April 12, 2011

Whitehouse: New Health Initiative Would Improve Care and Lower Costs for Patients

Senator Praises RI Veterans Administration Hospital for Participating in Program

Washington, DC – In an effort to reduce medical errors and lower costs for patients, the Obama Administration today launched their new Partnership for Patients initiative.  U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) offered praise for the new program, which aims to decrease hospital-acquired conditions and improve recoveries to prevent hospital readmissions.

“By reducing hospital-acquired infections and costly errors that result in return trips to the hospital, this program can save lives and limit wasteful spending in our health care system,” said Whitehouse. 

In Rhode Island, the Veterans’ Administration hospital has chosen to become an early partner in this new initiative.  “I applaud the Rhode Island VA hospital for participating in this important program to improve the care their patients receive, and hope their efforts can serve as a model for others.”

According to the Obama Administration, Partnerships for Patients will bring together medical professionals, hospitals, and patient advocates with government officials to achieve two key goals: keep patients from getting injured or sicker while in the hospital, and help patients heal without complication.  By the end of 2013, the initiative seeks to decrease hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent, which could save as many as 60,000 lives over three years.  It will also work to reduce hospital readmissions by 20 percent.  Currently, the incidence of hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries is estimated to cost over $26 billion per year.


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