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Project BOOST Shows Significant LOS Reduction

From: The eWire, 5.11.2011

QI program also can assist HM groups with Community-based Care Transitions Program applications

by Jason Carris

GRAPEVINE, Texas—Preliminary data released today shows SHM’s Project BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older Adults through Safe Transitions) quality improvement (QI) program offers statistically significant decreases in patient length of stay, according to the principal investigator of SHM’s quality improvement project targeting transitions of care.

“When we deliver a coordinated approach to the discharge process, LOS went down,” Mark Williams, MD, SFHM, told more than 150 hospitalists at HM11. He also said that the data from 12 BOOST sites shows no reduction in 30-day readmissions, which is similar to previously published national data.

Dr. Williams, CMS’ Linda Magno, and Jeffrey Greenwald, MD, SFHM, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, agreed that implementing QI is “difficult” and barriers to national initiatives to improve those quality issues still exist, however, “we’re noticing a significant change,” Dr. Williams says. “I think healthcare reform is changing that.”

With CMS looking to reduce readmissions by 20% in 10 years and the pool of hospitalized patients expected to grow exponentially in the next decade, Magno detailed how HM groups can partner with hospitals and community organizations to take part in the recently announced Community-Based Care Transitions Program, a $500 million project to incentivize continuity of care. She said the application process has no deadline, that CMS is interested in quality applications, and that 300-500 hospitals will participate.

”Many organizations will be interested in this, but some will need to take some time to prepare and work toward organizational readiness,” she says.

Dr. Greenwald explained Project BOOST is one of the select QI programs on the CCTP short list, and that BOOST mentors can help HM groups with the CCTP application process.

For more information on Project BOOST, check out the SHM website.

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