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Historic $6 Million Patient Safety Project To Be Announced

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 Press Release J E 4
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Information embargoed until Tuesday, January 19, 2010

WHAT:

Launch and Press Event: Patient Safety First a California Partnership for Health

California's largest health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, and California's Regional Hospital Associations create first-of-its-kind initiative to save lives, significantly reduce health care costs and improve medical care in state's hospitals

WHEN:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 10 am

WHERE:

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, 757 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, Lobby Level

WHO:

Leslie Margolin, President, Anthem Blue Cross

Art Sponseller, President / CEO, Hospital Council of Northern and Central California

Bruce Spurlock, M.D., Executive Director, Beacon - The Bay Area Patient Safety Collaborative

Leslie Kowalewski, Associate State Director, March of Dimes California Chapter

Dr. David Feinberg, CEO, UCLA Hospital System, Associate Vice Chancellor

Also in Attendance:

Jim Barber, President / CEO, Hospital Association of Southern California

Steve Escoboza, President / CEO, Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties

Gene Grigsby, President / CEO, National Health Foundation

With less money in the California state budget to pay for health care, and the promise of federal funding uncertain, Anthem Blue Cross, California's largest health insurer, in partnership with the state's regional hospital associations, steps up with an initiative to reduce medical costs and improve the quality of patient care, with a goal of linking 95 percent of hospitals across the state in this effort.

The Institute of Medicine reports that as many as 98,000 patients in American hospitals die of avoidable medical errors each year. The cost of these errors has been estimated at upwards of $11 billion each year.

While past projects in California have focused on individual hospitals or hospital systems, never before has a project attempted to join nearly all the state's hospitals and its largest health insurance company in one large coordinated effort to improve the safety of patients and the care they receive. With $6 million over three years from Anthem Blue Cross, hospitals will test and implement changes that should not only improve medical care, leading to lives saved, but help to reduce spiraling medical costs, ultimately creating a list of "best practices" to serve as a model for hospitals across the state and eventually across the country.

Partners include:

The collaborative initially will focus on three key health areas:

With lawmakers across the nation focused on reducing the cost of health care, this initiative demonstrates the commitment and ability of the private sector to come together and provide real solutions using its own resources - data, tools, infrastructure and funding to accomplish measurable results.

Note: Media planning to attend must RSVP so that courtesy parking can be reserved.

/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- Jan. 15/

-- Anthem Blue Cross -- The three regional hospital associations of California: Southern California, San Diego & Imperial Counties, and Northern & Central California -- The National Health Foundation

SOURCE Hospital Association of Southern California
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