Dually Noted from around the web

January 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

High Medicare readmission rates in MA
The Center for Health Information and Analysis reports that Massachusetts has some of the highest Medicare readmission rates in the country. Data from 2011 to 2012 found that “approximately 80 percent of Massachusetts hospitals were penalized by Medicare for excessive, unplanned Medicare readmissions, making the state the fourth-most penalized state in the nation.”

Commonwealth Care Alliance has had success in reducing readmission rates for our members. As reported in our 2013 Annual Report, the overall hospital admission rate for our Senior Care Options members fell 9.9% between 2012 and 2013, and our 30-day hospital readmission percentage dropped from 17.99% in 2012 to 16.5% in 2013.

Baker’s four healthcare challenges
In an opinion piece published in CommonWealth, John McDonough says that the four most pressing healthcare issues facing the new administration of MA Governor Charlie Baker are: reshaping a “cluttered, complex health policy environment,” addressing MassHealth’s budget problems, confronting hospital consolidation and cost control, and fixing the state’s “unstable and dysfunctional” behavioral health system.

Experimental drug could slow Alzheimer’s progress
Boston University is one of 50 sites in the US engaged in clinical trials on a drug that could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The experimental drug T-817MA curbs the advancement of Alzheimer’s “by protecting the brain cells from damage. It also may create more connections between them, making them more resistant to the disease.”



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