Newsroom

Title
EvergreenHealth Remains Puget Sound Region’s Leading Hospital in Reducing Patient Readmissions
Date
10/12/2017
Article

Kirkland, Wash.— EvergreenHealth is the only Puget Sound-area medical center to avoid Medicare readmission penalties for the sixth straight year, according to recently released data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and Kaiser Health News (KHN).

The Kirkland-based health system is one of only 174 hospitals nationwide to be exempt from readmission fines for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning in October 2017. The new data is based on the re-hospitalization rates for patients with six common conditions: heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, chronic lung disease, hip and knee replacements, and coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

“This achievement is an important reflection of our health system’s patient-centered approach and commitment to our vision of being the most trusted source for health care solutions,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. “Our team has dedicated themselves to consistently achieving these positive outcomes and low readmission rates, and this latest data reflects our efforts in driving strategic improvements in patient care.”

According to the data for fiscal year 2018, nearly 80 percent of the 3,241 U.S. hospitals CMS evaluated are receiving some form of a penalty due to more patients than expected returning for additional care within a month of their initial stays. EvergreenHealth is just one of seven Western Washington health systems to avoid the penalty this year, and one of 14 providers to reach this level of readmission rate efficiency statewide.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) launched the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) in 2010 to improve the quality of care for Medicare patients by incentivizing hospitals to reduce readmissions within 30 days of a hospital stay. Since the readmissions penalties took effect, hospital readmissions for related conditions have dropped nationwide, Kaiser Health News (KHN) reports.

EvergreenHealth’s clinical documentation review process helps the health system to avoid cuts to its Medicare reimbursement, and allows the hospital to provide comprehensive care for its patients both in and out of the hospital setting. To consistently prevent readmissions while delivering higher quality care to the community,

EvergreenHealth utilizes the following results-oriented processes:

  • An electronic medication ordering system to improve the delivery of correct medications to patients on admission and discharge;
  • an electronic medical record system that organizes and highlights the necessary resources needed to discharge a patient;
  • dedicated RN care managers and outpatient service lines for patients with high-risk diagnoses;
  • evidence-based practices to predict readmission factors for common diagnoses; and,
  • mobile technology that equips patients with at-home care instructions and direct access to their rehabilitative care teams.

In addition to this achievement, EvergreenHealth is also among the Washington state hospitals to receive a bonus on Medicaid inpatient claims as part of a state-funded initiative to recognize providers’ commitment to delivering high quality care for the region’s most vulnerable patients.

Washington’s Medicaid Quality Incentive program rewards hospitals that achieve excellence in a variety of measures—including antimicrobial stewardship, patient falls, maternal health and behavioral health care—that ensure Medicaid patients have access to the highest quality care and services. EvergreenHealth will receive a one percent bonus on Medicaid claims over the next year for its commitment to excellence in these areas.

“We are acutely focused on being a high quality, high value health system that serves the needs of our patients and of our payers,” Malte added. “In everything we do, we are constantly looking to advance the health of our entire community while embracing our responsibility to be stewards of our community’s and country’s health care resources.”

For more information about EvergreenHealth’s commitment to quality, safety and exceptional care, visit www.evergreenhealth.com/quality.
To learn more about the CMS Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, visit https://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/readmission-reduction-program.html.

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About EvergreenHealth

EvergreenHealth is an integrated health care system that serves nearly one million residents in King and Snohomish counties and offers a breadth of services and programs that is among the most comprehensive in the region. More than 1,000 physicians provide clinical excellence in over 80 specialties, including heart and vascular care, oncology, surgical care, orthopedics, neurosciences, women’s and children’s services, pulmonary care and home care and hospice services. Formed as a public hospital district in 1972, EvergreenHealth includes a 318-bed acute care medical center in Kirkland, a network of 12 primary care practices, two urgent care centers, over two dozen specialty care practices and 24/7 emergency care at its Kirkland, Monroe, and Redmond campuses. In 2015, the system expanded to include EvergreenHealth Monroe – an accredited, full-service 74-bed public hospital district, established in 1960 in Monroe, Washington. EvergreenHealth has clinical and strategic partnerships with several health care entities, including Overlake Medical Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and dozens of independent practices that are part of the clinically integrated Eastside Health Network and the Puget Sound High Value Network. In addition to clinical care, EvergreenHealth offers extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by the 24/7 EvergreenHealth Nurse Navigator & Healthline.

In 2016, EvergreenHealth achieved its eighth designation in the last nine years (2009-2012, and 2014-2017) as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence from Healthgrades®, and in 2017 it was named one of Healthgrades 2017 America’s 100 Best Hospitals placing it among the top 2 percent of hospitals nationwide, based on its outstanding clinical performance. EvergreenHealth was also named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics™ in the “Large Community Hospitals” category for outstanding achievements in patient care, operational efficiency and financial strength, two years in a row. For more information, visit www.evergreenhealth.com

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Sasha Weiler
EvergreenHealth
Director, Strategic Marketing, PR, & Digital Media
425.224.2416
SDWeiler@evergreenhealth.com 

Kristi Herriott
Firmani + Associates Inc.
206.443.9357
kristi@firmani.com