Pay-for-Performance Project Quality Measures Reaches Midpoint; Alegent Health Continues To Earn Top Performer Status
Release Date: 01/26/2007

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Four out of Five Hospitals Achieve Top Ranking in Five Clinical Areas, Bergan Mercy Medical Center Receives Highest Bonus Payment in State from Medicare OMAHA, Neb. – Alegent Health continues to be among the top performing hospitals and health systems taking part in a three-year, groundbreaking Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Premier Inc. pay-for-performance project. CMS awards hospitals for delivering higher quality care in the five clinical areas of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), pneumonia and hip and knee replacement. "This project is only at its halfway mark, yet the results reveal the excellent patient-centered care Alegent Health physicians and staff provide to our patients and their families on a daily basis,” said Alegent Health CEO Wayne Sensor. “As we look to the future, our goal is to inch the bar even higher, joining with other hospitals and health systems across the country committed to providing outstanding quality performance in key clinical areas of focus, improving outcomes and reducing overall costs." The results of the second year of the three year demonstration project, which began in 2003, reveal Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center ranked in the top ten percent, based on its overall quality score in the clinical focus areas of CABG. Bergan Mercy Medical Center also received high marks for achieving top 20 percent rankings in the country in the following areas of AMI, CABG, pneumonia and hip and knee replacement, achieving the highest bonus payment in the state of $102,473. Based on their score as a system, Alegent Health will receive $218,501 from CMS, which awarded incentive payments of $8.7 million to 115 top-performing hospitals. All of the Alegent Health metro hospitals, with the exception of Lakeside Hospital, participated in the demonstration project. Lakeside was unable to participate because they did not open until August of 2004. Additional results of Alegent Health hospitals participating are as follows: Immanuel Medical Center ranked in the top 20 percent for AMI and heart failure and Midlands Hospital ranked in the top 20 percent for pneumonia. Mercy Hospital (Council Bluffs, Iowa) was one of only two hospitals in the state to achieve a top 20 percent ranking in the areas of heart failure, pneumonia and hip and knee replacement. Data from the second year of the CMS/Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration (HQID), validated by CMS and reported publicly today, demonstrates a significant improvement in the quality of care across five clinical focus areas, including saving the lives of 1,284 heart attack patients. In addition, second year results demonstrate a significant improvement in quality of care across five clinical focus areas as measured by 30 nationally standardized and widely accepted quality indicators. For complete information about the HQID project, visit “The main point is that the majority of hospitals in the HQID project, even those on the lower end of the scale, improved their quality of care across the board with respect to reliable use of scientifically based practices,” said Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, president and CEO at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). “Hospitals want to offer high quality care; sometimes they just need to be pointed in the right direction. The HQID project has offered hospitals a guideline to improve their patient care.” Alegent Health is committed to putting consumers at the center of the health care equation, giving them meaningful information on cost and quality to make better health care decisions. In addition to being involved in the HQID study since September 2005, Alegent has been publicly reporting comparative quality data on clinical performance in the areas of heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. Also, Alegent Health recently launched My Cost, an innovative online tool that provides consumers with information on projected costs they will incur for nearly 500 common treatments and procedures, along with their out-of-pocket responsibilities. In addition to the cost transparency initiative, in the past year, Alegent Health has launched additional patient care and quality efforts including:
  • Consumer-driven health care plans for its 8,500 employees
  • Quick Care clinics to conveniently treat some of the most common ailments facing adults and children in a patient-friendly atmosphere
  • Beginning in July, Alegent Health will be the first health system in Nebraska to implement an eICU® Program, the most advanced pairing of high-quality patient care and technology in critical care medicine. eICU® technology’s early warning software, remote monitoring tools and communication tools provide remote clinicians the information necessary to partner with ICU clinicians as a proactive and integrative team.
  • Alegent Health is the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa with nine acute care hospitals, more than 100 sites of service, over 1,200 physicians on its medical staff and roughly 8,500 employees. Alegent Health is making healthcare better with an exceptional commitment to quality and by providing patient focused care for the body, mind and spirit of every person consistent with its faith-based mission. Alegent Health continues the health ministry begun by its sponsors, Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems, more than a hundred years ago. At Alegent Health, patients and their families find a continuum of care, from women's and children's services, primary care, wellness counseling, and senior care to cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, physical rehabilitation and behavioral health.