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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: July 22, 2008
Blue Shield Of California Foundation Awards $13.1 Million To Improve Patient Safety

Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) awarded $13.1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and programs to improve the quality of patient care through health technology and to expand health insurance for children who do not qualify for public programs.

BSCF said nearly half of the money, $5.75 million, will be used to expand the foundation’s program to reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). After seeing success in its nine-hospital pilot project, BSCF will use the new grant to expand its California Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Initiative (CHAIPI) to at least 100 hospitals.

"Hospital acquired infections put lives at risk and increase consumer costs," said Crystal Hayling, president and CEO of BSCF. "Given the results we saw in our test program, we expect the broad expansion of this effort to mean 4,000 fewer patients will contract an HAI in the next year, which translates into 30,000 fewer patient days in the hospital, $60 million in avoided costs to patients and hospitals, and nearly $15 million in bottom-line hospital savings."

In California, an estimated 150,000 patients suffer from HAIs annually, 9,000 of which result in death.Through CHAIPI, participating hospitals will receive support for new technology and collaborative learning opportunities about best practices. While only not-for-profit hospitals can receive funding, this grant is unique because for-profit hospitals are invited to participate in the collaborative learning sessions and will have the opportunity to purchase the technology at a reduced price.

Other health and technology grants announced today include:

  • $350,000 to the California Health Foundation and Trust to expand its telemedicine program by increasing the number of telemedicine providers and offering technical assistance to those in the field. Telemedicine is vital in rural, underserved areas.
  • $115,000 to the California Society of Thoracic Surgeons to study complications of open heart surgery, and to build a single source of clinical data on which to assess and replicate best practices to improve cardiac surgical outcomes.
  • $105,000 to the California Children’s Hospital Association for an initiative to reduce catheter-associated and other infections acquired in neonatal intensive care units.

Additionally, BSCF will maintain its longstanding commitment to ensuring low-income children have access to healthcare through one large grantmaking initiative and one grant which includes up to $6 million in grantmaking (with specific grants to be announced later this year) to fund health insurance premiums for 7,000 children, ages 6 to 18, who are currently enrolled in the Healthy Kids insurance program in 19 California counties. The funds provided by BSCF will ensure that coverage is continued for these children, who would otherwise be uninsured, through the end of this year.

Address: Blue Shield of California Foundation, 50 Beale St., San Francisco, CA 94105; (415) 229-5000,

  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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