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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014

News

Commitment to Quality Leads to a Western Pennsylvania Community-Based Care Transition/CMS Partnership

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

According to Medicare statistics, one-in-five patients discharged from the hospital are readmitted within 30 days. This is a statistic that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), along with several community organizations plan to change. In its continuing efforts to improve the quality and safety of care available to people with Medicare, CMS recently announced that the Western Pennsylvania Community-Based Care Transitions Program (WPA CCTP) would be joining 29 other organizations in the country participating in the Community-Based Care Transitions Program as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

The WPA CCTP is comprised of the Southwestern PA Area Agency on Aging, Inc., and Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging partnering with Canonsburg Hospital—part of the West Penn Allegheny Health System, Excela Health Frick Hospital, Excela Health Latrobe Hospital, Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Monongahela Valley Hospital and The Washington Hospital.

As the Community Based Organization speaking on behalf of the partners in the Western Pennsylvania Community-Based Care Transitions Program, Leslie Grenfell, executive director of the Southwestern PA Area Agency on Aging said, “We are all very pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of this important initiative whose purpose is to enhance community care and patient outcomes. We have had previous success in providing transitions services and piloting readmission reduction and we are looking forward to expanding the program.”

Based on the accomplishments of a pilot program, in which the two Area Agencies on Aging, Monongahela Valley Hospital, Excela Health Westmoreland, Excela Health Latrobe and Excela Health Frick Hospitals successfully achieved a reduction in 30 day readmission rates, Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging and Southwestern PA Area Agency on Aging submitted an application, which was approved, to expand the care transitions program to increase the number of Medicare beneficiaries served, to include The Washington Hospital and Canonsburg Hospital, part of the West Penn Allegheny Health System.

Building upon their experience, the collaborative will support high-risk Medicare patients, following their discharge from the hospital, as they transition back to their homes or to other care settings. The proposal was approved confirming the Western Pennsylvania Community-Based Care Transitions Program goals to: (1) improve quality of care, (2) reduce readmissions, (3) test sustainable funding streams for care transitions services, and (4) demonstrate measurable savings to Medicare through reduced acute care hospital readmissions among Medicare fee for service beneficiaries at high risk of readmission.

In total, CMS’ announcement will support more than 126 hospitals and help more than 223,000 Medicare beneficiaries in 19 states across the country.
 

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