Voiding Hospital Readmissions Saved Medicare Almost $400 Million through the QIN-QIO Program

Actions of American Health Quality Association’s Members Helped Reduce Medicare Spending

Mclean, ViA: Since 2014, the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) Program has saved an estimated $400 million in Medicare spending by avoiding hospital readmissions and improving quality of care throughout all healthcare settings, which the American Health Quality Association (AHQA) is pleased to announce. The findings were first announced at the February 2018 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Quality Conference. These savings represent more than half of the program’s total allocated fund of $717 million.

The savings are a result of work taking place in 387 communities across all 50 states and U.S. territories in which the QIN-QIO Program has partnered. These communities represent 66.2 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries. 

“We were thrilled to see the enormity of these savings, but not surprised. Research shows that improving the quality of patient care helps reduce costs over time. These savings further demonstrate that, as well as the strength, breadth, and impact of the QIN-QIO program,” said Alison Teitelbaum, executive director of the American Health Quality Association (AHQA), the leading trade association for the QIN-QIO Program. 

Reducing readmissions is just one of 12 tasks QIN-QIOs are currently addressing under contract to CMS during its five-year Quality Improvement Program 11th Statement of Work, ending in 2019. As Medicare’s largest quality improvement infrastructure, QIN-QIOs work with healthcare providers and communities across the country on data-driven interventions and initiatives to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and quality of services delivered to Medicare beneficiaries.

“What’s remarkable about the QIN-QIO Program is that our work is not limited to just hospitals. Our members tailor health quality improvements across every care setting and in every state. Whether you’re a rural or urban doctor our QIOs are there, meeting you where you are, creating resources and information that are tailored to help you improve the quality of care you provide to your patients, while simultaneously reducing costs to Medicare,” said Clare Bradley, MD MPH, president of AHQA. 

Created 30 years ago by an act of Congress, the QIN-QIO Program has shown itself to be one of the federal government’s most effective quality improvement infrastructures. 

“In an environment where everyone is focused on reducing Medicare spending, our members are doing just that, while at the same time increasing the quality of care for beneficiaries,” said Teitelbaum.

Since 1984 the American Health Quality Association (AHQA) has represented Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) and other professionals working to improve health care quality and patient safety. AHQA is an educational, not-for-profit national membership association dedicated to promoting and facilitating fundamental change that improves the quality of health care in America.