Univera Healthcare Awards Hospitals $24.5 Million for Quality Improvements

Thank you Univera Healthcare!

Forty-seven upstate New York hospitals and health centers last year earned $24.5 million in quality improvement incentive payments from Univera Healthcare and its Rochester-based parent as part of the health insurer’s Hospital Performance Incentive Program (HPIP). In the past ten years quality performance incentives have exceeded $169 million.
“With all the changes in health care brought about by the Affordable Care Act, we applaud our hospital partners for continuing to focus on improving the quality of care and patient safety,” said Carrie Frank, vice president of quality and health informatics at Univera Healthcare. 
Participating in this program in 2013 were fifteen Western New York hospitals and health centers, including Catholic Health System (3 sites), Eastern Niagara Health System (2 sites), Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), Kaleida Health (4 sites), Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, United Memorial Medical Center, Women’s Christian Association (WCA) Hospital and Chautauqua Integrated Delivery System. 
“People shouldn’t have to look very hard to find out how their health-care providers are performing,” said Anthony Picone, MD, PhD, MBA, Medical Director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). “Programs like Univera Healthcare’s Hospital Performance Incentive Program allow hospitals and providers to see how their care measures up at the same time that they give families the resources they need to make informed, proactive decisions about their health care.”
Launched in 2004, the HPIP program evaluates participating hospitals on over 250 performance measures. In 2013, hospitals achieved 89 percent of all target quality levels. In addition to required clinical and patient safety measures, other nationally-endorsed measures and target outcomes are jointly agreed upon by each hospital and the health insurer using benchmarks established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) , The Joint Commission (TJC) , the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and others.
Areas targeted for improvement include:
• Clinical Processes of Care – Focused on improvements in heart attack care, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care
• Patient Safety – Centered on reductions in hospital-acquired infections, falls, pressure ulcers, readmissions, and other adverse events or errors that affect patient care
• Patient Satisfaction – Using the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, which is the first national, standardized, publicly-reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care
“Univera Healthcare has continued to reward improvements in quality through our contracts with hospitals,” said Frank. “These improvements also have the effect of lowering the costs of care, which is critical to hospitals in this environment.” 
Relevance in upstate New York 
Univera Healthcare’s Spring 2013 Fact Sheet on Hospital Acquired Infections in upstate New York revealed that in 2010, New York State reported about 108,000 hospital-acquired infections, including 24,000 in upstate New York. Those hospital-acquired infections led to an estimated 5,000 New York state deaths, 1,100 of which were in upstate New York.
If upstate New York hospitals could lower the number of hospital-acquired infections by even 20 or 40 percent, there would be an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 fewer infections and 200 to 400 fewer associated deaths, the Univera Healthcare report concludes. That would also save upstate New York state hospitals an estimated $68 million to$137 million annually.