Thursday, November 12, 2015

How Nurses Affect Medicare's Hospital Incentive Payments

By Janet Weiner, MPH

In our last LDI/INQRI Brief, we looked at the evidence of nursing's role in increasing the value of health care, and we pointed out where "value" and "business case" may differ for hospitals. In our latest brief, we analyze the three Medicare programs designed to align hospital incentives with value, and how nursing-sensitive quality indicators relate to those programs.

We point out the overlap between nursing quality indicators and Medicare’s incentive structure, which includes the Value-Based Purchasing Program, the Hospital Acquired Condition Reduction Program, and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. There's a lot of money at stake, and value to be added, by reducing central line infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers, and ventilator-associated pneumonia.

We've done the math, so you don't have to. Our brief includes detailed appendices with calculations for each program. Go read.

Janet Weiner is associate director for health policy at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics  at the University of Pennsylvania.

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