EvergreenHealth Leads the Region in Reducing Hospital Readmissions

Only Washington hospital to avoid Medicare penalties 4 years in a row

Aug 21, 2015, 18:19 ET from EvergreenHealth

KIRKLAND, Wash., Aug. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- According to recently released data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), EvergreenHealth is just one of two Puget Sound-area health care systems to avoid paying a federal penalty thanks to its success in reducing 30-day hospital readmission rates among Medicare patients. This is the fourth consecutive year the Kirkland-based system has been granted an exemption from the fine.  

The Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) was launched in 2010 by CMS to improve the quality of care for Medicare patients by incentivizing hospitals to reduce readmissions within 30 days of a hospital stay. Under the program, hospitals that report high readmission rates are subject to penalties of up to 3 percent of expected reimbursements from Medicare patients throughout the following year.

"To be the only Washington hospital to go without penalty four years in a row reflects EvergreenHealth's patient-focused philosophy of care, which puts quality care, safety and exemplary service at the center of all we do," said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. "Our care is not complete when patients leave our hospital, and this accomplishment demonstrates the collaboration across our system to ensure patients recover fully, and receive the most satisfying care at the best value."

Though readmission rates have decreased nationally since CMS implemented the reduction program, hospitals across the country stand to lose $420 million in Medicare reimbursements this year based on their performance.

"Much of our success in reducing readmissions can be attributed to initiatives across our system designed to help patients navigate their care. As the Puget Sound region's largest home health care provider, our care managers and providers work one-on-one with patients once they leave the hospital to remove any potential barriers to achieve the best outcomes, ensuring patients receive the follow-up care, referrals, education and coordinated treatment they need to recover," Malte said.

Along with reducing hospital readmissions, EvergreenHealth has also successfully maintained low rates for hospital-acquired conditions (HAC). Under the Hospital Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, EvergreenHealth again will not be required to pay penalties thanks to its prevention of common conditions and infections that can result from medical procedures during a hospital stay.

Instead, the organization is slated to receive a $167,000 bonus from CMS under the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program for its performance across several safety and quality care measures, while other lower-performing hospitals will be subject to additional fines of up to $500,000.

More information about EvergreenHealth's commitment to quality and safety is available at www.evergreenhealth.com or by calling is 24/7 Nurse Navigator & Healthline at (425) 899-3000.

About EvergreenHealth
EvergreenHealth is an integrated health care system that serves nearly 850,000 residents in King and Snohomish counties and offers a breadth of services and programs that is among the most comprehensive in the region. More than 950 physicians provide clinical excellence in over 80 specialties, including heart and vascular care, oncology, surgical care, orthopedics, neurosciences, women's and children's services, pulmonary care and home care and hospice services. Formed as a public hospital district in 1972, EvergreenHealth includes a 318-bed acute care medical center in Kirkland, a network of 10 primary care practices, two urgent care centers, over two dozen specialty care practices and 24/7 emergency care at its Kirkland campus, Monroe campus and at a freestanding center in Redmond. In 2015, the system expanded to include EvergreenHealth Monroe – an accredited, full-service 72-bed public hospital district, established in 1960 in Monroe, Washington. EvergreenHealth has clinical and strategic partnerships with several health care entities, including Virginia Mason, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and dozens of independent practices that are part of the clinically integrated EvergreenHealth Partners network. In addition to clinical care, EvergreenHealth offers extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by the 24/7 EvergreenHealth Nurse Navigator & Healthline.
For more information, visit www.evergreenhealth.com.


Kay Taylor
Vice President, Marketing, Communications & PR

Kristi Herriott
Firmani + Associates Inc.


SOURCE EvergreenHealth