CMS Updates its Star Ratings: A Simpler Methodological Approach Provides Clarity Needed to Drive Change


Whether you are a hospital administrator, a physician, a nurse, or other member of your hospital’s family, you know well the true north of our daily purpose is to provide quality health care to patients. And the compass that helps us navigate that course is data. So where do hospitals and consumers go to get this data? One source is the Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings. Here are several important changes from yesterday’s CMS update to its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings as well what additional changes are still needed.


Driver’s Ed and Molecular Biology


In his latest blog posting entitled Driver’s Ed and Molecular Biology, Vizient Research Institute executive director Tom Robertson reflects on a sense of gratitude and optimism over receiving the COVID vaccine.


Seeing Sideways While Moving Forward


It’s natural to focus on the horizon as clinical volumes return to something approaching normal. Read why we need to keep our eyes moving to find those patients who should be returning but aren’t...not only including—but especially—when they can’t afford to. 


Health Care Over the Rainbow


"The global pandemic of 2020 figuratively swept through the health care landscape like a Kansas what felt like an instant, everything was up in the air.” In his latest blog posting entitled Health Care Over the Rainbow, Vizient Research Institute Executive Director Tom Robertson draws an interesting parallel between our craving for normalcy and Dorothy’s quest to return from Oz.


Defying Gravity: What if Not Everything Returns to Normal?


In his latest blog post entitled “Defying Gravity: What if Not Everything Returns to Normal?”, Vizient Research Institute Executive Director Tom Robertson provides a glimpse into the Institute’s most recent economic study. Launched at the outset of the global pandemic, the study explores the possibility of a number of changes that may occur, some short-term, others longitudinal, some reflecting supply and demand forces, others contemplating the potential for far-reaching systemic changes. The essay as well as the study findings emphasize the idea of defying gravity, of not allowing everything to come to rest just as they were before the pandemic. Both pose a different question than the one expressed in their titles…rather than asking what if not everything returns to normal, the more thought-provoking question is what if not everything should?


The Power of an Enterprise-wide, Data-driven Strategy


Health systems and providers continue to face ongoing challenges associated with delivering high-quality, cost-effective care while balancing decreasing reimbursements and new value-based payment models. COVID-19 has heightened the need for organizations to be adaptable, flexible and reliable. Learn why a comprehensive enterprise-wide data-driven strategy is essential to adapting and thriving in this new environment.  


Health Care Pricing, Doorbells and Peanut Shells


The difference in charges for identical services depending on the source of payment is difficult for patients to understand, and even more difficult for providers to explain. With more intense scrutiny on private sector prices arising from higher insurance deductibles and enthusiasm by policymakers over transparency, it is hard to ignore.


Bickering in the Back Seat: The Case for All Payer Pricing


In his latest essay entitled “Bickering in the Back Seat: The Case for All Payer Pricing”, Vizient Research Institute executive director Tom Robertson reminisces about a common childhood memory while contemplating the future direction of health care finance. 


Winning More by Losing Less: Taking a Cue from Baseball


With the major league baseball playoffs underway, Vizient Research Institute executive director Tom Robertson draws parallels between the national pastime and the typical medical center or health system’s financial business model. In this latest essay, Tom shares findings from the Institute’s last major study, pointing to opportunities to enhance the bottom line while improving the lives of our most vulnerable patients.


There’s No Easy Button For Improving Risk-Adjusted Mortality


When hospital leaders are presented with performance improvement opportunities uncovered through Vizient's clinical benchmarking data, it’s not uncommon for them to first look for reasons for below-average performance rather than consider what changes could be implemented to improve. This happened recently after presenting a length-of-stay (LOS) opportunity to leaders of a large hospital.