April 2009

CHI Provides Important “Hospital Compare” Data for Consumers

In March, CHI hospital data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) were posted to the Hospital Compare Web site for the first time. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) maintains the Hospital Compare site to allow consumers to compare clinical results and HCAHPS scores for up to three hospitals at a time. For the most recent public data available, July 2007 through June 2008 (see charts), CHI’s aggregate scores compare favorably to national averages, which include more than 3,700 hospitals. However, performance at the facility level shows a wide range of scores. “This is important because under its Pay for Performance initiative, CMS is planning to tie future reimbursement for services directly to a hospital’s HCAHPS scores,” said Susan Allmond, director of strategic metrics for CHI. “In addition to falling short of our core value of Excellence, which calls for preeminent performance, comparing below or on average with national ratings will mean lost reimbursement for our facilities.” CHI’s Pay for Performance Work Group analyzed the data and identified areas for improvement. A subgroup is now working to develop resources that will help CHI hospitals improve performance in those areas. “The two areas we are working on are nurse communications and doctor communications with patients,” said Allmond. “We are reviewing the literature and interviewing leaders at high-performing hospitals to collect their successful practices. We will also work with hospitals that have identified nurse and doctor communications as areas for improvement to find out what their barriers are, which will help us develop the right tools to achieve improvement.” The subgroup working on nurse and doctor communications includes Allmond; Donell Martinez, director of marketing communications; Holly Pendleton, manager of knowledge transfer and learning; and Carolyn Newbold, director of quality and education for Mercy Regional Medical Center, Durango, CO. The subgroup expects to have the resources and tools it develops posted to the Pay for Performance pages of Inside CHI early this summer. For more information, contact Susan Allmond at susanallmond@catholichealth.net.