Show me the money: HHS invests in patient safety

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

December 23, 2015

The federal government is shelling out nearly $800 million to transform clinical practices and continue funding Hospital Engagement Networks

What would you do with $800 million? If you're the federal government, you'd sink it into a couple large-scale, national quality improvement initiatives.

In September, CMS announced it would provide $110 million in funding for the second phase of the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) project, created through a Partnership for Patients (PfP) initiative to prevent hospital-acquired conditions and hospital readmissions. Last year, CMS announced that the first round of the HEN led to 50,000 fewer patient deaths, translating to $12 billion in healthcare savings. Additionally, CMS credited the HENs with 1.3 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013, signifying a 17% decline.

Days later, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a $685 million award to fund the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI). The initiative encompasses 39 national and regional healthcare networks, including 29 "practice transformation networks" that will "assist clinicians in delivering care in a patient-centric and efficient manner." Additionally, 10 "support and alignment networks will help emergency clinicians better utilize tests and procedures and align psychiatry and primary care providers to improve mental health services."

"Supporting doctors and other health care professionals [to] change the way they work is critical to improving quality and spending our healthcare dollars more wisely," HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said in a press release. "These awards will give patients more of the information they need to make informed decisions about their care and give clinicians access to information and support to improve care coordination and quality outcomes."

Continue reading this article on the Patient Safety Monitor website. Subscribers have free access to this article in the December issue.