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Health plan awards hospitals $24.2 million


Thirty-eight upstate New York hospitals and health centers, including eight in Western New York, shared $24.2 million in quality improvement incentives paid by Univera Healthcare and its Rochester parent. Quality incentives reflect 2017 performance against specific quality measures. Since the program launched in 2005, the health insurer has paid $256 million in hospital quality incentives.

"We are very pleased that continued collaboration with our provider partners has resulted in improved quality of care for the communities we jointly serve. Aligning incentives across payers and providers will continue to advance care delivery and related outcomes," said Carrie Whitcher, Univera's vice president for health care improvement.

Eight hospitals in Western New York participated in this program in 2017, sharing $425,986 million in quality improvement incentive payments. Participating hospitals included Erie County Medical Center, Kaleida Health (four sites), Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, United Memorial Medical Center and UPMC Chautauqua WCA.

In 2017, Univera's Hospital Performance Incentive Program evaluated participating hospitals on 48 unique performance measures. Hospitals that received quality improvement incentive payments achieved 88 percent of all quality improvement targets.

In addition to achieving required clinical and patient safety measures in 2017, other nationally-endorsed measures and target outcomes were jointly agreed upon by each hospital and the health insurer using benchmarks established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and others.

Areas targeted for 2018 improvement included:

Clinical Processes of Care – Focused on improvements in diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and surgical care, and other measures that may be unique to each participating hospital

Patient Safety – Centered on reductions in hospital-acquired infections, readmissions, and other adverse events or errors that affect patient care

– Patient Satisfaction – Used the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey, which is a national, standardized, publicly-reported survey of patients' perspectives of hospital care

"By improving the processes for caring for people, by concentrating on reducing the number of hospital acquired infections and adverse events, by listening to patients' concerns, these hospitals are giving our members better quality care and improving their health outcomes," Whitcher said.

Originally posted by Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine . Republished with permission.

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