HHS Unveils Details of Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Initiative
On Friday, HHS launched its hospital value-based purchasing program, which will transform Medicare payments to better reward institutions for care quality and patient satisfaction, National Journal reports (DoBias, National Journal, 4/29).
The program -- which is required under the federal health reform law -- will take effect in fiscal year 2013 and apply to payments for discharges occurring on or after Oct. 1, 2012. The payments will be based on whether acute care hospitals meet certain care quality and patient satisfaction metrics, or how much hospitals' performance improves across a set time frame.
Sample metrics will assess whether hospitals:
- Ensure heart attack patients receive care within 90 minutes;
- Provide care to surgery patients for 24 hours to prevent blood clots;
- Communicate discharge instructions to heart failure patients; and
- Maintain clean facilities.
HHS says the program will reward better-performing hospitals with commensurately higher incentive payments.
According to the rule, incentives would be funded by a 1% cut in base operating DRG payments for each discharge in FY 2013, reaching 2% by FY 2017. In 2013, the agency expects an estimated $850 million to be allocated to hospitals that provide quality care and improve performance (Rau, Kaiser Health News, 4/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.