Clinical Pharmacist Intervention Can Reduce ED Visits and Hospital Readmissions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lene Vestergaard Ravn-Nielsen, MSc(Pharm) Hospital Pharmacy of Funen Clinical Pharmacy Department Odense University Hospital Odense, Denmark
Lene Vestergaard RavnNielsenMSc(Pharm)
Hospital Pharmacy of Funen
Clinical Pharmacy Department
Odense University Hospital
Odense, Denmark

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Hospital readmissions are common among patients receiving multiple medication, with considerable costs to the patients and society.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: A multifaceted clinical pharmacist intervention can reduce ED visits and hospital readmissions.  Continue reading

Medicaid Expansion Led To Better, More Timely Surgical Care

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrew Phillip Loehrer MD MPH Fellow in Surgical Oncology Department The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Loehrer

Andrew Phillip Loehrer MD MPH
Fellow in Surgical Oncology Department
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: A growing number of studies have examined the effects of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.  But none to date have looked at effects on surgical conditions, which are both expensive and potentially life-threatening.  We examined data for nearly 300,000 patients who presented to hospitals with common and serious surgical conditions such as appendicitis and aortic aneurysms.

We found that expansion of Medicaid coverage was linked to increased insurance coverage for these patients, but even more importantly, Medicaid expansion led patients to come to the hospital earlier before complications set in, and they also received better surgical care once they got there.

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Survival From In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Improves But Still Worse on Nights and Weekends

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Uchenna Ofoma, MD, MS Associate, Critical Care Medicine Assistant Professor of Medicine, Temple University Director of Critical Care Fellowship Research Geisinger Medical Center

Dr. Ofoma

Uchenna Ofoma, MD, MS
Associate, Critical Care Medicine
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Temple University
Director of Critical Care Fellowship Research
Geisinger Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Patients who suffer in-hospital cardiac arrest at nights and during weekends (off-hours) are known to have lower rates of survival to hospital discharge, compared to their counterparts who have cardiac arrest during the daytime on weekdays (on-hours). Since overall survival to hospital discharge has improved over the past decade for the approximately 200,000 patients who experience in-hospital cardiac arrest annually, our study sought to determine whether survival differences between off-hours and on-hours arrest has changed over time.

On-hours was categorized as 7:00 a.m. to 10:59 p.m. Monday to Friday. Off-hours was categorized as 11:00 p.m. to 6:59 a.m. Monday to Friday or anytime on weekends. Among 151,071 adult patients in the GWTG-Resuscitation registry who experienced in-hospital cardiac arrest between January 2000 and December 2014, slightly over half (52%) suffered a cardiac arrest during off-hours. We found that survival to hospital discharge improved significantly in both groups over the study period — for on-hours: from 16.0% in 2000 to 25.2% in 2014; for off-hours: 11.9% in 2000 to 21.9% in 2014.

However, despite overall improvement in both groups, survival from in-hospital cardiac arrest at nights during off-hours remained significantly lower compared to on-hours by an absolute 3.8%.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: Survival to hospital discharge has improved in both groups of patients. This is reassuring and suggests that health care providers and hospital systems must be doing something right. However, the persistent survival disparities between on-hours and off-hours arrests remains concerning. To ensure that improved survival trends are sustained over time, narrowing this gap must be made an area of focus for quality improvement efforts. Data regarding mediator variables, such as physician and nurse staffing patterns and how they changed over the course of the study was not available for this study. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Since timing of in-hospital cardiac arrest appears to impact survival outcomes, future research should aim at identifying factors that may be associated with these described survival discrepancies and care processes that mitigate against them.

Disclosures: The authors received research support from the Geisinger Health System Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. 

Citations:

Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Volume 71, Issue 4, January 2018
DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.11.043
Trends in Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest During Nights and Weekends
Uchenna R. Ofoma, Suresh Basnet, Andrea Berger, H. Lester Kirchner, Saket Girotra, for the American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines – Resuscitation Investigators, Benjamin Abella, Monique L. Anderson, Steven M. Bradley, Paul S. Chan, Dana P. Edelson, Matthew M. Churpek, Romergryko Geocadin, Zachary D. Goldberger, Patricia K. Howard, Michael C. Kurz, Vincent N. Mosesso Jr., Boulos Nassar, Joseph P. Ornato, Mary Ann Peberdy and Sarah M. Perman

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ACA Pay-For-Performance Programs Not Living Up To Expectations

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Igna Bonfrer PhD Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 

Dr. Bonfrer

Dr. Igna Bonfrer PhD
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: One of the two main elements of the Affordable Care Act, generally known as Obama Care, is the implementation of value based payments through so called “pay-for-performance” initiatives. The aim of pay-for-performance (P4P) is to reward health care providers for high-quality care and to penalize them for low-quality care.

We studied the effects of the P4P program in US hospitals and found that the impact of the program as currently implemented has been limited.

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Penalties for Readmissions Widens Financial Losses At Delta Safety Net Hospitals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hsueh-Fen Chen, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Health Policy and Management College of Public Health University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR 72205

Dr. Chen

Hsueh-Fen Chen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
College of Public Health
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR 72205

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) and Hospital Value-based Purchasing (HVBP) Program in 2011 and implemented the two programs in 2013. These two programs financially motivate hospitals to reduce readmission rates and improve quality of care, efficiency, and patient experience. The Mississippi Delta Region is one of the most impoverished areas in the country, with a high proportion of minorities occupying in the region.  Additionally, these hospitals are  safety-net resources for the poor. It was largely unknown what the financial performance for the hospitals in the Mississippi Delta Region was under the HRRP and HVBP programs.

Dr. Chen and colleagues in the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences compared the financial performance between Delta hospitals and non-Delta hospitals (namely, other hospitals in the nation) from 2008 through 2014 that were covered before and after the implementation of the HRRP and HVBP programs. The financial performance was measured by using the operating margin (profitability from patient care) and total margin (profitability from patient care and non-patient care)

Before the implementation of the HRRP and HVBP programs, Delta hospitals had weaker financial performance than non-Delta hospitals but their differences were not statistically significant. After the implementation of the HRRP and HVBP programs, the gap in financial performance between Delta and non-Delta hospitals became wider and significant. The unadjusted operating margin for Delta hospitals was about -4.0% in 2011 and continuously fell to -10.4% in 2014, while the unadjusted operating margin for non-Delta hospitals was about 0.1% in 2011 and dropped to -1.5% in 2014. The unadjusted total margin for Delta hospitals significantly fell from 3.6% in 2012 to 1.1% in 2013 and reached 0.2% in 2014, while the unadjusted total margin for non-Delta hospitals remained about 5.3% from 2012 through 2014. After adjusting hospital and community characteristics, the difference in financial performance between Delta and non-Delta remained significant.

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Hospital Onset Clostridium difficile Infections Increased With Electronic Sepsis Alerts

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Robert Hiensch MD Assistant Professor, Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Hiensch

Dr. Robert Hiensch MD
Assistant Professor, Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: New sepsis guidelines that recommend screening and early treatment for sepsis cases appear to have significant positive impacts on patient outcomes. Less research has been published on what potential side effects may result from these guidelines.

Antibiotics are a cornerstone of sepsis treatment and early antibiotic administration is strongly recommended.  We examined whether the introduction of an electronic based sepsis initiative changed antibiotic prescribing patterns at our hospital. Antibiotics, even when appropriate, contribute to hospital onset Clostridium difficile infections (HO CDIs).  While the authors do not dispute the importance of antibiotic administration in sepsis, it is valuable to know whether the sepsis initiative coincided with both increased antibiotic administration and HO CDIs.

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Coordination Program Reduced ER Visits and Readmissions in Medicaid Population

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Roberta Capp MD Assistant Professor Director for Care Transitions in the Department of Emergency Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine Medical Director of Colorado Access Medicaid Aurora Colorado

Dr. Capp

Roberta Capp MD
Assistant Professor
Director for Care Transitions in the Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Medical Director of Colorado Access Medicaid
Aurora Colorado

 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Medicaid clients are at highest risk for utilizing the hospital system due to barriers in accessing outpatient services and social determinants.

We have found that providing care management services improves primary care utilization, which leads to better chronic disease management and reductions in emergency department use and hospital admissions.

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Financial Incentives to Physicians Did Not Increase Hospital Discharge Follow-Up Visits

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Lauren Lapointe-Shaw, MD Physician at University Health Network Department of Medicine University of Toronto 

Dr. Lapointe-Shaw

Dr. Lauren Lapointe-Shaw, MD
Physician at University Health Network
Department of Medicine
University of Toronto 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Readmissions after hospital discharge are common and costly. We would like to reduce these as much as possible. Early physician follow-up post hospital discharge is one possible strategy to reduce readmissions. To this end, incentives to outpatient physicians for early follow-up have been introduced in the U.S. and Canada. We studied the effect of such an incentive, introduced to Ontario, Canada, in 2006.

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Racial Gap in Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Nearly Closed

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Lee Joseph, MD, MS

Postdoctoral fellow at University of Iowa
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases
Department of Internal Medicine
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Iowa City

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is common and affects more than 200,000 patients every year. Although survival for in-hospital cardiac arrest has improved in recent years, marked racial differences in survival are present. A previous study showed that black patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest have 27% lower chance of surviving an in-hospital cardiac arrest due to a shockable rhythm compared to white patients. Moreover, lower survival in black patients was largely attributable to the fact that black patients were predominantly treated in lower quality hospitals compared to white patients.  In other words, racial disparities in survival are closely intertwined with hospital quality, and this has been borne out in multiple other studies as well

In this study, we were interested in determining whether improvement in in-hospital cardiac arrest survival that has occurred in recent years benefited black and white patients equally or not? In other words, have racial differences in survival decreased as overall survival has improved. If so, what is the mechanism of that improvement? And finally, did hospitals that predominantly treat black patients make the greatest improvement in survival?

To address these questions, we used data from the Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation, a large national quality improvement registry of in-hospital cardiac arrest that was established by the American Heart Association in the year 2000. Participating hospitals submit rich clinical data on patients who experience in-hospital cardiac arrest. Over the last 17 years, the registry has grown markedly and currently includes information on >200,000 patients from > 500 hospitals. The primary purpose is quality improvement. But it has also become an important resource to conduct research into the epidemiology and outcomes associated with in-hospital cardiac arrest.

Using data from the Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation, we identified 112,139 patients at 289 hospitals between 2000-2014. Approximately 25% of the patients were of black race and the remainder were white patients. We constructed two-level hierarchical regression models to estimate yearly risk adjusted survival rates in black and white patients and examined how survival differences changed over time both on an absolute and a relative scale.

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Use of IVC Filters Drops After FDA Device Warning

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Riyaz Bashir MD, FACC, RVT Professor of Medicine Director, Vascular and Endovascular Medicine Department of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Diseases Temple University Hospital Philadelphia, PA 19140

Dr. Bashir

Riyaz Bashir MD, FACC, RVT
Professor of Medicine
Director, Vascular and Endovascular Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases
Temple University Hospital
Philadelphia, PA 19140

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The use of inferior vena cava filters (IVCF) has been increasing in the United States (US) despite uncertainty about the effectiveness of IVCFs in reducing venous thromboembolism (VTE)-associated morbidity and mortality.  Prompted by the report of high prevalence of fracture and embolization of Bard IVCFs, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a device safety warning on August 9th 2010.

In this study, we evaluated national trends of IVCF placement in the US between 2005 and 2014 using the National Inpatient Sample database.  The authors found that there was a 29% reduction in filter use following the 2010 FDA advisory, even though the rates of VTE-related hospitalizations remained unchanged.

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