Public and Private Partnership Could Save $35 Billion in Health Care Costs says HHS

Health and Human Services announced Partnership for Patients on Tuesday, 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.

According to HHS, the partnership has the potential to save up to $35 billion in health care costs, including up to $10 billion for Medicare.

“Americans go the hospital to get well, but millions of patients are injured because of preventable complications and accidents,” said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services.  “Working closely with hospitals, doctors, nurses, patients, families and employers, we will support efforts to help keep patients safe, improve care, and reduce costs. Working together, we can help eliminate preventable harm to patients.”

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Over the next ten years, the Partnership for Patients could reduce costs to Medicare by about $50 billion and result in billions more in Medicaid savings.  Already, more than 500 hospitals, as well as physicians and nurses groups, consumer groups, and employers have pledged their commitment to the new initiative.

To fund the initiative, HHS said it would invest up to $1 billion in federal funding, made available under the Affordable Care Act.

Today, $500 million of that funding was made available through the Community-based Care Transitions Program.  Up to $500 million more will be dedicated from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center to support new demonstrations related to reducing hospital-acquired conditions.  The funding will be invested in reforms that help achieve two shared goals:

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Keep hospital patients from getting injured or sicker. By the end of 2013, preventable hospital-acquired conditions would decrease 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, preventable complications during a transition from one care setting to another would be decreased so that all hospital 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.

For more information, see here.

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