Healthcare News & Insights

Data shows reductions in hospital acquired conditions & readmissions

It would appear that all the efforts hospitals are putting into decreasing the number of hospital acquired conditions are working. 

185846840On May 7, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that new preliminary data show an overall 9% decrease in hospital acquired conditions nationally during 2011 and 2012. These include adverse drug events, falls, infections and other forms of hospital-induced harm.

And all of these conditions combined are estimated to have:

  • prevented nearly 15,000 deaths in hospitals
  • avoided 560,000 patient injuries, and
  • saved approximately $4 billion in health spending over the same period.

Reduced readmissions

In addition, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has shifted our health system from one that focuses on treating the sick to one that focuses on keeping people healthy, is helping reduce hospital readmissions.

After being at 19% from 2007 to 2011 and decreasing to 18.5% in 2012, the Medicare all-cause 30-day readmission rate has further decreased to approximately 17.5% in 2013. This translates into an 8% reduction in the rate and an estimated 150,000 fewer hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries between January 2012 and December 2013.

“We applaud the nationwide network of hospital systems and providers that are working together to save lives and reduce costs,” noted Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary, in a press release. “We are seeing a simultaneous reduction in hospital readmissions and injuries, giving patients confidence that they are receiving the best possible care and lowering their risk of having to be readmitted to the hospital after they get the care they need.”

Major strides in patient safety

The data clearly shows that hospitals and providers across the country are achieving reductions in hospital acquired conditions. And these major strides in patient safety are a result of strong, diverse public-private partnerships and active engagement by patients and families.

In April 2011, HHS joined leaders representing hospitals, employers, health plans, health professionals, patient advocates, and State and Federal governments to launch the Partnership for Patients.

This is a nationwide public-private initiative to keep patients from being harmed in hospitals and heal without complication. The Partnership for Patients, created by the CMS Innovation Center, is sharing best practices with over 3,700 hospitals enrolled in the initiative.

The primary goals of the Partnership for Patients are to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40% and 30-day readmissions by 20% between 2010 and 2014. The Partnership for Patients is one part of a larger effort within HHS to reduce hospital acquired conditions and readmissions.

HHS will continue to accelerate delivery system reform efforts by working with nationwide partners to capitalize on these promising results, while providing the best, safest possible care to patients.


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