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Wisconsin hospitals slash readmission rates, penalties through partnerships with hospital association, multiple states

Wisconsin's average penalty for 2017 will be 0.33 percent, which ranks the state at 17th when compared to other states

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Hospitals in Wisconsin have reduced their readmission rates, and the penalties applied to them by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, largely through local partnerships, according to a report from the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

Wisconsin hospitals began working with the WHA in 2012 in CMS' Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Networks, and readmission rates began to decline appreciably, along with a host of other performance improvements.

The third phase of Partnership for Patients, the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, was launched in September 2016; WHA's participation in the HIIN over the next three years will be in partnership with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association and the Illinois Hospital Association as the Great Lakes Partners for Patients Network.

The partnership will allow the three states to pool their resources to offer education, training, data management and clinical expertise to all participating hospitals. The 79 Wisconsin hospitals enrolled in the HIIN are working with WHA to achieve an additional 20 percent reduction in harm and 12 percent reduction in preventable readmissions.

[Also: Providers that help patients manage chronic conditions face fewer readmission penalties, study finds]

Leveraging these partnerships, Wisconsin hospitals have made headway in those readmissions by improving internal care processes, and by partnering with community agencies that help to care for patients once they leave the hospital.

Wisconsin's average penalty for 2017 will be 0.33 percent, which ranks the state at 17th when compared to other states. Twenty-six percent of Wisconsin hospitals received no penalty, and no hospital will be penalized more than 1.51 percent.

When it came to the Value-Based Purchasing Program, 85 percent of eligible hospitals in the state received an incentive bonus, with the average bonus at about 0.7 percent. No hospital will be receiving a payment penalty over 0.65 percent.

The state's hospitals has also made headway in the Hospital Acquired Condition Penalty program. The number of Wisconsin hospitals receiving the HAC penalty has decreased each year; 16 percent of eligible hospitals will receive the penalty in fiscal year 2017.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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