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Hospitals participate in national Medicare pay-for-performance project to improve          Send a link to a friend

ALMH met or exceeded all measurable outcomes

[April 09, 2007]  Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital will participate in an extension of a national Medicare pay-for-performance project that has shown steady progress in the quality of patient care.

ALMH and the two other Memorial Health System hospitals -- St. Vincent Memorial Hospital in Taylorville and Memorial Medical Center in Springfield -- were among an estimated 260 hospitals to sign up for the federal government's Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration when it was launched in 2003. All three hospitals have agreed to participate in the three-year extension of the demonstration project, which is a partnership between the federal government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Premier Inc., a national nonprofit hospital alliance.

"The opportunity to learn from other hospitals that are among the best in the nation about how to improve the quality of patient care is the reason that ALMH signed up for the project in 2003 and again in 2007," said Dolan Dalpoas, ALMH president and chief executive officer.

Hospitals are scored based on their delivery of 30 evidence-based quality measures, such as prescribing aspirin upon arrival for heart attack patients or the timely administration of antibiotics for pneumonia patients. The top 10 percent of hospitals in any of the clinical areas receive a 2 percent bonus for patients in that area; hospitals in the second decile receive 1 percent.

"Participating hospitals have been exchanging information with each other about what was working and what wasn't throughout this project," Dalpoas said. "That sharing of knowledge among hospitals helps us as we work to help maintain, restore and improve the health of the people we serve."

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital has already received $18,664 in bonus payments from the first two years of the project. ALMH performed in the top 10 percent in heart failure patient care during the project's first year. In the second year, bonuses were awarded to ALMH for both pneumonia care and heart failure care. Third-year results are expected to be announced in November.

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According to a January report of the project's second-year results, the 260 participating hospitals raised overall quality by 11.8 percent in two years in the five clinical areas studied. "Theoretically, these improvements in quality of care over the first two years of the project saved 1,284 heart attack patients," said Dalpoas. "Furthermore, patients in the 260 participating hospitals received approximately 150,000 additional recommended evidence-based clinical quality measures or procedures, such as smoking cessation, detailed discharge instructions and pneumococcal vaccination"

The project's results, including which hospitals placed in the top 50 percent of each clinical area, are available for the public to view on the Internet. (See hospital quality measure graphs for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care improvement and infection prevention. Click here.)

"We are pleased to receive an extension of this project and look forward to testing new ways to measure and support high-quality care," said Stephanie Alexander, Premier senior vice president for Healthcare Informatics. "The hospitals participating in this project deserve credit for pioneering these new ideas and for the tremendous quality of care they deliver."

"Our nation's health care system produces medical miracles every day but hasn't always provided consistent and high-quality care to everyone," Dalpoas said. "This project has been a very significant step forward in making quality count in American health care."

[Text from file received from Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital]

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