Publications

Learning health for Michigan: The path forward

In the United States, health care purchasers, consumers, and policymakers are demanding improvements in the quality and efficiency of medical care. A promising approach to meet this demand is the development of what is known as a learning health system (LHS). A learning health system has the capability to continuously study and improve itself. Among many types of benefits it can bring about, the learning health system makes it possible for providers to make faster and better decisions about which treatment options would produce the best outcomes for patients. Today, the Michigan-based stakeholder initiative, Learning Health for Michigan (LH4M), is proposing the use of a learning health system approach to address persistent health care problems in Michigan. Unwarranted and costly hospital readmissions—which are discussed in this paper—are one example of a problem that could benefit from a learning health system approach.

In 2013, the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT) convened a group of patients, clinicians, researchers, public health professionals, and payers to discuss ways to apply the idea of the learning health system at a state level: to turn Michigan into what might be called a “learning health state.” The initiative was named “Learning Health for Michigan,” or LH4M. Later convenings of the LH4M stakeholder group were organized by the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) Shared Services and the Department of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Michigan has many resources that are key ingredients for a state-wide learning health system.

Read the full brief, Learning Health for Michigan: The Path Forward.

 

Acute care readmission reduction initiatives: An update on major programs in Michigan

Inpatient hospitalizations account for 32 percent of the total $2.9 trillion spent on health care in the United States. In the majority of cases, it is necessary and appropriate to admit a patient to the hospital. However, patients returning to the hospital soon (e.g., within 30 days) after their previous stay account for a substantial percentage of admissions.

Research has shown that many factors—including a patient’s socioeconomic status, clinical conditions, and their communities’ characteristics—can influence hospital readmissions. In 2013, CHRT published an issue brief on the major programs aimed at reducing hospital readmissions, including the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This paper is an update on the HRRP and other programs previously highlighted. Read more.

Related content:

Learning health for Michigan: The path forward

A tale of three cities: Hospital and health system costs in the Midwest

Acute care readmission reduction initiatives: Major program highlights

Beginning October 1, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began reducing hospitals’ Medicare payments based on 30-day hospital readmission rates. The reductions are based on hospitals’ 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rates relative to national averages. Penalties are imposed for each hospital’s percentage of potentially preventable Medicare readmissions for those conditions.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), acute care hospitals with high readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), and pneumonia may lose up to 1 percent of their Medicare payments for fiscal year (FY) 2013, up to 2 percent for FY 2014, and up to 3 percent for FY 2015.

In FY 2015, four additional conditions will be included under the Readmission Reductions Program: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) and “other vascular” surgical procedures.

Two-thirds of all applicable hospitals (2,213) nationally, including approximately one-third of Michigan hospitals (55), were penalized in FY 2013 as a result of this provision. Total penalties were approximately $280 million nationally and $14 million in Michigan.

Read the Full Brief Here