Change is all around

Change is all around

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | March 01, 2014
From the March 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

I'm sure all of you are familiar with U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals list. It's been around for the past 22 years and is based on how well hospitals do in certain specialties like cancer and heart surgery. Here's something interesting I didn't know: In 2013, Massachusetts General Hospital took the number one spot on the list from Johns Hopkins Hospital, which had been ranked number one for 21 consecutive years. But in what I consider another striking change, they have tweaked their methodology on how they rank hospitals for the list, with the most significant change being placed on patient safety. Across 12 specialties, the weight assigned to patient safety will double to 10 percent of each hospital's overall score, up from five percent, where it stood before.. Without going into too much detail, two more patient safety indicators from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality were added to the evaluation criteria. Each hospital's patient safety score will also be calculated in a more nuanced way.

Clearly, this is in direct response to the Affordable Care Act, which places more emphasis on quality metrics like patient safety.

Change is happening here at DOTmed News too - although the ACA plays a smaller role in our changes. We're charging ahead, delivering the news you need on topics relevant to professionals in the health care sector, but at the same time, we're working on ways to better engage our online news audience. If you have a longstanding familiarity with DOTmed News Online, you've likely noted a significant change in our online format and presentation. We're still making adjustments to how we offer news on this platform, with some tweaks based on our own observations, but by and large, the adjustments are based on reader feedback. In short, we want to hear from you about what works or doesn't work. Our goal is to build a community, incorporate your feedback into stories and continue to provide information that's timely and could even immerse you in a debate. Imagine that!


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In the coming weeks and months, we'll be rolling out new initiatives and of course, covering the latest in medical news and the business of health care. Of particular interest, we'll be running a special blog series written by a few Siemens Healthcare policy wonks. The first one will revolve around MR and CT cost centers and will review CMS' Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) rule for 2014, which plans to reduce reimbursement payments for MR and CT services through its cost center policy. We'll also be running a three-part series on reducing service costs. Look out for these and as always, send us your feedback.

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