‘Bad’ Hospitals May Treat Larger Share Of Poor Patients, Study Finds
These hospitals may now also face financial hardship as penalties for giving lower quality care kick in.
The Associated Press: Study: Worst Hospitals Treat Larger Share Of Poor
The nation's worst hospitals treat twice the proportion of elderly black patients and poor patients than the best hospitals, and their patients are more likely to die of heart attacks and pneumonia, new research shows. Now, these hospitals, mostly in the South, may be at higher risk of financial failure, too. That's because the nation's new health care law punishes bad care by withholding some money, says the lead author of the study published Wednesday in the journal Health Affairs (10/5).
National Journal: 'Bad' Hospitals May Just Have Worse Patients — Survey
Medicare policies designed to pay less to poorly performing hospitals could hit institutions that serve a disproportionate number of black and poor patients, a new analysis shows. The study, in Wednesday’s issue of Health Affairs, looked at hospitals across the country, comparing those that delivered the lowest quality and most expensive care to those that provided the highest quality and most efficient care. There were big demographic differences between the two groups, with the "worst" hospitals treating a larger proportion of black and Medicaid patients. "Worst" hospitals were also most likely to be in the South, while many in the "best" category were in the Northeast (Sanger-Katz, 10/5).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Things May Get Worse For 'Worst' Hospitals, Study Warns
In a new paper for Health Affairs, Ashish Jha, John Orav and Arnold Epstein classified 3,229 hospitals by quality, using Medicare's reports of how often each hospital followed recommended guidelines of care for basic things like giving heart attack patients aspirin upon admission. Next, the researchers evaluated the hospitals by how much they spent providing care. Combining the two ratings, they identified 178 low-quality, high-cost institutions. With refreshing bluntness, they designated those as the "worst" hospitals (Rau, 10/5).
In other news related to new findings -
The New York Times: Surgery Rate Late In Life Surprises Researchers
Surgery is surprisingly common in older people during the last year, month and even week of life, researchers reported Wednesday, a finding that is likely to stoke, but not resolve, the debate over whether medical care is overused and needlessly driving up medical costs (Kolata, 10/5).