Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

HCFA Data on Patterns of Care Produce Treatment Improvements

Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

HCFA Data on Patterns of Care Produce Treatment Improvements

Article excerpt

Via the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project, the Department of Health and Human Services will be giving hospitals in Alabama, Connecticut, Iowa, and Wisconsin information describing patterns of care in typical hospitals for patients with heart attacks. This information is intended to lead health care providers to make positive changes in treatment practices that can improve care for Medicare patients who suffer heart attacks.

HCFA, through peer review organizations (PROs), will give hospitals State and regional summary information on the care given to Medicare patients with heart attacks. Each hospital can then observe how its patterns of care compare with recommendations in practice guidelines and to care given in other hospitals in the State. Hospitals that make improvements based on the data will work with the PROs in measuring the effects.

Hospitals involved in early examination of this information have found that it highlights opportunities for quality improvement. For example, one hospital responded by changing its written guidance for patients with heart attacks to include low doses of heparin, a drug to prevent blood clots; another has revamped its procedures to make counseling for smoking cessation more systematic. …

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