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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire, Elliot Hospital Announce Renewed Contract, Quality Initiative

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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MANCHESTER, N.H., Aug. 11 Elliot Hospital and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire are pleased to announce they have renewed their contract for multiple years. The new agreement gives New Hampshire residents continued access to the high quality care at the Manchester hospital. The extended contract also includes Elliot's continued participation in Anthem's Quality Hospital Incentive Program (Q-HIP), an innovative "pay for performance" collaboration.

"We're pleased to renew our contract with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire and to continue our quality partnership," said Douglas Dean, president and CEO of Elliot Hospital.

For the past two years, Elliot Hospital has been a member of Anthem's Quality Hospital Incentive Program which offers participating hospitals financial incentives linked to meeting specific performance objectives focused on improving patient safety, health outcomes and satisfaction. Q-HIP is part of Anthem Quality Insights, a series of innovative quality recognition and health improvement programs targeting hospitals, primary care providers, and specialty physicians.

"Our patients and their families expect and deserve quality health care services," said Dr. Rick Phelps, Exec. VP, Clinical Operations at Elliot Hospital. "The reality is this sometimes costs more in terms of putting in place new structures and processes to support a better way of delivering those services. While our hospital continually seeks ways in which to improve ourselves, our participation in Anthem's Q-HIP project allows us to accelerate the timeline for achieving some of our goals."

Other participants in Anthem's Q-HIP initiative include: Catholic Medical Center, Cheshire Medical Center, Concord Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Littleton Regional Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.

"We are happy to have extended our agreement and partnership with Elliot Hospital," said Douglas J. Wenners, president and general manager, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire. "Our members will have continued access to Elliot's services as part of their health insurance coverage for many years to come."

The Anthem Quality Insights: Hospital Incentive Program (Q-HIP)(SM)

Anthem's Quality Hospital Incentive Program focuses on evaluating institutional processes for patient safety, as well as specific indicators of care for patients with three common conditions: heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. The new initiative is designed to help hospitals overcome barriers to improving quality. Hospital participants will be responsible for the collection, documentation and submission of data and a hospital executive will be asked to attest to the validity of the data and processes in accordance with industry standards.

The Q-HIP performance objectives are based on safety and care processes adopted by leading organizations including the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the Leapfrog Group and other respected industry authorities. By utilizing such nationally accepted and standardized safety and quality of care metrics within the Q-HIP program, the companies believe they can encourage hospitals to focus on improving their performance to meet or exceed goals while minimizing administrative burdens associated with reporting.

Patient Outcomes and Satisfaction

Performance indicators for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia match those already reported to organizations such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). They include evidence-based interventions such as the use of aspirin and other heart-protective medications, smoking cessation advice, appropriate antibiotic administration and immunizations. A patient's perspective on their hospital care is captured through the national, standardized survey instrument called HCAHPS or the hospital administered patient satisfaction survey. The survey helps to support improvements in customer satisfaction and quality related activities.

Patient Safety

The patient safety performance objectives of Anthem's Q-HIP are based on guidelines set by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the National Quality Forum (NQF), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and other respected organizations. Participating hospitals will be measured on objectives that include the adoption of JCAHO patient safety goals and implementation of patient safety initiatives, such as computerized physician order entry, which have been shown to reduce serious medication errors by 88 percent.

"Our commitment to collaboration has helped in many ways to redefine our relationship with physicians and hospitals," said Richard Lafleur, M.D., medical director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire. "We believe that working together we can help to create a health care delivery system that demonstrates that quality costs less."

"Our program is the first in New Hampshire to link all three components - patient safety, health outcomes and satisfaction," added Dr. Lafleur. "That linkage is critical if we are going to drive real change in the health care delivery system and we are thrilled to continue to partner with Elliot in this effort."

About Elliot Health System

Elliot Health System is the largest provider of comprehensive healthcare services in Southern New Hampshire, the cornerstone of which is Elliot Hospital, a 296-bed acute care facility and the first community hospital in the state. Elliot is home to Manchester's designated Regional Trauma Center, a Level 3 Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Emergency Department, Elliot Physician Network, Elliot Regional Cancer Center, Elliot Senior Health Center, Elliot Breast Health Center, Visiting Nurse Association of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire and Elliot 1-Day Surgery Center. For more information on any of Elliot's services, call ELLIOT ON-CALL at 663-4567 or visit our website at www.elliothospital.org.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. (R)ANTHEM is a registered trade mark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire is available at www.anthem.com.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Virginia, Inc. An independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

(12/02) (R) Registered marks Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire
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