Dover hospital joins Anthem quality initiative

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire and Dover’s Wentworth-Douglass Hospital have partnered in what the organizations call the first quality-based reimbursement program on the Seacoast.

Anthem’s Quality Hospital Incentive Program, or Q-HIP, provides participating hospitals with financial incentives for meeting specific performance objects in patient safety, health outcomes and patient satisfaction.

“We’re pleased to collaborate with Anthem on this important initiative,” said Gregory Walker, president and CEO of Wentworth-Douglass. ”This effort really serves to underscore our hospital’s vision to be the highest quality community hospital in Northern New England.”

The Q-HIP program calls for hospitals to collect data on specific measures including:

• Care of patients diagnosed with pneumonia, heart attack or heart failure, such as appropriate use of aspirin in treating certain cardiac conditions and antibiotics in pneumonia patients
• Patient responses to a hospital satisfaction survey
• Patient safety goals, such as the implementation a computerized physician order entry system, which has been shown to reduce medication errors

“Our program is the first in New Hampshire to link all three components – patient safety, health outcomes and satisfaction,” said Elizabeth Malko, medical director of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire. “That linkage is critical if we are going to drive real change in the health care delivery system.”

Q-HIP was launched by WellPoint, parent corporation of Anthem, in Virginia in 2003, and was rolled out to New Hampshire primary care physicians in 2005 and to hospitals in August 2006.

Concord Hospital in Concord, Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, Littleton Regional Hospital in Littleton and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital are currently participants in the program. — CINDY KIBBE

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