Illinois hospital network saves $160M by reducing readmissions, patient harm events

Hospitals in health systems across Illinois that participate in the state Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) prevented 15,887 patient harm incidents since 2012, saving more than $160 million, according to the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA).

The IHA this week released its 2014 progress report to gauge reduction of hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. The report found 100 HEN hospitals prevented more than 14,000 readmissions, along with hundreds of early elective deliveries, central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, ulcers, fall injuries and post-operative pulmonary embolisms, respectively.

The reduction in readmissions and infections is a huge improvement from 2012, when 200 Illinois hospitals successfully prevented just 843 instances of patient harm, resulting in a savings of more than $18 million, FierceHealthcare previously reported. 

IHA attributes the reduction in readmissions to hospitals' push for more coordinated care after discharge, including scheduling follow-up appointments, check-in calls and medication adherence plans, according to the report. Hospitals are also communicating directly with patients' primary care physicians.

Hospitals reduced many of the measured hospital-acquired conditions by up to 40 percent, thanks to various factors like education programs and surgical check lists, the report stated.

"These results from our Hospital Engagement Network program affirm the tremendous value of partnerships between providers, payers, and patients and the relentless commitment of our members to performance improvement," Derek J. Robinson, M.D., executive director of IHA Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality, said in an announcement.

To learn more:
- read the full report (.pdf)
- here's the announcement