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News Release

May 12, 2011
Hawaii hospitals, HMSA partner with national Premier healthcare alliance to improve care, better control costs for Hawaii residents

Elisa Yadao, HMSA
(808) 948-6025

The Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) has partnered with its statewide network of hospitals and the Premier healthcare alliance on Advanced Hospital Care, a new initiative to improve quality and reduce costs for residents of Hawaii.

HMSA will sponsor all eligible Hawaii hospitals to participate in a national program built by the Premier healthcare alliance that is setting the standard for patient-centered, high quality and efficient healthcare. The four-year program sets targets and helps the hospitals measure and speed performance improvements that will:

  • Save lives: Eliminate avoidable hospital mortalities.
  • Safely reduce the cost of care: Reduce the costs for each patient’s hospitalization.
  • Deliver the most reliable and effective care: Ensure that patients receive every recommended evidence-based care measure.
  • Improve patient safety: Prevent harm in nearly 30 categories, including infections and birth injuries.
  • Increase satisfaction: Improve the patient’s overall care experience.
  • Reduce readmissions: Improve care coordination across the continuum to avoid preventable readmissions.

Over 30 months, this Premier performance improvement program has saved 25,235 lives and $2.85 billion in costs among a wide range of 157 hospitals in 33 states across the United States.

“We have been working with our statewide network of hospitals to introduce our own Advanced Hospital Care program,” said HMSA Senior Vice President Hilton Raethel. “We believe that teaming up with hospitals to ensure better care for patients can also slow the unsustainable growth in health care costs.”

“Premier’s high-performing healthcare framework is a major and critical component of our Advanced Hospital Care program, and we appreciate that our hospital partners are willing to work with Premier and this program,” said Raethel.

Kevin A. Roberts, president and chief executive officer of Castle Medical Center, noted, “This new partnership has considerable promise to improve care by giving us tools and resources needed to compare ourselves against national benchmarks and work collaboratively with some of the best hospitals in the nation on performance improvement. We look forward to working with HMSA and Premier.”

The goals of Advanced Hospital Care also align closely with the health care reform law, which includes a national requirement for Medicare to pay hospitals based on their achievement of quality benchmarks. In addition, Advanced Hospital Care can help Hawaii hospitals meet new goals set by the Department of Health and Human Services through the Partnership for Patients program to reduce preventable errors in hospitals by 40 percent and preventable complications by 20 percent. Advanced Hospital Care can also help Hawaii providers avoid payment penalties from Medicare that will be phased in over the next two years for hospitals with that have higher than expected readmission and infection rates.

Using the nation’s largest comparative database for hospital performance, Premier and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement identified the main drivers that lead to deaths, errors, improved patient experience, and excessive costs. Through participation in the Advanced Hospital Care program, Hawaii hospitals are targeting improvement opportunities in these areas, comparing themselves against each other and national standards, carefully measuring progress, and sharing best practices.

“We appreciate the opportunity that HMSA and these hospitals have given us to bring our nationwide knowledge together to improve care across the state,” said Premier President and Chief Executive Officer Susan DeVore. “We have a disciplined, measured, and organized methodology for building and sustaining change. Programs such as Advanced Hospital Care have already been proven on the national scale, producing dramatic quality improvements that benefit patients.”

About HMSA

HMSA is a nonprofit, mutual benefit association founded in Hawaii in 1938. It is governed by a community board of directors that includes representatives from health care, business, labor, government, education, clergy, and the community at large. HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Nationally, HMSA and 38 other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans provide worldwide coverage to more than 100 million members.

About the Premier healthcare alliance, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient

Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals and 73,000-plus other healthcare sites using the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high quality, cost-effective care. Owned by hospitals, health systems and other providers, Premier maintains the nation’s most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier works with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier also has an office in Washington.

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