The intersection of maternity care, data transparency, health care costs and patient safety in a weekly curated list of articles of interest.
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In terms of Internet virality, this was by far the article of the week:
How One Hospital Brought Its C-Section Rate Down Fast
Faced with the possible loss of an important insurer, one California hospital rapidly reduced excessive cesarean section rates in part by sharing each physician’s rate with everyone in the obstetrics department.
Study: CA hospitals waste money by ignoring ‘big data’
The idea floated by advocates of the Affordable Care Act — that the U.S. government could change the “cost curve” of medicine to achieve major savings — wasn’t well-explained by many Washington reporters. Encouraged by official reports, they often focused on the idea that preventive care would be the change agent.
But as the C-section research shows, the change agent could be the “big data” approach. It may have the potential to bring U.S. health care costs more in line with those seen in other advanced countries — so long as there are incentives to encourage physicians and hospital administrators to try to do what’s most sensible, not what’s easiest.
Cesareans following shift toward patient-centered care
Various Reasons for High Maternal Mortality in US
According to Dr. Anita Kuriya from McGill University Health Centre “The increase in caesarean rate has lead to deaths due to haemorrhage”.
White House Moves to Fix 2 Key Consumer Complaints About Health Care Law
The White House is moving to address two of the most common consumer complaints about the sale of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act: that doctor directories are inaccurate, and that patients are hit with unexpected bills for costs not covered by insurance.
Crowd-Sourcing Healthcare Costs
Clearhealthcosts.com is an experiment in crowd-sourcing with the goal of bringing transparency to healthcare costs by sharing real costs with real people: patients and clinicians.
What do high deductible health plans really mean for hospitals?
As consumers become responsible for a greater portion of their healthcare costs, hospitals will see their role as collection agent grow.
Watchdog: HHS program lacks transparency
The Department of Health and Human Services lacks transparency in how it makes approval decisions about billions of dollars in experimental projects in the Medicaid program, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said Wednesday.
Surprise medical bills are costing consumers
Nearly one third of privately insured Americans have dealt with medical bill shock in the past two years
U.S. News Health Care Index Shows Massive Increase in Consumer Costs
But deductibles – the out-of-pocket costs consumers must pay before their health insurance benefits kick in – are the components that have seen the most growth from 2002 to 2013. In 2002 – the earliest year for which data about deductibles were available – less than half of private-sector health insurance plans had a deductible. By 2013, more than 80 percent had a deductible, and the amount paid by consumers was skyrocketing.
“Premiums were steadily rising,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “Employers tried to manage this expanding price tag by shifting costs to their employees in the form of higher deductibles and increased co-pays. This is one of the factors – in addition to the Great Recession – that contributes to the slowing of health care spending growth in the latter part of the period.”
Healthcare providers and consumers both stung by rising costs, report shows
As providers face declines in reimbursement from commercial plans, they are seeing more patients covered under Medicaid and Medicare.
Should Malpractice Settlements Be Secret?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s New FAQ’s on Birth Control Coverage
I’m still amazed that someone at The Onion satirized hospital cost reporting!
Report: U.S. Hospitals Spend $2 Billion Each Year Replacing Gowns Taken By Escaped Patients
Anatomy of Error
Marsh isn’t interested in the usefulness of error… he writes about his errors because he wants to confess them, and because he’s interested in his inner life and how it’s been changed, over time, by the making of mistakes.