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Brian Ward

Brian Ward is an Associate Editor at HCPro working on accreditation news.

CMS seeks feedback on new survey for long-term, acute-care hospitals

CMS is asking Medicare patients or their family members to help them develop a new patient-satisfaction survey of long-term, acute-care facilities. The comments will help CMS decide what sorts of information the survey will need to collect. Some of the suggested topics areas include:

• Communication with providers
• Mechanical ventilation
• Therapy services
• Wound care
• Pain management/control or non-pain symptom management
• Rehabilitation services
• Medical and nursing care
• Interdisciplinary team goal setting and care planning
• Family training
• Discharge planning

The survey will also be used in Medicare’s quality reporting program, meaning facilities that fail to deliver data could get a 2% reduction in their payment updates. CMS is accepting comments until 5 p.m. on Jan. 19.

Joint Commission puts antimicrobial stewardship standard up for field review

The Joint Commission seeks comments from healthcare facilities about a proposed standard that would require organizations to establish antimicrobial stewardship programs. The purpose of the new standard is to decrease the use of antimicrobials whenever possible to prevent the creation of drug-resistant strains of disease.

The deadline to provide feedback via comments or completing a survey is December 30.

Read the proposed standard and submit your comments here.

Readmissions plummet for elderly joint replacement patients

A recent AARP report revealed a significant drop in elderly patients being readmitted within 30 days of a hip or knee replacement surgery. Between 2009-2013, unplanned readmissions for knee replacement patients aged 65-84 dropped by 36%. Readmissions for hip replacement patients dropped by 38% in the same time frame.

The report attributes this success in part to the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), which penalizes hospitals for excessive readmission rates for certain conditions.

Lowered readmissions become increasingly important as the number of hip and knee replacements rise. According to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), the number of total hip replacements have doubled since 1993 and knee replacements have tripled.

Read the full AARP report here.

December webcast to highlight survey hot spots for 2016

What are the CMS and Joint Commission hot spots for 2016? Join Bud Pate, REHS, and Lisa Eddy, RN, CPHQ, on Wednesday, December 16 at 1 p.m. ET as they examine current survey focuses and point out where CMS and The Joint Commission will concentrate their efforts during your next survey.

In just 90 minutes, find out how to prepare for your next accreditation survey and comply with the most troublesome CMS and Joint Commission requirements. Pate and Eddy will provide strategies for preparing your staff for survey and give you valuable tips about what surveyors will expect when they arrive at your facility.

For more information and to register for the webcast, call HCPro customer service at 800-650-6787 or visit the HCPro Marketplace.

Joint Commission releases list of top performing hospitals

The Joint Commission just released its annual report on improving quality and safety in 3,300 American hospitals. The report recognizes 1,043 hospitals as the best facilities in the “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures” program. Within that group, 23 hospitals collected and reported data on seven or more core measure sets in 2014 and were named top performers in all of those areas.

The Joint Commission shows its results as “composites,” or the sum of all the accountability measures and steps taken to meet certain measure sets. This is the first year the accreditor had data on its new tobacco treatment and substance use measure sets, reporting tobacco measure compliance at 75.8% and substance use at 58.2%. The report found that the most improved area was perinatal care, which jumped from a composite score of 74.1% in 2013 to 96.3% in 2014.

However, only 80.3% of accredited hospitals that received a total composite score greater than 95% this year. This marks a 0.8% decrease from the prior year, which the report claims is due to hospitals adjusting to the new tobacco treatment and substance use measure sets.

Read the full report here.