What Drives Change? Follow the Money

Insurance companies pay huge amounts for healthcare. Some of them are beginning to realize it makes sense for them to pay to improve healthcare processes.

Blue Shield of California Foundation
announced recently that it will spend nearly $6 million for a statewide initiative to target hospital-acquired infections.

$5.75 million, will be used to expand the foundation’s groundbreaking program to dramatically reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). After seeing remarkable success in its nine-hospital pilot project, BSCF will use the grant to expand its innovative California Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Initiative (CHAIPI) to at least 100 hospitals.

“Hospital acquired infections put lives at risk and increase consumer costs. We want to dramatically reduce those risks by ensuring hospitals have access to innovative new technologies that help pinpoint and stop the spread of infections,” said Crystal Hayling, president and CEO of BSCF. “Given the results we saw in our test program, we expect the broad expansion of this effort to mean 4,000 fewer patients will contract an HAI in the next year, which translates into 30,000 fewer patient days in the hospital, $60 million in avoided costs to patients and hospitals, and nearly $15 million in bottom-line hospital savings.”

In California, an estimated 150,000 patients suffer from HAIs annually, 9,000 of which result in death. Through CHAIPI, participating hospitals will receive support for new technology and collaborative learning opportunities about best practices. While only not-for-profit hospitals can receive funding, this grant is unique because for-profit hospitals are invited to participate in the collaborative learning sessions and will have the opportunity to purchase the technology at a reduced price.

I don’t know how much of the effort will focus on technology vs. best practices. I hope best practices gets more.


Dean Bliss said...

HAI's are a hot topic right now, and there are many good efforts taking place across the country, perhaps most notably from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Simple things like handwashing can drastically reduce the infection rate, and many organizations are making infection control a priority, not only for cost reasons, but to ensure we are providing the best care for the patients. Our Lean tools have been a great help in this effort.

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