Dear Patient: We want your data

From Health Leaders Media:

The American Hospital Association is pushing for hospitals to start collecting lots of demographic data on patients, including race, income, access to insurance, and other background measures that include education and even access to grocery stores with organic food.

Why?  Hospitals believe the gathering of such data will help explain why some hospitals experience more frequent cases of readmissions.  The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is now penalizing hospitals for readmissions as a sign of poor patient care.  Hospitals lose a percentage of their fee from CMS for high readmission numbers.

How are Minnsota hospitals doing with readmissions and penalties?  Go here:  Re-admissions prove costly for Minnesota, US hospitalsdoctor patient interaction

Hospitals would then ask CMS to re-score hospitals on quality care based on the demographic data of their patients.  If a hospital, such as a “safety net” facility, scores high in readmissions, the demographic data could be used to explain the lack of quality patient care rather than poor care by the hospital itself.

The advocacy group for safety net hospitals calls it a “more accurate picture of performance,” but the picture could color the real image of the quality of patient care in local hospitals.   The group admits gathering this type of data would be a “complex undertaking” for everyone involved.



Patient Story

arlene townsend staffing award

Unsafe staffing costs a Florida facility $1 billion

From Trial Magazine, March 2014 issue: Trial Magazine, 3/11/14 VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. She is survived by her adult son. Townsend’s estate sued Trans Healthcare, alleging that it had understaffed the nursing home to increase profits and failed to provide adequate care, including protecting Townsend from falls, ensuring a safe environment, and documenting changes to her condition. The court entered a judgment of liability against the defendant, and the…
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