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Premier Launches Hospital Quality Project

By CQ Staff

July 27 - Premier Inc., a hospital consortium, on Thursday announced a three-year program aimed at improving hospital quality and reducing costs.

The project, dubbed QUEST, will require participating hospitals to report data in five areas—mortality ratio, appropriate care, efficiency, prevention of items such as infections and adverse drug events, and patient satisfaction. Premier will analyze the data, share best practices and provide incentives for top-performing hospitals.

"QUEST high performing hospitals will move us closer to the day when we can say that America has the most effective, efficient, and caring health care system in the world," Premier president and CEO Richard A. Norling said in a statement.

Premier officials said QUEST is based on many of the principles used in another pay-for-performance demonstration project initiative overseen by Premier and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In February, CMS announced a three-year extension of that demonstration project, which includes more than 250 hospitals nationwide and provides incentive payments to participating hospitals if they perform well on 30 measures assessing treatments for heart attacks, heart failure, bypass surgery, pneumonia and hip and knee replacements.

Hospitals have until Sept. 30 to sign up for the QUEST program, and the American Hospital Association is urging its members to consider participating.

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