South Carolina hospitals are stepping up their efforts to transform the health care delivery system in our state by participating in a federally-approved and federally-supported network of hospitals across the United States. The goal of the network is to create a collaborative structure designed to reduce the number of avoidable readmissions and healthcare acquired conditions (HACs) in all participating hospitals.
Premier, Inc., which took the lead in creating this hospital network in partnership with the South Carolina Hospital Association, received word earlier this week that it is one of 26 organizations to be approved by the federal Centers of Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) as a Hospital Engagement Network (HEN). The goal of this CMS initiative is to reduce readmissions by 20 percent and HACs by 40 percent within each HEN. The agency is dedicating more than $2 billion dollars, as part of its health reform efforts, to support federally recognized HENs over the next two to three years.
“South Carolina hospitals already have quite a track record when it comes to eliminating infections and preventing other types of healthcare acquired conditions. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement. We won’t stop until we eliminate the threat of health acquired conditions in all hospitals across our state,” according to Dr. Rick Foster, senior vice president for quality and patient safety at the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA). SCHA is very excited to be partnering with Premier to roll out this initiative with 74 South Carolina hospitals who have made a commitment to improving the quality of care in our state through this major national initiative.
“This is a major expansion to the patient safety and quality improvement initiatives we have aggressively pursued over the past five years. South Carolina hospitals have learned that we can accomplish much more together, and participating in this network multiplies by several times those with whom we are collaborating,”
Thirteen South Carolina hospitals already have been working with Premier’s Quest collaborative, which is credited with saving nearly 25,000 lives and nearly $4.5 billion in healthcare costs over the past three years.