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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin Announces Initiative Aimed at Preventing Serious Medical Errors; Company Committed to Protecting Members' Health and Finances by Not Reimbursing Major Preventable Adverse Events
Date:4/2/2008

-- Air embolism or blockage;

-- Blood incompatibility;

-- Catheter-associated urinary tract infection;

-- Decubitus (pressure) ulcers;

-- Vascular catheter-associated infection;

-- Mediastinitis (an infection inside the chest) after coronary artery

bypass graft (CABG) surgery; and

-- Hospital-acquired injuries such as fractures, dislocations,

intracranial injuries, crushing injuries and burns.

"We are listening to our members, business coalitions, and our key accounts who want to know their health plan is looking out for them," said Dr. Jaeger. "As a strong advocate for patient safety, Anthem firmly believes that putting processes in place that focus on preventing these events can have an immediate impact on health care safety and quality."

Anthem is in the early stages of implementation. This allows the company to work alongside hospitals to address the preventability of these events as soon as possible and continue to monitor the activities related to the list of events from the federal, state and private payers, and make adjustments as necessary and appropriate.
Anthem has long been committed to promoting patient safety including:

-- Inclusion of patient safety metrics in Anthem's Member Health Index

(MHI) program, the first program in the industry to track and compare

the collective health of all health plan members based on 20 clinical

areas and 40 separate component measures;

-- Support of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's (IHI) 5 Million

Lives campaign, a voluntary initiative to protect patients from five

million incidents of medical harm through December 2008; and

-- Participation in Leapfrog's patient safety survey to reduce

preventable medical mistakes and improve the quality and affordability

of health care.

"The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) is pleased tha
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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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