More than 700 hospitals were penalized for having the highest rates of patient injuries; the Physician-focused Payment Technical Advisory Committee backed 2 new alternative payment models; and experts outline the biggest challenges of implementing and maintaining electronic health records going into the new year.
The government lowered a year’s worth of Medicare payments to 751 hospitals in response to them having the highest rates of patient injuries. According to Kaiser Health News, half of the hospitals were also penalized last year through the penalty, which began 4 years ago through the Affordable Care Act. The program was created as a financial incentive for hospitals to avert infections and other adverse events such as blood clots and bed sores.
The Physician-focused Payment Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) backed plans for 2 new alternative payment models, recommending them to HHS, reported MedPageToday. The 2 new payment models include a capitated model for primary care and 1 for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The capitated model, from the American Academy of Family Physicians, was recommended for limited-scale testing, and the episode payment model submitted by the Renal Physicians Association targets the first 6 months of dialysis for ESRD patients.
In an article on Healthcare IT News, experts described the biggest challenges hospitals and health systems will face in 2018 while implementing and maintaining their electronic health records. One expert cited cybersecurity as one of the leading challenges, with large amounts of data being at risk for cybersecurity threats. Other major challenges hospitals and health systems will face in the coming year include continued focus on interoperability, the rise of value-based care in the healthcare industry, and information overload and clinician burnout.