The last thing anyone really thinks about when they are visiting a hospital is being diagnosed with hospital acquired conditions that cause them to become further ill or die. But it happens a lot more often than you think.
A new report that was issued by the Department of Health and Human Services found that between 2013-2014, there were 50,000 fewer deaths caused by hospital acquired conditions. Not only are hospitals in the U.S. becoming far more efficient at preserving life and preventing the internalized spread of infectious disease, but the savings realized from these efforts exceeded $12 billion, too.
The goal of reducing deaths and hospital acquired conditions was set forth by hospitals nationwide in late 2011. It was focused on helping to revamp the health care system and make the nation’s hospitals safer while simultaneously reducing adverse events.
One of the reasons this program was put into place was thanks to provisions that were highlighted in the Affordable Care Act. One such provision is the Medicare payment incentives clause, which gives hospitals incentives to make the quality of care more superior, thus reducing the risk of adverse events exponentially. In addition, the Partnership for Patients initiative also was founded in early 2011, which was tasked with doing two things: reducing hospital acquired conditions by at least 40% and readmissions (30-day) by at least 20%.
Since the creation of Partnership for Patients, many hospitals nationwide have also become proponents of these efforts. Collectively, they have reduce the calamity of adverse events by a staggering 1.3 million since 2010. This equates to an impressive 17% decline in deaths caused by hospital acquired conditions and illnesses in just three years.
Another element at the core here are organizations like the Hospital Engagement Network, which gives funding to hospital networks to help reduce preventable hospital acquired illnesses. Combined, such organizations have helped reduce readmissions and adverse events in Medicare by at least 8% over the past three years, too, resulting in 150,000 fewer readmissions that were recorded during this timeframe.
The Hospital Engagement Network has set a goal of linking 30% of all fee-for-service Medicare payments directly to the quality and value of the treatment being offered, such as those that you would find with Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). This goal is set for end of year, 2016, with a more lucrative goal to reach 50% in place by the end of the year 2018.