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Hospital-Physician Alignment Drives Improved Health Care and $4.6M Savings
Date:4/8/2011

while achieving $2.9 million in savings.  For example, over the project's first 12 months, the institution improved key measures for stroke patients, including a 10% reduction in the 30-day readmission rate and an 8% cut in average length of stay (ALOS), while trimming average actual charges by 12%.

"We achieved our goals by working with physician champions to identify unnecessary variations in care, establish new target rates for core measures, monitor progress monthly, and hold ourselves accountable to a dashboard reviewed quarterly by senior hospital leadership and our Board of Directors," said Matthew Miller, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Danbury Hospital.  "Outcomes for the DRG Cost Efficiency Project became part of the Operational Goals for the hospital, and our success has led us to add DRGs to our efforts and take a broader look at opportunities to improve utilization."

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is being recognized for its pilot program of 50 physicians who improved their ALOS by 8% and average cost per case by $276.  The program yielded such strong immediate improvements that the institution doubled the number of participating physicians within 12 months.  RWJUH finished the program's initial year with $1.7 million in measured savings, far eclipsing its $400,000 goal.

To ensure that the program engaged physicians from the outset, the RWJUH Chief Medical Officer has met individually with physicians to review specific opportunities to reach an appropriate ALOS.  The CMO follows up with physicians individually and in groups with monthly trending and progress data.

"We had to move past physicians' natural and appropriate questioning of performance data, and having easy access to statistically valid, severity-adjusted data to share with physicians is critical to doing so," said Joshua Bershad, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs & CMO for RWJUH.  "We have seen
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