ANN ARBOR, Mich. and ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — A new report suggests that communities where hospitals, other health care providers, and community services work together to coordinate evidence-based hospital discharges and provide better support in the community, can see a 6 percent drop in hospitalizations and rehospitalizations, per 1,000 beneficiaries, in just the first two years. This project relied upon Medicare’s Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) to anchor and guide the work, and the average community netted about $3 million dollars in annual savings for Medicare.
These findings were released today by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in “Associations between quality improvement for care transitions in communities and rehospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries.”
For this project, 14 QIOs, led by the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care (CFMC) as a national coordinator, participated in a three-year project in which the QIOs convened medical, community, and social service providers and facilitated community-wide quality improvement activities to implement evidence-based improvements in patient care transitions. The QIOs’ efforts included community organizing, technical assistance in implementing best practices, and monitoring of participation, implementation, effectiveness, and adverse effects.
QIOs in each state and territory, funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), help achieve national quality goals through focused efforts at the community and provider level. The QIO Program focuses on three aims: better patient care, better population health, and lower health care costs through improvement.