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2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report — Chartbook on Care Coordination

July 17, 2015 Comments off

2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report — Chartbook on Care Coordination (PDF)
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

This Care Coordination Chartbook is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports (QDR). The QDR includes annual reports to Congress mandated in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-129). These reports provide a comprehensive overview of the quality of health care received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The purpose of the reports is to assess the performance of our health system and to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in the health care system along three main axes: access to health care, quality of health care, and priorities of the National Quality Strategy.

The reports are based on more than 250 measures of quality and disparities covering a broad array of health care services and settings. Data are generally available through 2012, although rates of uninsurance have been tracked through the first half of 2014. The reports are produced with the help of an Interagency Work Group led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and submitted on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Guide to Clinical Preventive Services 2014: Recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (ePub)

May 15, 2015 Comments off

Guide to Clinical Preventive Services 2014: Recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (ePub)
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (via USGPO)

The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services presents abridged U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations on screening, counseling, and preventive medications for use in primary care practice. The 2014 Guide continues the precedent set by earlier editions in providing the Task Force recommendations in a form that provides on-the-job clinical decision support for clinicians. The Guide is organized and cross referenced so that clinicians can search for recommendations alphabetically by topic and by patient category (adult or child/adolescent).

Health Care — 2014 National Quality and Disparities Report

May 1, 2015 Comments off

2014 National Quality and Disparities Report
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Insurance rates improved substantially after individuals were able to obtain coverage through provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and the gains in access to care were greater among black and Hispanic adults than whites, according to the 2014 National Quality and Disparities Report released today by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

This annual report on the nation’s health care includes a section on measures of access to care that for the first time cover a period after implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces. Data covering January to June 2014 show that the overall rate of “uninsurance”—a measure of access to care—decreased substantially to 15.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 among those age 18 to 64 (from a high of 22.3 percent in 2010). Because the data run through June 2014, they capture enrollment gains only from the first open enrollment period in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The second open enrollment period began on November 15, 2014, and is not captured in the report.

The decline in uninsurance was greater among blacks and Hispanics, who historically have had higher uninsurance rates compared with whites. For blacks, the uninsurance rate decreased from 24.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013 to 15.9 percent in the first half of 2014. During the same period, the uninsurance rate dropped from 40.3 percent to 33.2 percent for Hispanics, and the rate declined from 14.0 percent to 11.1 percent for whites.

Quality & Disparities Report — Access to Health Care Improving Among all Racial and Ethnic Groups Following Affordable Care Act; Additional Work Remain

April 14, 2015 Comments off

Quality & Disparities Report — Access to Health Care Improving Among all Racial and Ethnic Groups Following Affordable Care Act; Additional Work Remain
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Insurance rates improved substantially after individuals were able to obtain coverage through provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and the gains in access to care were greater among black and Hispanic adults than whites, according to the 2014 National Quality and Disparities Report released today by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

This annual report on the nation’s health care includes a section on measures of access to care that for the first time cover a period after implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces. Data covering January to June 2014 show that the overall rate of “uninsurance”—a measure of access to care—decreased substantially to 15.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 among those age 18 to 64 (from a high of 22.3 percent in 2010). Because the data run through June 2014, they capture enrollment gains only from the first open enrollment period in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The second open enrollment period began on November 15, 2014, and is not captured in the report.

The decline in uninsurance was greater among blacks and Hispanics, who historically have had higher uninsurance rates compared with whites. For blacks, the uninsurance rate decreased from 24.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013 to 15.9 percent in the first half of 2014. During the same period, the uninsurance rate dropped from 40.3 percent to 33.2 percent for Hispanics, and the rate declined from 14.0 percent to 11.1 percent for whites.

Utilization of Intensive Care Services, 2011 (December 2014)

February 16, 2015 Comments off

Utilization of Intensive Care Services, 2011
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Highlights

  • In 2011, 26.9 percent of hospital stays in 29 States involved intensive care unit (ICU) charges, accounting for 47.5 percent of aggregate total hospital charges.
  • Common conditions and procedures with high ICU utilization varied across body systems. The highest rate of ICU use (93.3 percent) was for respiratory disease with ventilator support.
  • Cardiac conditions accounted for 8 of the 18 conditions and procedures with high ICU utilization. ICU utilization for cardiac conditions ranged from 40.6 percent for stays for chest pain to 70.3 percent for stays for acute myocardial infarction with major complications or comorbidities.
  • Hospital stays that involved ICU services were 2.5 times more costly than other hospital stays.
  • ICU services were on average three times more likely when patients experienced major complications or comorbidities.
  • Greater utilization of ICUs tended to occur in hospitals that were large, private/for profit, located in metropolitan areas, trained medical students, and had a high-level trauma center.

Decision Aids for Cancer Screening and Treatment

January 13, 2015 Comments off

Decision Aids for Cancer Screening and Treatment
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Decision Aids for Cancer Screening and Treatment, a new research review from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program, examined the effectiveness of decision aids used by people facing treatment or screening decisions for early cancer. Considerable diversity in both format and available evidence among the aids were found.

The review is useful for creators of patient decision aids and those considering whether to use decision aids. It found strong evidence that cancer-related decision aids increase knowledge about available treatments and next steps without negatively impacting decisionmaking ability or causing additional anxiety. The review also found evidence that decision aids can help users make informed decisions and choices that best agree with their values and provide accurate understanding about the risks of treatment.

AHRQ Quality Indicators™ Toolkit for Hospitals

December 10, 2014 Comments off

AHRQ Quality Indicators™ Toolkit for Hospitals
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The QI Toolkit is designed to help your hospital understand the Quality Indicators (QIs) from AHRQ and use them to successfully improve quality and patient safety in your hospital. The AHRQ QIs use hospital administrative data to assess the quality of care provided, identify areas of concern in need of further investigation, and monitor progress over time. This toolkit focuses on the 18 Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) and the 28 Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs). More information on the QIs is available in the Fact Sheets on the IQIs.

The QI Toolkit supports hospitals that want to improve performance on the IQIs and PSIs by guiding them through the process, from the first stage of self-assessment to the final stage of ongoing monitoring. The tools are practical, easy to use, and designed to meet a variety of needs, including those of senior leaders, quality staff, and multistakeholder improvement teams. Created by the RAND Corporation and the University HealthSystem Consortium with funding from AHRQ, it is available for all hospitals to use free of charge.

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