Univera and Excellus Health Plan Awards Hospitals $25.7 Million for Quality Improvements

Thirty-six upstate New York hospitals and health centers, including eight in Western New York, last year shared $25.7 million in quality improvement incentives from Univera Healthcare and its Rochester parent. The nonprofit health insurer’s performance incentive program was established in 2005. Thus far, it has paid out more than $282 million in quality incentives.  

“When a health insurer collaborates with health care providers, as we are doing with this hospital quality program, health outcomes improve,” said Carrie Whitcher, Univera Healthcare Vice President Health Care Improvement.

Eight hospitals in Western New York participated in the program in 2018, sharing $590,227 in quality improvement incentive payments. Participating hospitals included Erie County Medical Center, Kaleida Health (four sites), Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, United Memorial Medical Center and UPMC Chautauqua.    

“In 2018, our Hospital Performance Incentive Program evaluated participating hospitals on 59 unique performance measures,” said Richard Vienne, D.O., Univera Healthcare vice president and chief medical officer. “Credit our hospital partners for their continuous commitment to quality improvement, and for achieving 77 percent of all quality improvement targets.”

In addition to achieving required clinical and patient safety measures in 2018, other nationally-endorsed measures and target outcomes were jointly agreed upon by each hospital and the health insurer using benchmarks established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,  the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and others.
Areas targeted for 2018 improvement included:

Clinical Processes of Care – Focused on improvements in diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and surgical care, and other measures that may be unique to each participating hospital

Patient Safety – Centered on reductions in hospital-acquired infections, readmissions, and other adverse events or errors that affect patient care

Patient Satisfaction – Used the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey, which is a national, standardized, publicly-reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care

“We fully appreciate the partnership we’ve developed with providers for the last several years in the spirit of optimizing patient care and influencing overall outcomes.  It is through these types of collaborations that we can mutually seek to improve the quality of care across upstate New York,” Whitcher said.