CMS Awards $110 Million to Further Efforts to Reduce Hospital-Acquired Conditions

More than $100 million in Affordable Care Act funding is being awarded to 17 national, regional, and state hospital associations and health system organizations to assist efforts to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions.

Since 2011, preventable hospital-acquired conditions have been reduced 40% and 30-day readmissions are down by 20%, and CMS has made funding available to hospital associations and health systems around the country to continue efforts at reducing those numbers further.

More than $100 million in Affordable Care Act (ACA) funding is being awarded to 17 national, regional, and state hospital associations and health system organizations to assist efforts to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions.

“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,” Patrick Conway, MD, CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer, said in a statement. “This second round of Hospital Engagement Networks will allow us to continue to improve health care safety across the nation.”

The funding is available through the second round of the Hospital Engagement Networks, part of the Partnership for Patients initiative.

HHS reported last year that efforts to improve patient safety in hospitals had resulted in 1.3 million fewer adverse events harming patients in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Additionally, approximately 50,000 fewer patients are dying in the hospital as a result of the reduction to hospital-acquired conditions and the industry saved roughly $12 billion in healthcare costs.

CMS reported that overall, initiatives born out of the ACA, like the Partnership for Patients, accountable care organizations, quality improvement organizations, and others have helped reduce hospital readmissions in Medicare by nearly 8% between January 2012 and December 2013.

Patient safety has taken the spotlight this lately. Earlier this week, the National Academy of Medicine released a report calling for paying more attention to getting diagnoses right and faster. Diagnostic errors are responsible for 6% to 7% of hospital adverse events and contribute to roughly 10% of patient deaths.