Partnership for Patients is set to contract out up to $500 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to accomplish the organization’s mission to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of health care for Americans. HHS says the Partnership’s funding is meant to help hospitals and health care provider organizations, among others, to improve care and stop millions of preventable injuries and complications related to health care acquired conditions, and cut down on unnecessary readmissions.
The funding comes after the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center released a study revealing that 20% of Medicare patients are rehospitalized within 30 days of being discharged from a hospital, resulting in an estimated $17.4 billion in costs. Partnership for Patients, a newly created public-private partnership, says its two goals are to reduce harm in hospital settings by 40% and to reduce hospital readmissions by 20% during a three-year period.
The funding will be made available by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), says HHS, and will be awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center through a solicitation and other procurements for recently announced federal contracts. The Obama administration committed up to $1 billion to the ACA to help the Partnership achieve its goals.
“Since the Partnership for Patients was announced, we have had an overwhelming response from hospitals, doctors, employers, and other partners who want to be a part of this historic effort to improve patient safety,” says CMS Administrator Donald M. Berwick, M.D. “We are now looking to contract with local and statewide entities that can foster and support hospitals’ efforts to improve health care and reduce harm to patients.”
The Partnership plans to contract with large health care systems, associations, state organizations, or other interested parties who will help hospitals in redesigning care programs and processes in order to reduce harm and readmission rates. These contractors, says HHS, will be asked to design programs to teach hospitals how to make care safer; lead training sessions for hospitals and care providers and provide them technical assistance; and create and implement monitoring systems to track hospitals’ progress in meeting quality improvement goals.
On the consumer side, CMS will also work with contractors who will meet with patients and their families to open discussion on ways to improve patient safety and transitions between healthcare settings, including hospital discharges to entering a nursing home.
Written by Alyssa Gerace