HHS: New Patient Safety Initiative Will Save Lives, Reduce Health Care Costs
ABC News: "Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a national program to help save 63,000 lives and up to $35 billion in health care costs over the next three years by preventing hospital-related injuries. ... Sebelius said under the Partnership for Patients, HHS would invest up to $1 billion in federal funding through the Affordable Care Act." The partnership's two main goals are "[t]o reduce preventable injuries by 40 percent; and cut preventable hospital readmissions by 20 percent" (Moisse, 4/12).
Modern Healthcare: The "$1 billion collaborative patient-safety initiative [is] focused on reducing preventable harm and easing transitions of care. ... 'With new tools provided by the Affordable Care Act, we can aggressively implement programs that will help hospitals reduce preventable errors,' CMS Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick said in a news release. 'We will provide hospitals with incentives to improve the quality of healthcare, and provide real assistance to medical professionals and hospitals to support their efforts to reduce harm'" (McKinney, 4/12).
Fox News: "HHS says more than 500 hospitals have already signed on to be a part of the partnership that focuses on teamwork instead of blame to cut down on medical mistakes and make patient care safer. Advocates say Medicare will be a key to the partnership's success. ... But the plan's parameters could be in jeopardy going forward. House Republicans have introduced a 2012 budget that would, in essence, end Medicare, and earlier this year, voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And critics of the plan suggest the federal government shouldn't get into a free-market issue when the hasn't been a free-market failure" (Barrett, 4/12).
The Hill: "More than half of Americans believe the quality of U.S. healthcare is average at best, a new poll finds. Fifty-fifty percent gave healthcare quality a C or D grade on a typical report card scale, and 11 percent said the system completely flunks out, according to a survey from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. ... The Tuesday morning report comes out as the Department of Health and Human Services unveiled a new patient safety initiative that seeks to improve healthcare quality while producing up to $50 billion in Medicare savings" (Millman, 4/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.