IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VHA Inc. and UHC, which recently combined to form the largest member-owned health care company in the country, has been selected as one of 17 national, regional, or state hospital associations and health system organizations to continue efforts in reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. Through the Partnership for Patients initiative – a nationwide public-private collaboration that began in 2011 to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and 30-day readmissions by 20 percent – VHA and UHC will participate in a second round of Hospital Engagement Networks to continue working to improve patient care in the hospital setting.
“We are extremely excited to have been selected to participate in CMS’s HEN 2.0 program. We have been helping members reduce patient harm while building a culture of safety within their organizations for many years. We look forward to expanding that work with the members of the VHA-UHC HEN to help them improve patient safety quickly and in a sustainable manner,” said Curt Nonomaque, president and chief executive officer.
Since the launch of the Partnership for Patients, the vast majority of U.S. hospitals and many other stakeholders have joined the collaborative effort and delivered results. The Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013. Nationally, patient safety is improving, resulting in 1.3 million adverse events and infections avoided in hospitals since in that time period. This translates to a 17 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions over the three-year period.
The Partnership for Patients and the Hospital Engagement Networks are one part of an overall framework established by the Affordable Care Act to deliver better care, spend dollars more wisely, and improve care. Initiatives like the Partnership for Patients, Accountable Care Organizations, Quality Improvement Organizations, and others have helped reduce hospital readmissions in Medicare by nearly 8 percent between January 2012 and December 2013 – translating into 150,000 fewer readmissions – in addition to the quality improvements mentioned above.
“We have made significant progress in keeping patients safe and we are focused on accelerating improvement efforts through collaboration and reliable implementation of best practices,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “This second round of Hospital Engagement Networks will allow us to continue to improve health care safety across the nation.”
Round two of the Hospital Engagement Networks will continue to work to develop learning collaboratives for hospitals and provide a wide array of initiatives and activities to improve patient safety. They will be required to: conduct intensive training programs to teach and support hospitals in making patient care safer; provide technical assistance to hospitals so that hospitals can achieve quality measurement goals; and establish, implement, and improve the system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting the Partnership for Patients’ quality improvement goals. The activities of the Hospital Engagement Networks will be closely monitored by CMS to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety.
The 17 organizations (listed in alphabetical order) receiving contracts in round two of the Hospital Engagement Networks are:
- American Hospital Association;
- Ascension Health;
- Carolinas HealthCare System;
- Dignity Health;
- Healthcare Association of New York State;
- Health Research Education Trust of New Jersey;
- Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania;
- Iowa Healthcare Collaborative;
- LifePoint Health;
- Michigan Health and Hospital Association Health Foundation;
- Minnesota Hospital Association;
- Ohio Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety;
- Ohio Hospital Association;
- Premier Inc.;
- Tennessee Hospital Association;
- VHA-UHC Alliance NewCo Inc.; and
- Washington State Hospital Association.
For more information on the Partnership for Patients and the Hospital Engagement Networks, please visit: partnershipforpatients.cms.gov.
About the Combined Organization
Effective April 1, 2015, VHA, the national health care network of not-for-profit hospitals, and UHC, the alliance of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, combined into a single organization. The combined organization includes Novation, the health care services company they already jointly own. The new entity is the largest member-owned health care company in the country and is dedicated to leading health care innovation, creating knowledge and fostering collaboration to help our members thrive. The company serves more than 5,200 health system members and affiliates as well as 118,000 non-acute health care customers. Members range from independent, community-based health care organizations to large, integrated systems and academic medical centers, and it represents more than $50 billion in annual purchasing volume. Headquarters are in Irving, Texas, with locations in Chicago and other cities across the United States. A new name for the combined organization will be announced in Jan. 2016.