AHCA poised to curb readmissions by 15 percent
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has set its sights on curbing rising readmission numbers. Officials announced Thursday the association would add a hospitalization metric into its National Quality Initiative.
The Web-based, interactive metric utilizes data sets and analytics to calculate case-mix-adjusted hospital readmission rates; officials say it will help providers differentiate between areas of excellence and improvement opportunities.
The hospitalization metric “will help give our members access to the right information to make a difference in their performance," says Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA. "This risk-adjusted hospital readmission measure is an important tool to help us build the foundation for a professional benchmark."
[See also: U.S. healthcare performance score declines.]
Launched in February, the AHCA Quality Initiative is an effort expanding upon existing work in the long-term and post-acute care field by setting specific, measurable targets to further improve the quality of care in America's skilled nursing centers.
By integrating the OnPoint-30 hospitalization metric with its Quality Initiative – in addition to providing staff with the proper goals and necessary resources – AHCA officials hope that skilled nursing facilities will safely reduce 30-day hospital readmissions by 15 percent by March 2015.
"These analyses help skilled nursing centers focus on improving care for their residents," said David Gifford, MD, senior vice president of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at AHCA. "They also help centers demonstrate their value to hospitals, insurers and physician groups."
[See also: Readmissions have hospitals stymied.]
"Having timely, risk-adjusted information is key for our members, so they know how they are performing compared to others and how effective their efforts are in preventing hospital readmissions from occurring," added Gifford.
The AHCA's Quality Initiative goals are, in part, a response to the Readmissions Reduction Program, which was established by the Affordable Care Act. The program, enforced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), will require hospitals to actively work to reduce readmissions. If certain hospitals fail to improve high readmission numbers, the CMS will reduce payments to these hospitals, effective October 1, 2012.