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Healthcare Business News

New performance measures added to Hospital Compare site

By Maureen McKinney
Posted: December 12, 2013 - 2:00 pm ET

The CMS updated its Hospital Compare website Thursday, adding new performance measures and refreshing data for existing ones.

For instance, the agency added a set of measures gauging timely and effective care for stroke patients, including whether hospitals administered clot-busting drugs appropriately and whether they provided stroke patients with written educational materials during their hospital stay.

The CMS also added six measures related to the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism, including whether preoperative patients received treatments to prevent blood clots and whether patients with blood clots received recommended blood thinners.

The updated site also now includes a measure of hospitals' rate of early elective deliveries, defined as non-medically indicated deliveries occurring before 39 weeks gestation. Such deliveries are associated with worse health outcomes for infants and mothers, and have become an improvement target for many state hospital associations and not-for-profits, including the employer-backed Leapfrog Group.

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Under Hospital Compare's “Readmissions, Complications and Deaths” tab, the CMS added two new healthcare-associated infection measures: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile. Rates of both MRSA and C. difficile have grown at an alarming pace, fueled by factors such as antibiotic overuse, according to federal data.

The agency also refreshed rates for five readmissions measures—heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, hip and knee replacement, and hospital-wide readmissions—and a measure of hip and knee complications. The CMS declined to update those measures in July, as it had originally planned, citing an issue related to calculating hospital performance.

Follow Maureen McKinney on Twitter: @MHMMcKinney

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