HHS today issued a final rule (PDF) for value-based purchasing, launching its program that will provide incentives to hospitals based on performance on selected quality measures.
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The program includes clinical quality measures in areas such as surgical care and heart failure as well as measures of patient satisfaction. According to HHS, the new program aligns with the government's recently announced patient-safety initiative, the Partnership for Patients, which aims to save 60,000 lives and $35 billion in healthcare costs over the next three years.
“Changing the way we pay hospitals will improve the quality of care for seniors and save money for all of us,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release. “Under this initiative, Medicare will reward hospitals that provide high-quality care and keep their patients healthy.”
Approximately $850 million will be given to hospitals in 2013, based on their performance, HHS said in the release. “This funding will be taken from what Medicare otherwise would have spent, and the size of the fund will gradually increase over time, resulting in a shift from payments based on volume to payments based on performance.”