|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
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, www.blueshieldofcafoundation.org.