Patient Quality, Care Coordination Programs Surface In California
In California, a heart failure program is reducing hospital readmissions while researchers and insurers are trying to create better care coordination for 26,000 public employees.
The New York Times: Heart Failure Program Has Reduced Readmissions By 30 Percent
[The University of California, San Francisco's heart failure program] is an effort to reduce repeat hospitalizations by giving patients plenty of information and support to help them after they are discharged. Since the program began three years ago, the hospital's readmission rate has dropped by 30 percent. The hospital says the program has also saved Medicare at least $1 million a year. Originally for heart failure patients 65 and older, the program is being expanded to all cardiology patients as well as to neurology patients (Mieszkowski, 9/3).
Center For Health Reporting/San Francisco Chronicle: High Rates Of Heart Procedures Seen In Clearlake
Clearlake-area residents have been undergoing two common heart procedures more than any other Californians, posting rates so high that they exceed most other regions by multiple factors. ... Even as debates continue about the precise cause of geographic variation, Medicare and private insurance companies are beginning to act. They are using data to search for disparities in treatment patterns and, in some cases, pressuring doctors and hospitals to change (Bazar, 9/5).
Center For Health Reporting/San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. Experiment In Improving Patient Health Care
[In San Francisco] a collaboration that started this summer among Blue Shield of California and some local hospitals and physicians, [is] aimed at better coordination of patient care for about 26,000 public employees. ... The partnership is modeled after a similar one in the Sacramento region whose early efforts to rein in variation resulted in training doctors in newer medical techniques and offering patients less-invasive treatment options (Bazar, 9/5).