Seven percent of Medicare hospital DRGs: That is, potentially, how much Medicare reimbursement will be in play from CMS’ hospital value-based purchasing (HVBP) quality initiatives by Fiscal Year 2017, Nell Buhlman, MBA, vice president of clinical products for Press Ganey Associates, said during a Sunday pre-course at SHM 2012. How many of you know your hospital’s profit margin on Medicare?” she posed to the audience. “Is it 7%?”
Buhlman outlined various components of CMS’ quality initiatives for hospitals, which could add up to millions of dollars per year for an average-sized hospital. By 2017 quality measures impacting on reimbursement will include the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), core clinical measures, penalties for higher-than-expected 30-day readmission rates, and meaningful-use reductions.
Hospitals are capable of significant quality improvement, “but the importance of hitting the hospital quality targets every single time will grow,” she said.
“Improving quality is fantastic, but even better is improving faster than everyone else,” Buhlman said, adding that the smallest things can sometimes make a big difference on outcomes scores. She offered the example of giving a notepad and pen to hospitalized patients so they can write down the questions they want to ask their doctor for the next visit.