Hospital costs and mortality rates are declining under a CMS pay-for-performance project, according to an analysis released by the Premier healthcare alliance. The Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration project was launched by the alliance and the CMS in 2003 to find out if economic incentives improve inpatient care at hospitals.
Apparently, they do: In an analysis of more than a million patient records from participating hospitals, the median hospital cost per patient declined by more than $1,000 across the first three years of the project. Meanwhile, the median mortality rate decreased by 1.87%.
The more than 250 participating hospitals report process and outcome measures in five clinical areas, including acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft, pneumonia, and hip and knee replacement. According to the analysis, hospitals nationally could save an estimated 70,000 lives per year and reduce costs by more than $4.5 billion annually if they all achieved the cost and mortality improvements found among the project participants in each of the five clinical areas over a three-year period.
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