The CMS is awarding $7 million to 112 top-performing hospitals in the third year of its pay-for-performance project with Premier, concluding that results show substantial and continual improvement among the 250 participating hospitals in 36 states.
Overall, hospitals in the CMS/Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration, or HQID, project have raised care quality by an average of 15.8% during the first three years, based on the delivery of 30 accepted care measures in five clinical areas. The CMS has awarded $24.5 million in incentive payments to date to top-performers in the program.
The hospitals, which include small and large, urban and rural, and teaching and nonteaching facilities nationwide, volunteered to report quality data on heart attacks and heart failure, coronary artery bypass graphs, pneumonia and hip and knee replacements.
Wide variations in quality appear to be narrowing in the third year of the demonstration project. Fifteen hospitals moved from the worst to first in quality, and improved by an average 32.6 percentage points in quality scores over three years, the CMS reported.
Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., with 561-beds, received the highest quality incentive payment of $385,342 this year for top marks in four out of five clinical areas.
Given these results, it is time to take the next step and implement hospital value-based purchasing for the Medicare program so that citizens across the nation can benefit from improved safety and quality and get the right care, every time, said acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems in a written statement. -- by Rebecca Vesely
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