Monthly Archives: August 2016

  • Happy 20th Birthday, HIPAA!

    Birthdays are always fun. Well, sometimes. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is 20 years old this year. It was born out of wedlock, the result of a union between an industry that cannot be trusted and patients who must be protected. No, there was no marriage because the economies could not be

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  • Removing Pain Management Questions is Not the Answer

    When I first read about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ proposal to remove the pain management questions from the HCAHPS survey to combat the opioid epidemic, I thought it was strange. However, as I learned more, it became clear that the link between HCAHPS and the opioid epidemic is because more may be considered

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  • Overall Hospital Star Rating System is Seriously Flawed

    When I first heard that CMS planned on introducing a hospital star rating system, I thought, “We’ve done it! We’ve finally reduced healthcare to 5 stars, like a Motel-8!” This is now a reality. CMS calls the star rating an “overall rating,” which considers 64 quality measures, many of them based on HCAHPS scores. And, as many

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