Readmissions Reduction Program Snapshot

Established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Readmissions Reduction Program (RRP) requires reduced payments to inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) hospitals with excess discharges occurring as of Oct. 1, 2012. The program is intended to assess the number of unplanned hospital readmissions within 30 days of index…

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Value-Based Purchasing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program began in October 2012 as a Medicare pay-for-performance program. Here’s how it works: a percentage of a hospital’s Medicare reimbursement is withheld, and the funds held in reserve are redistributed among hospitals based on performance. The VBP program is a redistributive program, not…

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Overdoses in the Emergency Room

VHHA’s Research Corner previously examined hospitalization overdose trends. We now turn our attention to emergency rooms across the state to see if any patterns emerge. As seen in the graphic below, there is only one peak in the distribution of visits by age related to overdoses among patients treated in emergency rooms. In the ambulatory…

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Opioids and Overdose Diagnoses

Concerns about opioid abuse and its effects continue to attract media attention. In response to the concerns, there have been public suggestions for additional funding to allow more patients to be treated, and to support specific treatment modalities or sources for care. A concern among providers and patients would be having the funding focus on…

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Infant and Toddler Poisonings

For the past 12 years, Virginia has studied the circumstances surrounding child deaths. A recently completed review of child deaths spanning 2009-2013 provides a sense of how the drug overdose problem impacts young children, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Annual Report for 2013. The study determined: After teens, children most at…

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Pediatric Asthma Emergency Room Visits

Asthma is a frequent childhood illness. Managing asthma can be difficult as it requires reducing environmental allergens (pollutants) and mitigating the body’s response to allergens through pharmaceuticals such as bronchodilators, inhaled or oral corticosteroids, and desensitization. When these efforts fail, an asthma attack occurs. If the attack escalates to asthmaticus status, it is a pediatric…

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