Accountable Pharmacy Organizations?

Pharmacists are typically paid for dispensing drugs. They receive a fee to cover the price for acquiring a given drug and a dispensing fee. In general, however, pharmacists are not paid based on patient outcomes. Will that change? Troy Trygstad (2020) argues that value-based reimbursement for pharmacists through accountable pharmacy organizations (APOs) may be the…

Clinician-Directed Performance Improvement is the best way to improve quality…why won’t payers use it?

Goitein (2020) argues that Clinician-Directed Performance Improvement is the best way to improve quality. I agree. This approach empowers physicians and other health care professionals to identify areas for improvement and work on those. Clinician Directed Performance Improvement (CDPI)…had its origins in 2013, when a group of physicians requested support for a physician-led quality program…

Does the VA provide high-quality care?

This question is difficult to answer. In many countries with government provided health care, wait times are long. For the Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries, this does not seem to be much of an issue according to a Penn et al. (2019) study covering wait times between 2014 and 2019: Although wait times in the VA…

Learning-by-doing in cancer surgery

Physician quality is often regarded by researhers as an immutable trait. There are high-quality physicians and low-quality physicians. In most areas where technical skill is required, however, practice makes perfect. A key question is, does ‘practice-makes-perfect’ (aka learning-by-doing) occur for physicians as well? A key challenge when doing this research is knowing the direction of…

Is the hospital readmissions reduction program bad for patients?

The answer is ‘perhaps’ according to a new paper by Wadhera et al. (2018). They use data from 2005 to 2015, and apply an inverse probability–weighted 30-day and 45-day post-discharge mortality measure stratified by whether there was an associated readmission. They examine admissions for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia. Among Medicare beneficiaries, the HRRP…

How good is Nursing Home Compare?

In the past few weeks, I discussed how well Hospital Compare does on measuring the quality of hospital care (see here and here).  Now, I turn to how well Nursing Home Compare does on truly measuring quality of care.  A study by Brauner et al. (2018) attempts to answer this question.  They compare the quality…