HHS partnership seeks better healthcare, lower costs

May 3, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and other organizations are partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on a program that seeks to improve patient health and lower healthcare costs.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and other organizations are partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on a program that seeks to improve patient health and lower healthcare costs.

The goal of “Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs” is to help patients take their medications as prescribed and prevent complications when patients transition from 1 care setting to another, such as when patients are released from the hospital and return home.

“The pharmacist is an important partner as a patient transitions from a hospital to other settings of care. Pharmacists provide counseling on how best to take medications as prescribed … which can help ensure optimum patient health and prevent more costly and avoidable forms of care,” said Steven Anderson, NACDS president and CEO.

The public-private partnership is bringing together the leaders of major hospitals, employers, physicians, nurses, patient advocates, and state and local governments to make hospital care safer, more reliable, and less expensive.

By the end of 2013, the goal is to decrease preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40% from 2010 figures, which would mean 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients and more than 60,000 lives saved. In addition, hospital readmissions should be reduced by 20%.

NACDS and the other participants pledge to work to redesign activities across clinical settings to reduce harm, reduce preventable readmissions, and improve care transitions. The partners also commit to engage with patients and families to implement practices that foster more patient-centered care that improves safety, communication, and care coordination.