Top Healthcare Quality Issues for 2015, Part 1

Cheryl Clark, January 6, 2015

"Misdiagnosis is the next frontier in patient safety," says Rosemary Gibson, a senior advisor at the Hastings Center and author of numerous books on quality, such as The Treatment Trap and Wall of Silence. Poor residency training programs are also at fault, she says.

Momentum is building. In 2012, national patient safety leader Mark Graber, MD, and others launched The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, and in 2014, misdiagnosis got its own peer-reviewed journal, Diagnosis.

2. Hospitals to get star ratings

Some will get five stars, some four, some three. And some hospitals will be tagged by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services with two or even one star, signifying organizations that could use some quality interventions.

The five-star rating system for hospitals was scheduled to go live on Hospital Compare in December, but the update is delayed until April 2015 for HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) and until sometime in 2016 for an all-hospital star rating, according to CMS spokesman Don McLeod.

In a summer blog post, CMS medical director Patrick Conway, MD, wrote that the star ratings are based "on established scientific standards of rigor and accuracy" and will be posted for many types of care "early in 2015."

Hospitals that don't get five stars may not see it quite the same way.

3. Readmissions socioeconomic adjustment

The American Hospital Association and America's Essential Hospitals provide solid backup for their claim that CMS's refusal to adjust readmission rates and other quality measures for hospitals with more low socioeconomic status is unfair and requires immediate remedy.

Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon