You are on page 1of 2

News Release

For Immediate Release Date: February 6, 2013 Contact: Phone:

Liz Martin (315) 671-6408

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Awards Hospitals $26 Million for Quality Improvements
SYRACUSE, N.Y. Fifty-four upstate New York hospitals and health centers last year earned $26 million in quality improvement incentive payments from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as part of the health insurers Hospital Performance Incentive Program. In the past nine years, quality performance incentives from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield 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 BlueCross BlueShield. Participating in this program in 2012 were eight Central New York hospitals, including Cortland Regional Medical Center, Crouse Hospital, Massena Memorial Hospital, Oswego Hospital, Samaritan Medical Center, St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center and Upstate University Health System (two hospitals). For several years, Crouse and other hospitals have partnered with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to improve the care of patients, said Derrick Suehs, chief quality officer at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. This partnership has played a key role in helping Crouse identify, prioritize and implement care improvement initiatives that make a real difference in the patient experience and care outcomes. Suehs cites as examples Crouse Hospitals 57 percent reduction in acquired pressure ulcers in its Intensive Care Unit over the past year, a decrease in the number of hospital-acquired infections and improvements in patient satisfaction scores and timeliness of services. Excellus BlueCross BlueShields Hospital Performance Incentive Program provides a supportive structure for continuous improvement in both clinical and service outcomes. It has been a win for our patients at Crouse, said Suehs. Launched in 2004, the Hospital Performance Incentive 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.


333 Butternut Drive

Syracuse, New York 13214

A nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Four areas are targeted for improvement: 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 hospitals 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. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the federal agency which administers Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Relevance in upstate New York According to the most recent data on hospital-acquired infections available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, there were an estimated 24,000 hospital-acquired infections in upstate New York in 2010, and more than 1,000 deaths were likely to have occurred as a result. Additional media contact: Derrick Suehs Chief Quality Officer Crouse Hospital Interviews with Mr. Suehs can be arranged by contacting: Cheryl Abrams Crouse Hospital Communications Department Phone: 315-470-7123

### Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to about 1.9 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit

Page 2