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Gidwani R.,Health Economics Resource Center | Gidwani R.,Center for Innovation to Implementation | Gidwani R.,Stanford University | Bhattacharya J.,Stanford University
Journal of General Internal Medicine | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: In October 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) stopped reimbursing hospitals for the marginal cost of treating certain preventable hospital-acquired conditions.OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates whether CMS’s refusal to pay for hospital-acquired pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) resulted in a lower incidence of these conditions.DESIGN: We employ difference-in-differences modeling using 2007–2009 data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, an all-payer database of inpatient discharges in the U.S. Discharges between 1 January 2007 and 30 September 2008 were considered “before payment reform;” discharges between 1 October 2008 and 31 December 2009 were considered “after payment reform.” Hierarchical regression models were fit to account for clustering of observations within hospitals.PARTICIPANTS: The “before payment reform” and “after payment reform” incidences of PE or DVT among 65–69-year-old Medicare recipients were compared with three different control groups of: a) 60–64-year-old non-Medicare patients; b) 65–69-year-old non-Medicare patients; and c) 65–69-year-old privately insured patients. Hospital reimbursements for the control groups were not affected by payment reform.INTERVENTION: CMS payment reform for hospital-based reimbursement of patients with hip and knee replacement surgeries.MAIN MEASURES: The outcome was the incidence proportion of hip and knee replacement surgery admissions that developed pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis.KEY RESULTS: At baseline, pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis were present in 0.81 % of all hip or knee replacement surgeries for Medicare patients aged 65–69 years old. CMS payment reform resulted in a 35 % lower incidence of hospital-acquired pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis in these patients (p = 0.015). Results were robust to sensitivity analyses.CONCLUSION: CMS’s refusal to pay for hospital-acquired conditions resulted in a lower incidence of hospital-acquired pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis after hip or knee replacement surgery. Payment reform had the desired direction of effect. © 2014, Society of General Internal Medicine. Source

Smith M.W.,Health Economics Resource Center
Tobacco control | Year: 2010

Since 2002 the US Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system has initiated national policies and programmes to reduce smoking among its patients and to increase evidence-based treatment for smoking. To document changes in dispensing rates of cessation-related medications in VA from 2004 to 2008. Retrospective analysis of VA administrative data. Prescription fills for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and for bupropion among NRT users, each grew more than 60% in four years. The increase stemmed primarily from treating more people rather than from filling more prescriptions per person. The results provide strong support for the efficacy of these policies and illustrate how healthcare systems can successfully employ multiple strategies to increase evidence-based smoking-cessation treatment. Source

Zulman D.M.,Center for Health Care Evaluation | Nazi K.M.,Stratton Medical Center | Turvey C.L.,University of Iowa | Wagner T.H.,Health Economics Resource Center | And 2 more authors.
Annals of Internal Medicine | Year: 2011

Background: Electronic personal health record (PHR) systems are proliferating but largely have not realized their potential for enhancing communication among patients and their network of care providers. Objective: To explore preferences about sharing electronic health information among users of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) PHR system, My HealtheVet. Design: Web-based survey of a convenience sample. Setting: My HealtheVet Web site from 7 July through 4 October 2010. Participants: 18 471 users of My HealtheVet. Measurements: Interest in shared PHR access and preferences about who would receive access, the information that would be shared, and the activities that users would delegate. Results: Survey respondents were predominantly men (92%) and aged 50 to 64 years (51%) or 65 years or older (39%); approximately 39% reported poor or fair health status. Almost 4 of 5 respondents (79%) were interested in sharing access to their PHR with someone outside of their health system (62% with a spouse or partner, 23% with a child, 15% with another family member, and 25% with a non-VA health care provider). Among those who selected a family member other than a spouse or partner, 47% lived apart from the specified person. Preferences about degree of access varied on the basis of the type of information being shared, the type of activity being performed, and the respondent's relationship with the selected person. Limitations: The survey completion rate was 40.8%. Results might not be generalizable to all My HealtheVet users. Conclusion: In a large survey of PHR users in the VA system, most respondents were interested in sharing access to their electronic health information with caregivers and non-VA providers. Existing and evolving PHR systems should explore secure mechanisms for shared PHR access to improve information exchange among patients and the multiple persons involved in their health care. Primary Funding Source: Veterans Health Administration and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program. Source

Rosenheck R.A.,Research Education and Clinical Center | Rosenheck R.A.,Yale University | Krystal J.H.,Research Education and Clinical Center | Krystal J.H.,Yale University | And 7 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011

BACKGROUND: Long-acting injectable risperidone, a second-generation antipsychotic agent, may improve adherence to treatment and outcomes in schizophrenia, but it has not been tested in a long-term randomized trial involving patients with unstable disease. METHODS: We randomly assigned patients in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system who had schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and who had been hospitalized within the previous 2 years or were at imminent risk for hospitalization to 25 to 50 mg of long-acting injectable risperidone every two weeks or to a psychiatrist's choice of an oral antipsychotic. All patients were followed for up to 2 years. The primary end point was hospitalization in a VA or non-VA psychiatric hospital. Symptoms, quality of life, and functioning were assessed in blinded videoconference interviews. RESULTS: Of 369 participants, 40% were hospitalized at randomization, 55% were hospitalized within the previous 2 years, and 5% were at risk for hospitalization. The rate of hospitalization after randomization was not significantly lower among patients who received long-acting injectable risperidone than among those who received oral antipsychotics (39% after 10.8 months vs. 45% after 11.3 months; hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.63 to 1.20). Psychiatric symptoms, quality of life, scores on the Personal and Social Performance scale of global functioning, and neurologic side effects were not significantly improved with long-acting injectable risperidone as compared with control treatments. Patients who received long-acting injectable risperidone reported more adverse events at the injection site and more extrapyramidal symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Long-acting injectable risperidone was not superior to a psychiatrist's choice of oral treatment in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder who were hospitalized or at high risk for hospitalization, and it was associated with more local injection-site and extrapyramidal adverse effects. (Supported by the VA Cooperative Studies Program and Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00132314.) Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source

Matchar D.B.,Duke University | Matchar D.B.,National University of Singapore | Jacobson A.,Loma Linda University | Dolor R.,Duke University | And 10 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND: Warfarin anticoagulation reduces thromboembolic complications in patients with atrial fibrillation or mechanical heart valves, but effective management is complex, and the international normalized ratio (INR) is often outside the target range. As compared with venous plasma testing, point-of-care INR measuring devices allow greater testing frequency and patient involvement and may improve clinical outcomes. METHODS: We randomly assigned 2922 patients who were taking warfarin because of mechanical heart valves or atrial fibrillation and who were competent in the use of point-ofcare INR devices to either weekly self-testing at home or monthly high-quality testing in a clinic. The primary end point was the time to a first major event (stroke, major bleeding episode, or death). RESULTS: The patients were followed for 2.0 to 4.75 years, for a total of 8730 patient-years of follow-up. The time to the first primary event was not significantly longer in the self-testing group than in the clinic-testing group (hazard ratio, 0.88; 95% confidence interval, 0.75 to 1.04; P = 0.14). The two groups had similar rates of clinical outcomes except that the self-testing group reported more minor bleeding episodes. Over the entire follow-up period, the self-testing group had a small but significant improvement in the percentage of time during which the INR was within the target range (absolute difference between groups, 3.8 percentage points; P<0.001). At 2 years of follow-up, the self-testing group also had a small but significant improvement in patient satisfaction with anticoagulation therapy (P = 0.002) and quality of life (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: As compared with monthly high-quality clinic testing, weekly self-testing did not delay the time to a first stroke, major bleeding episode, or death to the extent suggested by prior studies. These results do not support the superiority of self-testing over clinic testing in reducing the risk of stroke, major bleeding episode, and death among patients taking warfarin therapy. (Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00032591.). Copyright © 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source

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