Kansas selected to continue improvements in patient safety

Hospital Engagement Networks will continue in HEN 2.0

Kansas has been selected as one of 30 state hospital associations to again participate in the American Hospital Association/Health Research & Educational Trust Hospital Engagement Network (HEN).  Kansas was included in AHA/HRET’s proposal to earn one of 17 “HEN 2.0” awards, which was announced September 25 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The Partnership for Patients initiative is 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. Kansas will participate in a second round of HENs to continue working to improve patient care in the hospital setting. 

This unprecedented statewide effort will again be led by the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative, the Topeka-based quality organization founded by the Kansas Hospital Association and the Kansas Medical Society.

“More than 100 hospitals across Kansas are eager to begin round two of the Hospital Engagement Network,” said Tom Bell, KHA president and chief executive officer. “Together, we are continuing innovative efforts to transform health care to a safer, more patient-centered delivery system.”

“The opportunity to continue this nationwide effort in partnership with CMS, HRET, and thousands of hospitals throughout the nation provides Kansas hospitals with access to the latest evidence-based practices and standards known to improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of care,” Bell added.

Round two of the Hospital Engagement Networks will continue to develop learning collaboratives for hospitals and provide a wide array of initiatives and activities to improve patient safety. Hospitals participating in the HEN will be required to: conduct intensive training programs to teach and support hospitals in making patient care safer; provide technical assistance 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 HENs will be closely monitored by CMS to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety.

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 HENs 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.”

The 17 organizations (listed in alphabetical order) receiving HEN 2.0 contracts are:

  • American Hospital Association/Health Research and Educational Trust;
  • 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 Hospitals, Inc.;
  • Michigan Health and Hospital Association Health Foundation;
  • Minnesota Hospital Association;
  • Ohio Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety;
  • Ohio Hospital Association;
  • Premier Healthcare Solutions Inc.;
  • Tennessee Hospital Association;
  • VHA-UHC Alliance NewCo Inc.; and
  • Washington State Hospital Association.

For more information on the Partnership for Patients and the HENs, please visit: partnershipforpatients.cms.gov.

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 Posted September 25, 2015