The Administration has launched the Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs, a new public-private partnership that will help improve the quality, safety and affordability of healthcare for all Americans.
The Partnership for Patients brings together leaders of major hospitals, employers, physicians, nurses and patient advocates, along with state and federal governments, in a shared effort to make hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly.
The two goals of this new partnership are to:
- Keep patients from getting injured or sicker. By the end of 2013, preventable hospital-acquired conditions would decrease by 40%, compared to 2010. Achieving this goal would mean about 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients with more than 60,000 lives saved over three years.
- Help patients heal without complications. 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%, compared to 2010. Achieving this goal would mean more than 1.6 million patients would recover from illness without suffering a preventable complication requiring re-hospitalization within 30 days of discharge.
Achieving these goals will save lives and prevent injuries to millions of Americans, and has the potential to save up to $35 billion across the healthcare system, including up to $10 billion in Medicare savings, over the next three years.
Over the next 10 years, it could reduce costs to Medicare by about $50 billion and result in billions more in Medicaid savings. This will help put our nation on the path toward a more sustainable healthcare system.
Using as much as $1 billion in new funding provided by the Affordable Care Act and leveraging a number of ongoing programs, the Department of Health and Human Services will work with a variety of public and private partners to meet the two core goals of the partnership:
- keeping patients from getting injured or sicker in the healthcare system, and
- helping patients heal without complication by improving transitions from acute-care hospitals to other care settings, like home or a skilled nursing facility.
Beyond reducing harm caused in hospitals, the Partnership for Patients is an important test of what can occur when the nation acts as one to address a major national health problem.
Zahid Butt, MD, FACG Chair, HIMSS NQF Task Force CEO, Medisolv, Inc.