CHA News Article

HHS Data Show Quality Improvements; California Contributes
Nationwide, hospital readmissions fall by 8 percent among Medicare beneficiaries

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that new preliminary data show an overall 9 percent decrease in hospital-acquired conditions nationally during 2011 and 2012. HHS also estimates that national reductions in adverse drug events, falls, infections and other forms of hospital-induced harm prevented nearly 15,000 deaths in hospitals, avoided 560,000 patient injuries, and approximately $4 billion in health spending over the same period. In addition, the data show that the Medicare all-cause 30-day readmission rate decreased to approximately 17.5 percent in 2013, an 8 percent reduction in the rate and an estimated 150,000 fewer hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries between January 2012 and December 2013.

HHS attributes the improvements to public-private partnerships – including the Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) ­– and health care providers working collaboratively to identify and spread best practices and solutions. Information specific to California hospitals is currently embargoed, but CHA and the Hospital Quality Institute will release the data as it becomes available. The impact of the improvement work in California is significant to the overall national results.

“We applaud the nationwide network of hospital systems and providers that are working together to save lives and reduce costs,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We are seeing a simultaneous reduction in hospital readmissions and injuries, giving patients confidence that they are receiving the best possible care and lowering their risk of having to be readmitted to the hospital after they get the care they need.”

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