. Epub 2016 May 13. Access the abstract on PubMed®.


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Page last reviewed January 2018
Page originally created January 2018
Internet Citation: Patient Concerns Not Compromised When Practices Switch Ownership From Physicians to Systems. Content last reviewed January 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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