A recent study issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander is one of the leaders in Medicare’s Hospital Value Based Purchasing (VBP) program in the state.
Ministry Saint Mary’s placed eighth for Wisconsin’s acute care hospitals with a total performance score of 71.1. Ministry Saint Mary’s was one of five Ministry hospitals named in the top 10 acute care facilities, joined by Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital, Weston; Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital, Stevens Point; Saint Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton and Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh.
“The results of this most recent report demonstrate the efforts we are making at Ministry Saint Mary’s to continue to improve the quality of care we provide to our patients,” said Monica Hilt, president, Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital. “Our caregivers continue to find ways to improve the patient care experience and this report is one of the visible milestones of the progress we are making.”
Established by the Affordable Care Act and launched in October of 2012, the VBP program implemented a new approach to the payment system where hospitals are paid for inpatient acute care based on the quality of care, not the quantity of services provided. It is a significant step to linking Medicare’s payment system to improve healthcare quality, including the quality of care provided in the inpatient hospital setting. Hospitals are rewarded based on how closely they follow best clinical practices and how well hospitals enhance patients’ experiences of care.
The program implements value-based purchasing to the payment system that accounts for the largest share of Medicare spending, affecting payment for inpatient stays in more than 3,500 hospitals across the country. Only the largest hospitals in the nation are taking part at this time and it does not apply to the smaller critical access facilities. The program is funded by a withhold that began at 1 percent and will eventually increase to 2 percent from all participating hospitals’ Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) payments.
“The Values Based Purchasing program was designed to promote better clinical outcomes for hospital patients, as well as improve their experience of care during hospital stays,” Stewart Watson, MD, President of Ministry Medical Group said. “We work hard to continually improve the overall patient experience and our teams at Ministry Saint Mary’s, and all across our healthcare system should be proud of these achievements.”
Specifically, Hospital VBP seeks to encourage hospitals to improve the quality and safety of care that Medicare beneficiaries and all patients receive during acute-care inpatient stays by:
• eliminating or reducing the occurrence of adverse events (healthcare errors resulting in patient harm)
• adopting evidence-based care standards and protocols that result in the best outcomes for the most patients
• re-engineering hospital processes that improve patients’ experience of care
According to the latest report, 24 of 64 Wisconsin hospitals that qualified for the VBP program will see a decrease in their payments as a result of the scores which balance clinical care and patient experience. The VBP program releases results once per year with adjustments of DRG reimbursement taking effect in October.