Deborah Heart and Lung Center Selected to Participate in a New Medicare Cost Reduction Initiative

One of 33 NJ Hospitals in Pilot “Gainsharing” Project

Deborah Heart and Lung Center -- a specialty heart, lung, and vascular hospital in Browns Mills -- is one of 33 hospitals statewide included in a New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) program designed to improve healthcare efficiency and reduce costs by promoting better coordination and collaboration among New Jersey hospitals and physicians.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced approval of NJHA’s application to expand its “gainsharing” pilot project, which was launched in 2009 with 12 test hospitals. This new approval allows the project to be tested on a broader scale.

The NJHA’s project is part of CMS’ “bundled payment” initiative contained in the Affordable Care Act. The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative includes four models of bundling payments, varying by the types of health care providers involved and the services included in the bundle. Depending on the model type, CMS will bundle payments for services beneficiaries receive during an episode of care, encouraging hospitals, physicians, post-acute facilities, and other providers as applicable to work together to improve health outcomes and lower costs. Organizations of providers participating in the initiative will agree to provide CMS a discount from expected payments for the episode of care, and then the provider partners will work together to reduce readmissions, duplicative care, and complications to lower costs through improvement.

The announcement includes the selection of 32 awardees in Model 1, who will begin testing bundled payments for acute care hospital stays as early as April 2013. In the coming weeks, CMS will also announce a second opportunity for providers to participate in Model 1, with an anticipated start date of early 2014.

“The objective of this initiative is to improve the quality of health care delivery for Medicare beneficiaries, while reducing program expenditures, by aligning the financial incentives of all providers,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

“Deborah is delighted to be a part of this exciting new innovative program,” said Deborah President and CEO Joseph P. Chirichella. “For several years, Deborah’s philosophy has been one of collaboration among New Jersey’s hospitals. This is a cornerstone of this new pilot program, and we believe that hospitals working together will definitely benefit patients and reduce overall costs in the system.

“With the landscape of healthcare dramatically changing in the next year, we are excited to be on the ground floor of exploring new ways of delivering care. With the pilot program’s inclusion of national quality initiatives such as using surgical checklists, reducing inappropriate re-admissions, and improved monitoring we are confident that we will see a positive impact on patient care. Combine this with streamlining operations to reduce unnecessary expenses and I am hopeful that additional resources will be freed up that can be used to help treat more patients.

“This is truly a pivotal time in the history of American health care, and we are excited to be part of the cusp of new innovative changes. The NJHA program is one piece of the puzzle moving forward, and as the largest CMS pilot program in the nation is poised to become a model for the rest of the country.” 

For more information: innovation.cms.gov/initatives/bundled-payments

 

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