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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: Oct. 7, 2008
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 Incentive (IQI).

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 measured."

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, DHS said.

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 clinical improvements."

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) 682-1001,

  This article was taken from:
Pay-For-Performance Reporter

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