CMS Expands Collaboration with Indian Health Service Hospitals to Improve Health Care in Hospitals

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on November 10 that it would include Indian Health Service (IHS) hospitals in the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs) nationwide contract, which seeks to reduce adverse events by 20 percent and hospital readmissions by 12 percent.

This announcement is part of a growing commitment from CMS to proactively address issues facing patients in IHS hospitals and is expected to improve the quality of care for 2.2 million American Indian and Alaska Native patients.

We look forward to continuing the next phase of working collaboratively in each Medicare-certified IHS hospital on harm reduction and system-level improvement,” said Patrick Conway, CMS’ acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer, in a statement. This offers a great opportunity to create significant positive changes in health outcomes of American Indian and Alaska Native communities serviced by these hospitals.”

The IHS hospital system currently includes 25 Medicare-certified hospitals that will receive assistance from the Premier HIIN to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. Both CMS and IHS work in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Executive Council on Quality Care.

This announcement follows a recent CMS award of $347 million to 16 national, regional and state hospital associations to serve as HIINs, and an October 4 announcement that HealthInsight QIN-QIO will support IHS hospitals nationwide by promoting best health care practices and other operational improvements.