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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's 'Promoting Healthcare Quality Program' Improves Quality and Patient Safety in 19 Colorado Hospitals
Date:3/3/2008

DENVER, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Promoting Healthcare Quality (PHQ) program, which the company launched in 2003, began with a basic assumption: If hospitals were offered incentives that would enable them to improve quality outcomes and meet certain performance standards, the quality and safety of care for patients would improve. Now in its fifth year, hard evidence is in place to support that assumption.

Specifically:

-- Of the 19 hospitals participating in this voluntary program, the

overall average score increased from 81 to 92 percent.

-- Five of the hospitals increased their total scores by more than 20

percent

-- Five of the hospitals scored 100 percent in the most recent measurement

year.

-- One hospital reduced its inpatient mortality rate for heart attack

patients from 6.9 percent to 2.4 percent.

-- One hospital improved its pneumococcal vaccination rate from 35 percent

to 96 percent for patients with Community Acquired Pneumonia. Another

improved from 55 percent to 93 percent.

-- Overall, ninety-two percent of patients hospitalized with pneumonia

received smoking cessation advice - a significant increase from the 53

percent who received this advice during the first year of the program.

Anthem's PHQ program came about as the result of the 2000 publication of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) ground-breaking report, "To Err is Human " which cited as many as 98,000 deaths annually from medical errors and called for a national effort to make health care safer. Anthem was the first health benefits company in the state to introduce this kind of program and has since been recognized as a leader in expanding reimbursement for clinical excellence and improved medical outcomes, rather than limiting it only to delivery of medical services.

PHQ offers hospitals incentives, including financial,
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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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