Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quality Care Incentives Prevent Heart Attacks, Says CMS

A project that links Medicare payments to quality of hospital care has led to the prevention of 4,700 heart attack deaths in four years, according to an analysis by the contractor, Premier Financial Services.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced fourth-year data from its hospital quality improvement project as well as data from two demonstration projects in which physician groups improved outcomes by following quality measures.

The new CMS data provides support for what President Obama and others have proposed -- paying for improvements in patient health, rather than for the number of services received during a hospital stay. Proponents of the so-called value-based purchasing concept say the plan could help save major money in the Medicare system.

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