CMS gives $347 million to improve patient safety

Accreditation Insider, October 4, 2016

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In the last week of September, CMS gave $347 million to 16 different hospital associations, Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO), and health system organizations to continue efforts in reducing Medicare readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions. These programs now have a goal of reducing current overall levels of patient harm and 30-day readmissions by 20% and 12% respectively over the next three years.

“We have made significant progress in keeping patients safe—an estimated 2.1 million fewer patients harmed, 87,000 lives saved, and nearly $20 billion in cost-savings from 2010 to 2014—and we are focused on accelerating improvement efforts,” said Patrick Conway, MD, CMS, acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer, in a press release. “The work of the Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks (HIIN) will allow us to continue to improve health care safety across the nation and reduce readmissions at a national scale—keeping people as safe and healthy as possible.”

The money and goals are part of an ongoing improvement project that began in 2011 and has already reduced overall patient harm 17% compared to the 2010 baseline. CMS also says that HIIN will also expand and develop learning collaboratives for hospitals, which will focus on topics including:

•    Adverse drug events (to focus on at least the following three medication categories: opioids, anticoagulants, and hypoglycemic agents)
•    Central line-associated blood stream infections (in all hospital settings)
•    Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (in all hospital settings)
•    Clostridium difficile infection (including antibiotic stewardship)
•    Injury from falls and immobility
•    Pressure Ulcers
•    Sepsis and Septic Shock
•    Surgical Site Infections (for multiple classes of surgeries)
•    Venous thromboembolism (at a minimum in all surgical settings)
•    Ventilator-Associated Events
•    Readmissions

 “America’s hospitals embrace the ambitious new goals CMS has proposed,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA). “The vast majority of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals were involved in the successful pursuit of the initial Partnership for Patients aims. Our goal is to get to zero incidents. AHA and our members intend to keep an unrelenting focus on providing better, safer care to our patients—working in close partnership with the federal government and with each other.”

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