St. Bernards Receives Award for Quality Care for Inpatients

St. Bernards Receives Award for Quality Care for Inpatients

St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro received a performance bonus payment from Arkansas Medicaid and Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care (AFMC) as part of the annual Inpatient Quality Incentive (IQI) program. The award was presented during the annual Arkansas Medicaid Educational Conference, Dec. 6 at Embassy Suites Little Rock.

A total of more than $3.3 million in performance bonus payments were made to 15 Arkansas hospitals for the 2017 IQI program, based on their successful performance in improving the quality of health care and patient outcomes that align with Arkansas Medicaid’s clinical priorities.

Arkansas Medicaid, the Arkansas Hospital Association (AHA) and AFMC worked together to develop the IQI, which has earned national attention for its innovative involvement with the health care community. IQI reflects a growing movement toward rewarding hospitals for commitment to quality and providing evidence-based care to their patients.

“The outstanding dedication of a growing number of Arkansas hospitals to improve their quality of care not only helps Medicaid patients, but also saves public dollars,” said William E. Golden, MD and Medical Director of Arkansas Medicaid. “Arkansas continues to be a national leader in quality improvement.”

Nationally standardized quality measures are selected by the IQI advisory committee, which is comprised of staff from hospitals, Arkansas Medicaid, AFMC and the AHA. Hospitals participating in IQI are required to collect and submit data on quality measures; data is independently verified. Hospitals must meet specific quality goals for at least 80 percent of eligible measures to receive bonus payments, which are adjusted annually to continually improve quality.

Throughout this year, the pay-for-performance program focused on quality measures that resulted in the following:

  • Elective deliveries of babies before 39 weeks’ gestation have declined among Medicaid beneficiaries more than 97 percent since the baseline data collections in the fall of 2009.
  • Exclusive breast milk feeding at hospital discharge has increased 31 percent since the initial baseline measurement in 2011; Medicaid beneficiaries now have a rate of 33.35 percent.
  • Low-risk Caesarian sections among first-time mothers have declined 21 percent statewide with a current Medicaid beneficiary rate of 22.36 percent. This rate is below the national Healthy People 2020 benchmark for a third year.
  • Screening hospital in-patients for tobacco use now occurs about 99 percent of the time. Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of premature disease and death in the United States.
  • Patients identified as tobacco product users are offered or provided practical counseling to quit and FDA-approved cessation medications.