Medicare & Medicaid News for Senior Citizens

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Obamacare funds battle against hospital-acquired conditions, readmissions

CMS awards $110 million to hospital associations and health systems

medical staff discusses condition of patientSept. 25, 2015 – There are probably few senior citizens who do not know at least one person who has suffered and, maybe, died from a hospital-acquired infection or other dangerous condition. The CDC estimates two million a year in the U.S. are hit with hospital-acquired infections and 20,000 die. Tomorrow there will be an additional $110 million from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) fighting to end this nightmare.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today awarded this funding to 17 national, regional, or state hospital associations and health system organizations to continue efforts in reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions.

One-third of these infections are considered preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common nosocomial infections are of the urinary tract, surgical site and various pneumonias.


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 – the second round of the Hospital Engagement Networks will continue to work to improve patient care in the hospital setting.  

“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.”

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.

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 & 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.

The Affordable Care Act takes important steps toward a more accessible, affordable, and higher-quality health care system. Today’s announcement is part of a broader effort to transform our health care system into one that works better for the American people. The Administration has a vision of a system that delivers better care, spends our dollars in a smarter way, and puts patients in the center of their care to keep them healthy.

For a fact sheet on round two of the Hospital Engagement Networks, please visit:

For more information on the Partnership for patients, please visit:  

For more CDC information about Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI) at the CDC.

Additional CDC Patient Safety Websites:

         Antibiotic Resistance

         Blood Safety

         Dialysis Safety

         Get Smart for Healthcare

         Hand Hygiene


         Injection Safety

         Medication Safety


         National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)

         Nursing Homes and Assisted Living


         Sharps Safety

         Transplant Safety

         Vaccine Safety


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