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Carolinas HealthCare System
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Title
Carolinas HealthCare System selected for second round of CMS’ Partnership for Patients
Date
11/20/2015
Article
System prevented more than 9,800 potential patient safety events, saving nearly $60 million in related costs in previous CMS program

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 20, 2015 – Carolinas HealthCare System has been selected as one of 17 organizations in the country to continue efforts in reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. Through the Partnership for Patients initiative – 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 – Carolinas HealthCare System will participate in a second round of Hospital Engagement Networks to continue working to improve patient care in the hospital setting.

This is the third contract Carolinas HealthCare System has been awarded as part of the Partnership for Patients initiative. During the first round of this initiative, Carolinas HealthCare System was able to prevent more than 9,800 potential patient safety events and save nearly $60 million in related costs. In addition to the Hospital Engagement Network, Carolinas HealthCare System was one of only six healthcare organizations in the country to receive the Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics (LEAPT) contract. LEAPT was aimed at further enhancing and improving patient safety and outcomes.

"Our achievements are the result of the innovative, patient-centered work of our hospitals and the collaboration among participating organizations," said Carolinas HealthCare System President and CEO Michael Tarwater. "While metrics show how we measure success, behind each number is a patient whose care was improved by these efforts. We will continue to excel in these areas as part of our commitment to our patients."

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 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 Hospital Engagement Networks 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."

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

For more information about Carolinas HealthCare System’s commitment to quality, please visit: carolinashealthcare.org/quality-report-card.

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

About Carolinas HealthCare System

Carolinas HealthCare System (carolinashealthcare.org), one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.

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