HHS Announces Partnership for Patients to Improve Care and Lower Costs for Americans

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, joined by leaders of major hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates, announced a new national partnership that will help save 60,000 lives by stopping millions of preventable injuries and complications in patient care over the next three years.  The Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs has the potential to save up to $35 billion, including up to $10 billion for Medicare.

To launch this initiative, $500 million in new Affordable Care Act funding was made available through the Community-based Care Transitions Program and up to $500 million more will be dedicated from the Innovation Center for new demonstrations related to reducing hospital-acquired conditions.  The funding will be invested in reforms that help achieve two shared goals:

Keep hospital patients from getting injured or sicker. By the end of 2013, to decrease preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent compared to 2010.  Achieving this goal would mean approximately 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients, with more than 60,000 lives saved over the next three years.

Help patients heal without complication. By the end of 2013, to decrease preventable complications during a transition from one care setting to another, so that all readmissions would be reduced by 20 percent compared to 2010.  Achieving this goal would mean more than 1.6 million patients will recover from illness without suffering a preventable complication requiring re-hospitalization within 30 days of discharge.

The Partnership will target all forms of harm to patients but will start by asking hospitals to focus on nine types of medical errors and complications where the potential for dramatic reductions in harm rates has been demonstrated by pioneering hospitals and systems across the country.  Examples include preventing adverse drug reactions, pressure ulcers, childbirth complications and surgical site infections. The Innovation Center will help hospitals adapt effective, evidence-based care improvements to target preventable patient injuries on a local level, developing innovative approaches to spreading and sharing strategies among public and private partners in all States.

The $500 million of funding to community-based organizations partnering with eligible hospitals will be used to help patients safely transition between settings of care.  Community-based organizations and acute care hospitals that partner with community-based organizations can begin submitting applications for this funding today.  Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.  Awards will be made on an ongoing basis as funding permits.


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