The evolution of diagnosis-related groups (DRGs): from its beginnings in case-mix and resource use theory, to its implementation for payment and now for its current utilization for quality within and outside the hospital.
ABSTRACT Policymakers are searching for ways to control health care costs and improve quality. Diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) are by far the most important cost control and quality improvement tool that governments and private payers have implemented. This article reviews why DRGs have had this singular success both in the hospital sector and, over the past 10 years, in ambulatory and managed care settings. Last, the author reviews current trends in the development and implementation of tools that have the key ingredients of DRG success: categorical clinical model, separation of the clinical model from payment weights, separate payment adjustments for nonclinical factors, and outlier payments. Virtually all current tools used to manage health care costs and improve quality do not have these characteristics. This failure explains a key reason for the failure, for example, of the Medicare Advantage program to control health care costs. This article concludes with a discussion of future developments for DRG-type models outside the hospital sector.
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ABSTRACT: This paper proposes approaches to breaking down the boundaries that reduce the ability of the health workforce to respond to population needs, or workforce flexibility. Accessible health services require sufficient numbers and types of skilled workers to meet population needs. However, there are several reasons that the health workforce cannot or does not meet population needs. These primarily stem from workforce shortages. However, the health workforce can also be prevented from responding appropriately and efficiently because of restrictions imposed by professional boundaries, funding models or therapeutic partitions. These boundaries limit the ability of practitioners to effectively diagnose and treat patients by restricting access to specific skills, technologies and services. In some cases, these boundaries not only reduce workforce flexibility, but they introduce inefficiencies in the form of additional clinical transactions and costs, further detracting from workforce responsiveness. Several new models of care are being developed to enhance workforce flexibility by enabling existing staff to work to their full scope of practice, extend their roles or by introducing new workers. Expanding on these concepts, this theoretical paper proposes six principles that have the potential to enhance health workforce flexibility, specifically: 1. Measure health system performance from the perspective of the patient. 2. Minimise training times. 3. Regulate tasks (competencies), not professions. 4. Match rewards and indemnity to the levels of skill and risk required to perform a particular task, not professional title. 5. Ensure that practitioners have all the skills they need to perform the tasks required to work in the environment in which they work 6. Enable practitioners to work to their full scope of practice delegate tasks where required These proposed principles will challenge some of the existing social norms around healthcare delivery; however, many of these principles are already being applied, albeit on a small scale. This paper discusses the implications of these reforms.
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ABSTRACT: Estimates show that as many as one in 10 patients are harmed while receiving hospital care. Previous strategies to improve safety have focused on developing incident reporting systems and changing systems of care and professional behaviour, with little involvement of patients. The need to engage with patients about the quality and safety of their care has never been more evident with recent high profile reviews of poor hospital care all emphasising the need to develop and support better systems for capturing and responding to the patient perspective on their care. Over the past 3 years, our research team have developed, tested and refined the PRASE (Patient Reporting and Action for a Safe Environment) intervention, which gains patient feedback about quality and safety on hospital wards.Methods/ design: A multi-centre, cluster, wait list design, randomised controlled trial with an embedded qualitative process evaluation. The aim is to assess the efficacy of the PRASE intervention, in achieving patient safety improvements over a 12-month period.The trial will take place across 32 hospital wards in three NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England. The PRASE intervention comprises two tools: (1) a 44-item questionnaire which asks patients about safety concerns and issues; and (2) a proforma for patients to report (a) any specific patient safety incidents they have been involved in or witnessed and (b) any positive experiences. These two tools then provide data which are fed back to wards in a structured feedback report. Using this report, ward staff are asked to hold action planning meetings (APMs) in order to action plan, then implement their plans in line with the issues raised by patients in order to improve patient safety and the patient experience.The trial will be subjected to a rigorous qualitative process evaluation which will enable interpretation of the trial results. Methods: fieldworker diaries, ethnographic observation of APMs, structured interviews with APM lead and collection of key data about intervention wards. Intervention fidelity will be assessed primarily by adherence to the intervention via scoring based on an adapted framework.Trials 10/2014; 15(1):420. DOI:10.1186/1745-6215-15-420 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study examined the role of prospective payment systems in the adoption of new medical technologies across different countries. A literature review was conducted to provide background for the study and guide development of a survey instrument. The survey was disseminated to hospital payment systems experts in 15 jurisdictions. Fifty-one surveys were disseminated, with 34 returned. The surveys returned covered 14 of the 15 jurisdictions invited to participate. The majority (71%) of countries update the patient classification system and/or payment tariffs on an annual basis to try to account for new technologies. Use of short-term separate or supplementary payments for new technologies occurs in 79% of countries to ensure adequate funding and facilitate adoption. A minority (43%) of countries use evidence of therapeutic benefit and/or costs to determine or update payment tariffs, although it is somewhat more common in establishing short-term payments. The main barrier to using evidence is uncertain or unavailable clinical evidence. Almost three-fourths of respondents believed diagnosis-related group systems incentivize or deter technology adoption, depending on the particular circumstances. Improvements are needed, such as enhanced strategies for evidence generation and linking evidence of value to payments, national and international collaboration and training to improve existing practice, and flexible timelines for short-term payments. Importantly, additional research is needed to understand how different payment policies impact technology uptake as well as quality of care and costs.Health Economics Policy and Law 10/2014; 10(02):1-27. DOI:10.1017/S1744133114000358 · 1.33 Impact Factor