Texas Health Hospitals Receive Financial Awards for Quality
08/17/2009

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health hospitals across the Metroplex will receive financial awards from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for performing well in a national quality incentive project.

The 12 Texas Health hospitals participating in the project will receive 56 awards totaling $363,801. Each of the hospitals attained or exceeded quality benchmarks in one or more areas of care measured in the Premier-CMS health care alliance Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration (HQID) pay-for-performance project. The areas of care measured in the national project are: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and hip and knee surgical services.

“Health care consumers across North Texas should be proud to know the community hospitals that have served them for decades are recognized for continual improvements in quality,” said Texas Health Chief Executive Officer Douglas D. Hawthorne, FACHE. “These awards represent a lot of hard work and effort across our health care system to continually raise the bar for the quality of care we provide to the communities we serve.”

Incentive payments were distributed to Texas Health hospitals between July 22 and Aug. 7. The Premier pay-for-performance project is one of many measurements Texas Health hospitals use to benchmark and improve quality. These results are from the fourth year of the HQID project. Texas Health has participated in the project since its inception in October 2003.

Texas Health hospitals in Cleburne, Azle and Plano all achieved Top Performer awards for heart failure care and for overall performance in the demonstration. Texas Health Dallas and Fort Worth both achieved attainment awards in every clinical area measured.

The HQID project is the first national project of its kind, designed to determine if economic incentives to hospitals are effective at improving the quality of inpatient care. Through the project, Premier collects a set of more than 30 evidence-based clinical quality measures from more than 250 hospitals across the country.

An analysis of mortality rates at hospitals participating in the project indicated that improvements made in the quality of care saved an estimated 4,700 heart attack patients nationwide during its first four years, according to Premier Inc. In addition, more than 1.5 million patients treated in five clinical areas at participating HQID hospitals received approximately 500,000 additional recommended evidence-based clinical quality measures, such as smoking cessation, discharge instructions and pneumococcal vaccination, during that same timeframe.

The average Composite Quality Scores (CQS), an aggregate of all quality measures within each clinical area, improved significantly between the inception of the program and the end of Year 4 in all five clinical focus areas:

  • From 87.5 percent to 96.3 percent for patients with heart attack;
  • From 84.8 percent to 98.5 percent for patients with coronary artery bypass graft;
  • From 64.5 percent to 92.2 percent for patients with heart failure;
  • From 69.3 percent to 92.6 percent for patients with pneumonia;
  • From 84.6 percent to 97.2 percent for patients with hip and knee replacement.

Hospitals participating in the project have three opportunities to receive financial incentives:

  • Top Performer Award — The top 20 percent of hospitals in each clinical area receive an additional incentive payment.
  • Attainment Performance Award — Hospitals that attain or exceed the median level composite quality score receive an additional incentive payment. The attainment median benchmark is the median level composite quality score from Year 2 of the project.
  • Improvement Award — Hospitals that attain median level performance and are among the top 20 percent of hospitals with the largest percentage quality improvements in each clinical area receive an additional incentive payment. Improvement is calculated based on the change in the hospital composite quality score in the performance year compared to two years prior.

All results from the quality demonstration project will be made public this week on the Web sites for Premier and CMS.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education.

Texas Health is a partner in six additional hospitals or surgery centers. Texas Health Physicians Group provides a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.