Blog | Thursday, December 16, 2010

QD: News Every Day--Six large systems seek best practices for common conditions

Six of the nation's leading health care systems will collaborate on outcomes, quality, and costs across eight common condition or procedures in an effort to share best practices and reduce costs with the entire health care system.

Cleveland Clinic, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Denver Health, Geisinger Health System, Intermountain Healthcare and Mayo Clinic will to share data among their 10 million patients with The Dartmouth Institute, which will analyze the data and report back to the collaborative and the rest of the country, according to a press release.

The collaborative will focus on eight conditions and treatments for which costs have been increasing rapidly and for which there are wide variations in quality and outcomes across the country. The first three conditions to be studies are knee replacement, diabetes and heart failure. They will be followed by asthma, weight loss surgery, labor and delivery, spine surgery and depression.

Health care hiring
Health care hiring is seeing an uptick, especially among experienced staff and some novel fields, reports the Los Angeles Times. While it's not gangbusters growth--health care job growth has stayed below 2% through 2009 and 2010--the need for electronic health records is driving hiring for data analysts and performance improvement analysts. Experienced nurses are in demand, but not new graduates, and among operations staff as well.

'Doc fix' enacted
As expected President Obama signed Wednesday night the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 that extends Medicare payments to physicians, while Congress takes up the idea of a permanent solution to how doctors get paid.