5 news headlines worth reading

Your June/July 2015 Headlines

Twenty-two Wisconsin hospitals get an ‘A’ for patient safety

Nearly half of the 55 Wisconsin hospitals examined by The Leapfrog Group received an A grade in its spring 2015 Hospital Safety Score. The score uses data from a Leapfrog survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the federal government and the American Hospital Association to measure how well hospitals protect patients from medical errors and preventable harm. To see the list, CLICK HERE.

WHA concerned CMS is abandoning staged approach to Meaningful Use Program

On June 15, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) submitted comments on a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule to modify the electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use program in years 2015 through 2017. WHA’s comments recommend that the federal agency finalize only those provisions that support high-quality, low-cost health care.

“Wisconsin hospitals and health care systems have made their investments in EHR technology and other HIT as a means to enable the provision of higher-quality and lower-cost health care to citizens in Wisconsin,” said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “While WHA is encouraged by portions of the proposed rule that provide some flexibility for hospitals and physicians to meet certain challenging program requirements, we are concerned that other portions of the rule may make program success unnecessarily difficult and undermine program goals of using EHR technology to support higher-quality, lower-cost, and patient-centered healthcare.”

To read more, CLICK HERE.

Many Wisconsin insurance providers propose premium increases for 2016

A number of Wisconsin insurance customers can expect to pay more in 2016, based on proposed rates recently published by the federal government.

J.P. Wieske, Office of the Commissioner of Insurance spokesman, said the rates are preliminary and do not apply to all plans offered by each insurer. “Nor are they predictive of a rate an individual consumer will pay,” Wieske said.

The state will finalize rates in October and will then post them to its website. OCI also plans to include “consumer friendly” summaries with minimum and maximum rate changes. To read more, CLICK HERE.

Children’s hospitals rank among top 50 nationwide

American Family Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin were ranked among the nation’s top 50 children’s hospitals for various specialties, according to a recent report.

U.S. News and World Report collected clinical data from 184 facilities and also surveyed pediatricians on where they send the sickest children in their specialties. To read more, CLICK HERE.

New report says youth smoking is decreasing

Middle school students who identified as cigarette smokers declined from 12 percent in 2000 to 1.6 percent in 2014, an 87 percent drop, according to a new report from the Department of Health Services. For high school students, regular cigarette smoking was down 74 percent, from 32.9 percent in 2000 to 10.7 percent in 2014.

Other report highlights:

  • 41 percent of Wisconsin Medicaid members smoke
  • 20,635 individuals called the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line in 2014
  • E-cigarette use was reported by 1 percent of middle school students and 8 percent of high school students in 2014
  • The use of smokeless tobacco increased for middle school and high school students in 2014

To read more, CLICK HERE.

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