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…

90% of health plans think the use of alternative payment models will increase in the coming years

A recent report from the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (HCP LAN) examines how providers are getting paid in the U.S. today.  Traditionally, health care providers (e.g., physicians, hospitals) were paid via fee-for-service (FFS).  Fee-for-service means that every time a provider does a service, they get paid.  This is truly largely regardless of…

Do we need Hospital Compare if we have Yelp?

This is basically the question that Perez and Freedman (2018) ask.  They find the following: Among crowdsourcing sites’ best‐ranked hospitals, 50–60% were also the best ranked on [Hospital Compare’s] HC’s overall and patient experience ratings; 20% ranked as the worst. Best‐ranked hospitals had significantly better clinical quality scores than worst ranked hospitals, but were not…