HHS announces private-public alliance to improve transition of care

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Health and Human Services Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the creation of a new private-public alliance called Partnerships for Patients yesterday, saying it has the potential to prevent 1.8 million patient injuries and save the lives of 60,000 patients over the next three years.

The program targets patients undergoing transitions of care, where patients are more susceptible to hospital-related infection and of re-admittance to healthcare facilities. To do this, HHS is aligning health care providers, and will invest up to $1 billion in federal funding allotted by the Affordable Care Act. The community-based Care Transitions Program and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services have both pledged $500 million to the program.

Goals of Partnerships for Patients include prevention of adverse drug reactions, pressure ulcers, childbirth complications and surgical site infections.

“With new tools provided by the Affordable Care Act, we can aggressively implement programs that will help hospitals reduce preventable errors,” said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick. “We will provide hospitals with incentives to improve the quality of health care, and provide real assistance to medical professionals and hospitals to support their efforts to reduce harm.”