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Health Quality Innovators to Engage Maryland Hospitals in National Improvement Effort

October 14, 2016

Health Quality Innovators (HQI) is part of a new, national team accelerating safer care in U.S. hospitals led by The Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) of the American Hospital Association. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently awarded Hospital Improvement Innovation Network funding to HRET, as well as to 15 other organizations.

The Hospital Improvement Innovation Network contracts awarded build upon the collective momentum of the Hospital Engagement Networks and Quality Improvement Organizations to reduce patient harm and readmissions. This announcement is part of a broader effort to transform our health care system into one that works better for the American people and for the Medicare program.

HQI, as a subcontractor to HRET, the largest Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, will provide services to Maryland hospitals that include quality coaching and onsite consultation on patient care processes. This role complements HQI’s existing activities as the Maryland and Virginia Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization that engages nursing homes, home health agencies, physician practices and local communities in improvement initiatives.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with HRET – and patients and providers in Maryland – to reduce infections and hospital readmissions. Together, our goal will be to improve patient outcomes across the state and across all settings of care,” said Donald A. Glozer, MHA, FACHE, President & Chief Executive Officer, HQI.

Through 2019, these Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks will work to achieve a 20 percent decrease in overall patient harm and a 12 percent reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions as a population-based measure (readmissions per 1,000 people) from the 2014 baseline. Efforts to address health equity for Medicare beneficiaries will be central to the Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks efforts. CMS will monitor and evaluate the activities of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety.

“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, M.D., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “The work of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks 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 Partnership for Patients model is one of the first models established in 2011 to be tested under the authority of section 1115A of the Social Security Act with the goal of reducing program expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care. Since the launch of the Partnership for Patients and the work of Hospital Engagement Networks in collaboration with many other stakeholders, the vast majority of U.S. hospitals have delivered results as demonstrated by the achievement of unprecedented national reductions in harm. CMS believes the upcoming work of the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks, working as part of the Quality Improvement Organization’s work to improve patient safety and the quality of care in the Medicare program, will continue the great strides made in improving care provided to beneficiaries.

For more information on the Partnership for Patients and the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks, please visit: partnershipforpatients.cms.gov.

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