The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled a new program with funding up to $500 million to help hospitals and other health care providers improve the quality of patient care, prevent injuries and facility acquired infections, and cut back on readmissions.
Called the Partnership for Patients, this funding made possible under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center.
“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,” said 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’s two goals include the reduction of harm in the hospital by 40% while at the same time lowering readmissions by 20% over a 3-year period.The Partnership will seek to contract in part with large health care systems, associations, and state organizations in meeting these goals. To qualify for funding, “Hospital Engagement Contractors” must do the following:
- Design intensive programs to teach and support hospitals in making care safer;
- Conduct trainings for hospitals and care providers;
- Provide technical assistance for hospitals and care providers; and
- Establish and implement a system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting quality improvement goals.
In addition to the Hospital Engagement Contractors, CMS will also be working with other contractors to improve the delivery of care. This includes work with patients and families to understand what they believe can improve safety in the hospital as well as in transition from on facility to another.