|Arkansas Hospitals Rewarded For Efforts To Improve Care
Arkansas hospitals are receiving $4.9 million in
performance bonus payments from the Arkansas Medicaid Inpatient Quality
Developed through a partnership between Arkansas
Medicaid, the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care (AFMC) and the
Arkansas Hospital Association, the IQI is the first pay-for-performance
program for hospitals in the nation to include a validation component,
the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) said.
Arkansas Medicaid issued the bonus payments to 34
hospitals that significantly improved care for heart failure and
pneumonia patients over a one-year period. To receive bonus payments,
hospitals had to pass specific requirements for at least five out of
seven quality measures, which are specific aspects of care proven to
improve outcomes for patients, DHS said.
Eleven of the 34 hospitals met the criteria for all seven indicators.
"These hospitals have taken seriously the top priority
of strengthening access to and quality of healthcare in Arkansas,"
Governor Mike Beebe said. "Arkansas rated above the national
average not just in a few categories, but in every single criteria
Levels of achievement are based upon hospital data
submitted to the QualityNet Clinical Warehouse, a national repository
that stores information about quality of care. The data comes from all
healthcare payers, including Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance,
Akansas Hospital Association President Phil Matthews
said, "Arkansas’ Inpatient Quality Incentive program is unique
because it is in the truest sense a pay-for-performance program which
recognizes hospitals for successfully implementing specific steps
proven to enhance patient care. This voluntary collaboration between
the state’s hospitals, the Medicaid program and AFMC not only
establishes the goal of meeting meaningful quality measures in the
current year, but also raises the bar from year to year with new
thresholds and new standards in an effort to make continued, measurable
Some Arkansas hospitals, such as critical access
hospitals in rural areas of the state, were not eligible to receive
payments from the program. However, many chose to participate and work
toward the IQIgoals, DHS said.
"This IQI program is the first of its kind, and thanks
to the hard work of hospitals across the state, it is yielding real
rewards," said Medicaid Director Roy Jeffus. "Arkansas’ Medicaid
program and its partners have already earned national recognition for
innovation for our ConnectCare program among other accomplishments. IQI
is well on its way to becoming another long-term success."
Address: Arkansas Department of Human Services, Donaghey
Plaza South, Slot S 201, P.O. Box 147, Little Rock, AR 72203; (501)