10 Latest Findings on Healthcare Quality-Cost Link

Here are 10 findings on the healthcare quality-cost relationship from the past month, beginning with the most recent.

1. The top five hospital-acquired infections cost hospitals in the U.S. approximately $9.8 billion annually, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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2. A study in the journal Pediatrics found that medication non-adherence increases healthcare use and costs in pediatric patients with chronic medical conditions.

3. Inpatients who received oral nutritional supplements, such as nutrition drinks, had a shorter length of stay, lower costs and a lower readmission risk than patients who did not receive supplements, according to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care.

4. Infection control and prevention programs are cost-effective for hospital finances, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

5. Needlestick injuries affect approximately 1,000 people per day across U.S. hospitals, generating more than $1 billion in unnecessary costs, according to a Safe in Common report.

6. The Colorado Hospital Association and UnitedHealthcare's joint initiative to reduce readmissions cut 30-day all-cause readmission rates 43 percent in one year, leading to approximately $2.9 million in saved costs.

7. Each Medicare hip surgery readmission could cost a hospital an average net loss of $11,494 if CMS stops reimbursing for them, according to a study in The Journal of Arthroplasty.

8. From 2008 to 2010, readmissions rates at Florida hospitals participating in a quality initiative decreased 15 percent, preventing 1,500 readmissions and saving at least $25 million.

9. Physicians who perceive greater legal risks associated with practicing medicine are more likely to practice defensive medicine, driving up healthcare costs, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

10. Patient Safety First, a three-year campaign run by a collaborative of California hospitals, has saved more than $60 million and prevented more than 3,500 deaths through healthcare-associated infection reduction.

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