Massena Memorial Hospital will share $26 million for quality improvement with upstate hospitals
Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 2:52 pm

MASSENA -- Massena Memorial Hospital is among 54 upstate hospitals to earn a combined $26 million for quality improvement incentive payments, the only hospital in St. Lawrence County to receive any of the money.

The payments were made by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as part of the health insurer’s Hospital Performance Incentive Program. Over the past nine years incentives by Excellus have exceeded $145 million.

“Our many years of working with our hospital partners to drive improvement in quality of care and patient safety by linking payments to improvements in health outcomes provides a strong foundation for the new models of collaboration anticipated with health care reform,” said Carrie Frank, vice president of quality and health informatics at Excellus.

Launched in 2004, the program evaluates participating hospitals on more than 300 performance measures. In 2012, hospitals achieved 87 percent of all target quality levels. Target outcomes are jointly agreed upon by each hospital and the health insurer using benchmarks established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Leapfrog Group, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and others.

The four areas specifically targeted for improvement are:

• Clinical Outcomes – Focused on improvements in heart attack care, heart failure and pneumonia care.

• Patient Safety – Focused on reductions in hospital-acquired infections, improved medication reconciliation processes, surgical care and National Quality Forum Safe Practices.

• Patient Perception of Care and Patient Satisfaction – Focused on a hospital’s use of a national survey tool.

• Efficiency – Focused on generics utilization, length of stay and readmissions.

“Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has continued to advance the program whereby hospitals are now required to measure surgical and clinical care composites as hospital contracts open for negotiation,” said Frank. “It is anticipated that this focus will further drive performance improvement to national performance levels in important measures as identified by CMS.”