CMS Awards $347 Million for Patient Safety Initiative

Money will go toward reducing inpatient harm, readmissions.

By Joyce Frieden/News Editor/MedPage Today/September 30, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is awarding $347 million to healthcare organizations in an effort to reduce patient harm and decrease readmissions, the agency announced Thursday.

The money will go to 16 different groups, including hospital associations, quality improvement organizations, and health systems as part of an effort to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries.

We made significant and successful progress in keeping patients safe over the last few years,” CMS chief medical officer Patrick Conway, MD, said on a conference call with reporters. “Since 2010, we have seen an unprecedented reduction in preventable patient harm in hospitals across the U.S., resulting in 2.1 million fewer people harmed, 87,000 lives saved and $20 billion in costs saved.”

Now CMS wants to continue these efforts and set additional goals, Conway explained, noting that these improvements would not have been possible without the Affordable Care Act and the work of CMS’s innovation center.

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