May 10, 2013 — A company that got its start assessing the risks of ocean-going vessels now checks U.S. hospitals for quality. Known as DNV, the firm is bringing competition to an area of health care that obsesses insiders yet is little known by patients.
Apr 26, 2013 — How hard can it be to measure the health of a population? Oregon is finding out it's difficult to decide even what to track. But the state received almost $2 billion in federal funds to improve the health of its residents and to cut costs. The state faces substantial fines if it can't prove it has done the job.
Dec 5, 2012 — The traditions of medical education die hard. Many doctors in training still work extreme hours, despite rules that limit the lengths of shifts for medical residents. One residency director calls for doctors educated under the old system to stop bashing the younger generation for being soft.
Nov 20, 2012 — More than 40 percent of surgical complications occur after patients are at home. The solution for the problem isn't keeping patients in the hospital longer, researchers say. Better instructions to patients and improved monitoring could help.
Oct 30, 2012 — More intense care can translate into worse, and more expensive, care at the end of life. So, the thinking goes, doctors who train at hospitals with better and more efficient care will be in better shape to become future leaders.
Oct 29, 2012 — Are you prepared for some unorthodox audio from an ink-stained wretch still working on the transition to online journalism from print? If so, click through to listen to Shots, the podcast. This episode covers multivitamins and cancer, health report cards and how Americans feel about retail health clinics.
Oct 3, 2012 — Just before new penalties kicked in for hospitals that readmit too many Medicare patients, the government discovered that the data it used to were out of date. The changes from the error are tiny, amounting on average to a fraction of a percent for most of the affected hospitals.
Sep 7, 2012 — Nearly a third of spending on health care in the U.S. is wasted. There's lots of inefficiency, excess overhead and some outright fraud, too. But the biggest slice of the waste pie is unnecessary care.
Sep 5, 2012 — Some of the cost variations from a UnitedHealthcare database are startling. For treating a basic asthma episode, cases in the 10th percentile of distribution cost $98 each while those in the 90th percentile the cost was $1,535 per case.
Jun 6, 2012 — Move over restaurants. Now hospitals are getting letter grades based on their patient safety performance from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit that's looking to improve the quality and safety of health care.