4. Compounding conundrum
With 39 people dead and 656 patients sickened so far from meningitis due to fungus-infected steroid injections supplied by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, MA, hospitals and physicians that have relied on compounding sources should be giving their supply chain a very tough look.
In addition to double-checking the credentials and safety ratings of their sources, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in December advised clinicians to be on the lookout for patients with any symptoms near the site of their injection.
5. Patient experience survey expanding
Don't look now, but CMS is proposing to add five questions to its 27- Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey.
Three are designed to get a better idea whether hospitals are giving patients appropriate help as they're discharged home or to another facility.
Two other questions are intended to determine the patient's mental status and urgency in seeking care.
These questions for now are being added just to the inpatient quality reporting lineup, and not to be used for evaluating whether hospitals receive value based purchasing incentive payments. That may be just a matter of time.