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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.

Trends in Use and Expenditures for Cancer Treatment among Adults 18 and Older, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2001 and 2011

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Trends in Use and Expenditures for Cancer Treatment among Adults 18 and Older, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2001 and 2011
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Highlights

  • In 2011, approximately 15.8 million adults or 6.7 percent of the adult U.S. population received treatment for cancer. This represents an increase from 2001, when 10.2 million adults or 4.8 percent of the population reported receiving treatment for cancer.
  • Medical spending to treat cancer increased from $56.8 billion in 2001 (in 2011 dollars) to $88.3 billion in 2011.
  • Ambulatory expenditures for care and treatment of cancer increased from $25.5 billion in 2001 to $43.8 billion in 2011.
  • Expenditures on retail prescription medications for cancer increased from $2.0 billion in 2001 to $10.0 billion in 2011.
  • Mean annual retail prescription drug expenditures for those with an expense related to cancer increased more than three times, from $201 per person in 2001 (in 2011 dollars) to $634 per person in 2011.
  • Inpatient hospital expenditures accounted for 47 percent of total spending for cancer treatment in 2001, but fell to 35 percent of the total by 2011.

Care Management Guide for Youth with Behavioral Health Needs

November 3, 2014 Comments off

Care Management Guide for Youth with Behavioral Health Needs
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Designing Care Management Entities for Youth With Complex Behavioral Health Needs is the second implementation guide to be published from AHRQ’s Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Quality Demonstration Grant Program. The guide provides information about care management entities (CMEs), which coordinate services provided by State agencies that serve youth with complex behavioral needs.

The guide, available under What We Learned on the national evaluation Web site, draws on the experiences of the three CHIPRA quality demonstration States—Georgia, Maryland, and Wyoming—that are using funds to implement or expand CMEs, supplemented with additional guidance and resources. The guide can be helpful to States interested in implementing or improving CMEs for youth with complex behavioral health needs and their families. It may also be useful for county agencies responsible for financing behavioral health or social services in the State.

AHRQ — Women: Stay Healthy at Any Age (2014 Update)

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Women: Stay Healthy at Any Age (2014 Update)
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Use this information to help you stay healthy. Learn which screening tests you need and when to get them, which medicines may prevent diseases, and steps you can take for good health.

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