New HHS Data Show Quality Improvements Saved 15,000 Lives and $4 Billion in Health Spending
New preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) show an overall 9 percent decrease in hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) nationally during 2011 and 2012. National reductions in adverse drug events, falls, infections and other forms of hospital-induced harm are estimated to have prevented nearly 15,000 hospital deaths, avoided 560,000 patient injuries and saved approximately $4 billion in health spending during that period. The Affordable Care Act is also helping to reduce hospital readmissions. After holding constant at 19 percent from 2007 to 2011 and decreasing to 18.5 percent in 2012, the Medicare all-cause 30-day readmission rate further decreased to approximately 17.5 percent in 2013. This represents an 8 percent reduction in the rate and an estimated 150,000 fewer 30-day hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries between January 2012 and December 2013. These major strides in patient safety are a result of public-private partnerships and active engagement by patients and families. Partnerships include the federal Partnership for Patients initiative, Hospital Engagement Networks, Quality Improvement Organizations, AHRQ, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many others. Select to access the HHS news release and an AHRQ report about the methods the agency used to estimate the national rate of HACs.