HHS Unveils $1B Program to Reduce Medical Errors

Margaret Dick Tocknell, April 13, 2011

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced - a $1 billion patient safety initiative aimed at saving lives and reducing hospital readmissions .

Partnership for Patients is public-private collaboration that includes hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses and patient advocates, Sebelius said Tuesday in a webcast. PFP will focus on hospital safety with the goal of reducing patient care injuries by 40%, saving 60,000 lives, and reducing hospital readmissions by 20% over the next three years

The $1 billion in federal funding for the initiative will be made available under the Affordable Care Act. Today, Effective immediately, $500 million was made available through the Community-based Care Transitions Program. Up to $500 million more will be dedicated from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center to support demonstrations related to reducing hospital-acquired conditions. 

In addition to saving lives, Sebelius touted PFP's potential to save up $35 billion in healthcare costs, including up to $10 billion for Medicare alone.

More than 500 hospitals, as well as physicians and nurses groups, consumer groups, and employers have agreed to commit to the new initiative.

"Americans go the hospital to get well, but millions of patients are injured because of preventable complications and accidents," said Sebelius. "Working closely with hospitals, doctors, nurses, patients, families and employers, we will support efforts to help keep patients safe, improve care, and reduce costs. Working together, we can help eliminate preventable harm to patients."

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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