December 19, 2014
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CMS releases new quality of care data on physicians, ACOs, hospitals

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CMS released new data on the quality of care provided by physician group practices, hospitals and Accountable Care Organizations, according to the CMS Blog.

Included in the release is information on the quality and safety of care provided at a hospital or physician practice in an effort to inform and empower consumers when deciding where to receive the best care. Performance evaluations additionally encourage health care providers to increase health care quality levels.

The data released today also include information on Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program 2015 payment adjustments. Specifically, data from year three of the program suggest hospitals have made improvements in care and outcomes for Medicare recipients. Compared with 1,375 hospitals expected to experience a negative change in payments, 1,714 hospitals are expected to undergo a positive change — differing from last year, according to the blog.

In addition, the data include updated results on cardiovascular and diabetes care, as well as performance results on hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). Public reporting of HACs — which include central line-associated bloodstream infections, urinary tract infections associated with catheters, pressure ulcers and accidental punctures or lacerations — and financial incentives are used to encourage efforts to reduce HAC occurrence and ultimately improve patient safety. Beginning in 2015, a 1% reduction in payment will be required of all hospitals that rank in the top quartile of Total HAC Scores — a higher Total HAC Score correlates to a poorer performing hospital under the HAC Reduction Program. 

All data may be viewed online at Data.Medicare.gov.