- Domain No. 1: Six of the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs), including pressure ulcers, foreign bodies left in after surgery, iatrogenic pneumothorax, postoperative physiologic or metabolic derangements, postoperative VTE, and accidental puncture/laceration.
- Domain No. 2: Central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs).
The domains will be weighted equally, and an average score will determine the total score. There will be some methodology for risk adjustment, and hospitals will be given a review and comment period to validate their own scores.
Most hospitalists have at least indirect control over many of these HACs,and all need to pay very close attention to their hospital’s rates of these now and in the future.
As we all know, the Hospital Readmission Reduction program went into effect October 2012; it placed 1% of CMS payments at risk. This will increase to 2% of payments as of October 2013. CMS will continue to use AMI, CHF, and pneumonia as the three conditions under which the readmissions are measured but will put in some methodology to account for planned readmissions.
In addition, in October 2014, they plan to add readmission rates for COPD and for hip/knee arthroplasty.
Hospitalists will continue to need to progress their transitions of care programs, at least for these five patients conditions but more likely (and more effectively) for all hospital discharges.
Currently more than 99% of acute-care hospitals participate in the pay-for-reporting quality program through CMS, the results of which have been displayed on the Hospital Compare website (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) for years. The program started in 2004 with 10 quality metrics and now includes 57 metrics. These include process and outcome measures for AMI, CHF, and pneumonia, as well as process measures for surgical care, HACs, and patient-satisfaction surveys, among others.
This program will continue to expand over time, including hospital-acquired MRSA and Clostridium difficile rates. The few hospitals not participating will have their CMS annual payments reduced by 2%.
CMS is evaluating ways to reduce the burden of reporting by aligning EHR incentives with the Inpatient Quality Reporting program.
After an open commentary period, the Final Rule will be published Aug. 1, and will become effective for discharges on or after Oct. 1. Although CMS will continue to expand the total number of measures that need to be reported, and the penalties for non-reporting or low performance will continue to escalate, CMS is at least attempting to reduce the overall burden of reporting by combining measures and programs over time and using EHRs to facilitate the bulk of reporting over time.
The global message to hospitalists is: Continue to focus on reducing the burden of HACs, enhance throughput, and carefully and thoughtfully transition patients to the next provider after their hospital discharge. All in all, although at times this can feel overwhelming, these changes represent the right direction to move for high-quality and safe patient care.
Dr. Scheurer is a hospitalist and chief quality officer at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She is physician editor of The Hospitalist. Email her at [email protected].
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid. Fact Sheets: CMS proposals to improve quality of care during hospital inpatient stays. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid website. Available at: www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/factsheet.asp?Counter=4586&intNumPerPage=10&checkDate=&checkKey=&srchType=1&numDays=3500&srchOpt=0&srchData=&keywordType=All&chkNewsType=6&intPage=&showAll=&pYear=&year=&desc=&cboOrder=date. Accessed May 1, 2013.