Out of Scope, Out of Money

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a document detailing an investigation on the difficulties and costs associated with launching Healthcare.gov, the federal health insurance marketplace implemented as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), informally known as Obamacare. The report, titled HEALTHCARE.GOV: Ineffective Planning and Oversight Practices Underscore the Need for Improved Contract Management provides a timeline of events that led to more than $200 mil (or almost 27%) in cost overruns, with the Government paying approximately $946 mil from fiscal year 2010 through March 2014. Continue reading…

Visualizing CoveredCA Enrollments

CoveredCA previously released enrollment numbers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance exchanges here. According to their reports, almost 1.4 million (1,395,929) Californians enrolled in insurance plans sold on the exchange through April 15th, 2014, with Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego County taking the top 3 spots in total number of enrollments (see table below). CoveredCA beat their projections of enrolling at least 400,000 – 700,000 individuals (according to a Sept 2013 document) by triple digit percents, already reaching levels forecast for 2015-2016.

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EHR Attestations Revisited

About a year ago, I posted a visualization of EMR/EHR attestation numbers from data provided by CMS and the ONC. Almost 16 months later, the attestation landscape hasn’t changed very much. From a geographical perspective, highly populated states continue to have the highest overall percentage attesting organizations (EPs and hospitals). However, keep in mind that these numbers are not adjusted for population size or number of total practices/hospitals per state. The maps below simply portray the yearly proportions of attestations coming from each state (so for each year, we would expect 100% total when adding up all states).

Trends in State Attestation (interactive)

Overall (2011-June 2013), California-based EPs and hospitals have sent in the most number of attestations at 6.83% of the entire set, followed by Florida and Texas at 5.59% and 5.55%. Of the continental states, Alaska, Wyoming and Vermont rank lowest at 0.07%, 0.11% and 0.17% respectively. A notable mention goes to Utah that saw a significant increase in successful attestations, going from 1.36% of total 2012 attestations to 7.77% of total 2013 attestations. Continue reading…

Readmission Penalites…Nice Job DC…

Kaiser Health News recently published a table with readmission rate penalties from Medicare data. The data shows the percentage of hospitals within a state who will be penalized for excessive readmissions as part of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. Here’s a quick choropleth map showing the geographic distribution of these penalties. Interestingly, all seven hospitals in DC will be penalized in year two of HRRP. And California….you’re not doing so well either at 66%.To access the table with percentages, click here.

What makes the area bordered by Missouri & Arkansas moving East so poorly ranked in terms of most health indicators & rankings?