CMS Awards $347 Million in Hospital Improvement Innovation Network Contracts

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On Sept. 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it awarded $347 million to 16 national, regional, or state hospital associations, Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) and health system organizations to continue efforts in reducing hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) and readmissions in the Medicare program.

The new Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) contracts build upon the past momentum and achievements of CMS’ Hospital Engagement Networks under the Partnership for Patient initiative, and the QIO Program’s QIN-QIOs in the area of patient safety. Beginning Oct. 1, 2016, all CMS HAC reduction-related work will be conducted by HIINs in support of the QIN-QIOs’ current performance period activities, with the goal of enhancing the quality of care to Medicare beneficiaries.

New ambitious goals have been set for the HIINs. Through 2019, they will work to achieve a 20 percent decrease in overall patient harm and a 12 percent reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions as a population-based measure (readmissions per 1,000 people) from the 2014 baseline.

HIINs will also work to expand and develop learning collaboratives for hospitals and provide a wide array of initiatives and activities to improve patient safety in the Medicare program. They will be required to address a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Adverse drug events (to focus on at least the following three medication categories: opioids, anticoagulants, and hypoglycemic agents) 
  • Central line-associated blood stream infections (in all hospital settings) 
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (in all hospital settings) 
  • Clostridium difficile infection (including antibiotic stewardship)
  • Injury from falls and immobility 
  • Pressure Ulcers
  • Sepsis and Septic Shock 
  • Surgical Site Infections (for multiple classes of surgeries) 
  • Venous thromboembolism (at a minimum in all surgical settings) 
  • Ventilator-Associated Events 
  • Readmissions

In addition to these core 11 topics, HIINs are expected to address all other forms of preventable patient harm most impactful to their respective populations in the Medicare program. HIINs are expected to detail their plans to address these other forms of harm, including the targeted goals of achievement, measures and evidence-based best practices they propose to put in place.

Additionally, efforts to address health equity for Medicare beneficiaries will be central to the HIINs’ work. CMS will monitor and evaluate the activities of the HIINs to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety.

The 16 organizations (listed in alphabetical order) that received contracts include:

  • Carolinas Healthcare System 
  • Dignity Health 
  • Healthcare Association of New York State 
  • HealthInsight
  • The Health Research and Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association 
  • Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey 
  • Health Services Advisory Group
  • The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania 
  • Iowa Healthcare Collaborative 
  • Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Health Foundation 
  • Minnesota Hospital Association 
  • Ohio Children’s Hospitals’ Solutions for Patient Safety 
  • Ohio Hospital Association 
  • Premier, Inc. 
  • Vizient, Inc. 
  • Washington State Hospital Association 

For more information on the HIIN contract award, please read this CMS fact sheet.