If you aren’t driving change, you’re reacting to it. And, if you’re reacting, your options are a lot more limited.
This week, MHA rolled out new data on the consumer-focused website, FocusOnHospitals.com. For the first time, our state’s hospital community published data on hospital pricing in addition to quality. Getting to Wednesday’s launch wasn’t easy. The process was thoughtful and deliberate. And, to change minds about price transparency, we had to change our own first.
Focus on Hospitals is designed for consumers. However, it is essential to shaping the policy debate about hospital quality and price in Missouri. We all know that the nation’s health care payment system is byzantine, and that no single effort or system could encompass price information for every consumer. However, we know that change is coming — consumers have a larger financial stake in their care and a conversation about hospitals’ prices is occurring. This will continue whether we’re participating or not.
The site included another component designed to foment change. We believe that the present methodology for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Hospital Readmission Reduction Program fails to account for an important nonclinical co-morbidity — poverty. We’ve been working with researchers and policymakers to call attention to the pernicious effect of poverty on readmissions. The HIDI HealthStats released this week outlines the case for inclusion of sociodemographic status in readmission risk adjustment. The website delivers the results of SDS adjustment on the readmission scores, placing the SDS results beside observed and CMS-adjusted rates for comparison.
Getting the numbers right matters. Not factoring in patient and community data could perpetuate disparities in access to care and health outcomes.
Our data release was publicly lauded by the Association of American Medical Colleges, America’s Essential Hospitals, American Hospital Association, Catholic Health Association and Federation of American Hospitals. In addition, our ability to deliver research, and our ongoing advocacy, is pushing a national conversation about SDS risk-adjustment forward.
There’s one more change I want to talk about. Last Friday, Beth Morell retired from MHA. Beth had coordinated our education programs and convention for the last 15 years. Her responsibilities will be taken over by Meredith Kenyon, who joined MHA last year.
Today, was Sharon Burnett’s last day in the office, retiring after more than 15 years of service. During her tenure, she helped shape — and helped hospitals comply with — the myriad regulations that influence how hospitals provide care every day. Her responsibilities are being assumed by Sarah Willson, who brings a wealth of operational, clinical and regulatory experience to the table.
Change is hard. But, it’s full of opportunity.
Let me know what you think.
Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO
Back To Top
In This Issue
Congressional Committee Leaders Seek Input On Site-Neutral Payments
FDA Releases Opioid Action Plan
Perinatal Regulatory Standards Bill Advances
CMS Announces IPFQR Program Webinar
HIDI Releases Fourth Quarter FFY 2015 Inpatient, Outpatient Databases
December MUR Available On HIDI Analytic Advantage®
NHSN Posts 2016 Patient Safety Manual