Quarter Of Medicare Drug Plans Get Poor Ratings
Federal officials gave negative assessments to more than 25 percent of these prescription drug plans. In the Washington area, that number is even higher. Also in the news, Medicare's database comparing hospital patient safety.
Kaiser Health News: More Than 25% Of Medicare Drug Plans Get Poor Ratings
Nationally, federal officials have given negative assessments to more than a quarter of Medicare's rated prescription drug plans that will be available to seniors in 2012. And in the Washington metropolitan area, 36 percent score unacceptably low, according to an analysis of Medicare data (Werber Serafini, 10/25).
The Tampa Tribune: New Medicare Database Compares Hospital Patient Safety
As they look for ways to rein in health care spending, Medicare officials are turning to patient safety as a way to judge which hospitals are worth the money. Starting next October, hospitals with above-average rates of patients with surgical complications and post-operation complications, such as breathing problems or blood clots, could lose as much as 2 percent of their Medicare funding. That's raising concerns at Tampa General Hospital, which ranks at the bottom of the Tampa Bay region's 30 hospitals, compared to national standards of patient safety. Those measures are spelled out in Hospital Compare, an online database federal officials launched this month. The database was designed to let consumers compare hospitals to one another and against national averages on a variety of issues, from post-surgical complications to how well hospital staffers treat their patients (Wiatrowski, 10/26).