Evaluating Certificate of Public Need Effects on Health Care Spending

Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need (COPN) program requires owners and sponsors of proposed health care facility projects to secure permission from the state health commissioner. The COPN program covers higher cost services including general acute care, perinatal, diagnostic imaging, cardiac, general surgical, organ transplantation, medical rehabilitation, lithotripsy, psychiatric/substance abuse, mental retardation, miscellaneous capital expenditures (hospital…

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Similarities of Pneumonia Readmissions and COPD Readmissions

Adding COPD to the conditions being tracked for excess readmissions for fiscal year 2015 increased Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) penalties for many of Virginia’s hospitals. Looking back over the past two years, reducing readmissions from pneumonia, another lung disease, have been more difficult to manage than reducing readmission for heart failure and…

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Readmission Frequency on Weekends

There is a prevailing notion among some health care providers that readmissions have greater occurrences on weekends. Another strain of conventional wisdom is based on perceptions that unexpected hospital patients commonly come from post-acute care facilities or home health situations. This begs an obvious question: Are those perceptions real or imagined? Analyzing readmission data by day of the…

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Most Likely Readmission Patients, and Whether Age Factors in Readmissions

In recent months, VHHA piloted a new readmission analysis tool with select hospitals across the state. The readmission tool consists of a series of interactive charts which display patient records. The chart which generated the most comments (shown below) categorizes readmissions by the number of post-discharge days prior to a return. Many hospital teams were…

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Evaluating Which Heart Failure Patients are Likely to be Readmitted

VHHA provides predictive statistics from the inpatient database to determine composite “pictures” of patients likely to return. The predictive models are derived from the diagnosis codes listed for each patient that met CMS’s criteria for readmission. VHHA includes the diagnoses in the readmission dashboards it makes available to members. Next to each diagnosis is the…

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The Difficulty of Following Self-Measure Blood Pressure Recommendations

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) estimates that 31 percent of Virginia adults, equating to more than 1.9 million people, have hypertension. There is growing concern about the disease’s impact on individuals as well as health care costs because of the likelihood that hypertension prevalence will increase. The Center of Communicable Diseases (CDC) and VDH…

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