Tennessee Hospital Association selected by CMS to continue improvements in patient safety Hospital Engagement Network contract will continue improvement efforts in state’s hospitals

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) has been selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as one of 17 national, regional or state hospital associations and health system organizations 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 – THA will participate in a second round of Hospital Engagement Networks to continue working to improve patient care in the hospital setting.

“We’re thrilled to have been awarded a second contract from CMS to continue the work of reducing hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions in Tennessee,” Craig Becker, THA president and CEO, said. “Since 2007, THA has made the goal of zero preventable harm a top priority for hospitals across the state, and this partnership enables us to continue our success and advance the goals set by our organization and CMS.”

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 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has estimated 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately $12 billion in healthcare costs were saved as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013.

In THA’s initial three-year Hospital Engagement Network contract, its 61 hospital members reduced patient harms and changed practices significantly through the Partnership for Patients program, resulting in 11,109 fewer adverse events/readmissions and estimated cost savings of $91,164,925.

THA’s focused work on improving quality and patient safety is led by the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety (TCPS), a specialized department within the association that supports hospitals in a wide range of quality improvement efforts.

“Our success in Tennessee is the result of the commitment and hard work of hospitals across the state. We applaud their efforts and are proud to be able to support this work through the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety,” Becker added.

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 nationally – 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. As a contractor, THA 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.
• 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 they are generating results and improving patient safety.

For more information on the Partnership for Patients and the Hospital Engagement Networks, visit partnershipforpatients.cms.gov. Contact Patrice Mayo at 615.256.8240 for information on the THA Hospital Engagement Network.

The Tennessee Hospital Association was founded in 1938 and serves as an advocate for hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations across the state. The initiatives of THA support the efforts of Tennessee’s hospitals to ensure high quality care for the patients and communities they serve.