KANSAS CITY, MO—(January 29, 2014)—In May 2013, Carondelet Health, a Health Ministry of Ascension Health, and HCA Midwest Health System announced plans for Carondelet Health to sell St. Joseph Medical Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center and several other subsidiaries to HCA Midwest.
Since that time, Carondelet Health, Ascension Health and HCA Midwest have been working diligently to bring the transaction to conclusion, including undergoing the required Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulatory review.
Unfortunately, after a lengthy FTC review process, it has become clear that a timely, supportive decision from the FTC will not be forthcoming. As a result, Ascension Health and HCA Midwest have discontinued plans for the sale.
Carondelet Health’s staff and physicians continue to remain focused on delivering high-quality care to those they serve.
About Carondelet Health
Carondelet Health (www.carondelethealth.org) consists of two acute care hospitals, St. Joseph and St. Mary’s Medical Centers, with 450 beds and 900 physicians on staff combined. Both acute-care facilities have earned Magnet Designation for excellence in nursing. Consistent with its mission, Carondelet Health provides compassionate, quality healthcare with a special concern for the poor.
About Ascension Health Ascension Health (www.ascensionhealth.org), a subsidiary of Ascension, is leading the transformation of healthcare by providing the highest quality care to all, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Ascension Health, which provided $1.5 billion in care of persons living in poverty and community benefit programs last year, is the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system. Its Mission-focused Health Ministries employ more than 155,000 associates serving in more than 1,900 sites of care in 23 states and the District of Columbia.
About HCA Midwest Health System
The HCA Midwest Health System is the Kansas City area’s largest healthcare provider, consisting of 10 hospitals, outpatient centers, clinics, physician practices, surgery centers and an array of other services to meet the healthcare needs of the greater Kansas City area. The HCA Midwest Health System is also the area’s largest private sector employer with more than 9,000 employees, the largest provider of charity and uncompensated care, and annually donates more than $1.2 million to local charities. Since April 2003, the HCA Midwest Health System has invested more than $845 million to enhance and expand patient services and has paid more than $216 million in taxes to local communities. The HCA Midwest Health System affiliated facilities serving the Kansas City area include Research Medical Center, Research Psychiatric Center, Centerpoint Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Belton Regional Medical Center, Lafayette Regional Health Center, Allen County Hospital and Cass Regional Medical Center. Midwest Physicians, which is part of the HCA Midwest Health System, is a network of experienced, multi-specialty physicians located throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Midwest Physicians currently represents 339 physicians, including 145 primary care providers and 189 specialists with 80 physician practices providing care in 148 locations to serve the community. The physicians, licensed professionals and support staff who comprise the HCA Midwest Health System team are dedicated to improving healthcare in the Greater Kansas City and outlying areas. For more information, visit hcamidwest.com. To find a doctor, call (816) 751-3000 or (913) 541-7400.
For more information contact: Cyndi Fahrlander, Carondelet Health, (816) 943-2565, (913) 579-8285,
Kimberly Winter Stern, HCA Midwest Health System (913) 449-4294,
Rob Dyer, HCA Midwest Health System, (702) 938-9700,
Evidence-Based Interventions Improve Quality and Safety for Mothers and Babies, Decrease Subsequent Malpractice Costs
(St. Louis) January 7, 2014 — Implementing a variety of evidence-based clinical and non-clinical interventions such as open and transparent “full disclosure” communications at five hospital locations significantly reduced infant harm, resulting in improved care for mothers and babies and a corresponding decrease in malpractice claims and costs for the nation’s largest non-profit healthcare system.
Ascension Health’s Excellence in Obstetrics demonstration site study was made possible in part from a $2.9 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), as part of its Patient Safety and Medical Liability Initiative. The Excellence in Obstetrics demonstration project began in January 2011 and concluded on June 30, 2013.
The first article from the study about its full disclosure protocol, titled “Ascension Health’s Demonstration Of Full Disclosure Protocol For Unexpected Events During Labor And Delivery Shows Promise,” appears in the January 2014 edition of the journal Health Affairs.
Five Ascension Health hospitals participated in the demonstration site study : St. Vincent’s Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala.; St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit; Columbia St. Mary’s in Milwaukee; Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore; and Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast in Miramar Beach, Fla. More than 20,000 mothers and their infants participated across the five demonstration sites, representing one of the largest consented studies for mothers nationally.
“We care passionately about the safety of our mothers and babies,” said Ann Hendrich, RN, PhD, Ascension Health’s Senior Vice President, Chief Quality/Safety and Nursing Officer, Principal Investigator for the demonstration program and one of the co-authors of the Health Affairs piece. “The goals of the study included establishing a uniform, evidence-based obstetrics practice model based on the idea that eliminating unnecessary variability in obstetrics practice, strengthening the physician nurse teaming, would translate into improved patient safety and patient experience; and when things don’t go as expected, communicating openly with a quick response that included standardized practices for identifying, reporting, responding to, investigating and disclosing medical errors and adverse outcomes.”
Interventions focused on two primary areas: injurious deliveries (including the best practice use of electronic fetal monitors, and minimizing infant injury during difficult shoulder dystocia deliveries) and communication with the patient and her loved ones when an unexpected event occurred. Specifically, interventions with physicians and nurses included:
An Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) e-learning module
The development of a shoulder dystocia “bundle,” and corresponding training
TeamSTEPPS™ communication and teamwork training and simulation training with high-fidelity birthing simulators
Coordinated communication/disclosure training
Cause analysis training
“Ascension Health implemented a care team model at each demonstration hospital,” Hendrich said. “The local care team was called the Practice Engagement Team, or PET. Each PET included an Obstetric Physician Leader and a project manager. Other PET members included an OB nurse leader and Risk Manager from each demonstration site, as well as a medical records coder to ensure accurate coding and documentation of adverse events. The PETs were fundamental in ensuring that each educational element was implemented for all physicians and nurses and that any potential or actual obstetric adverse event was reviewed with appropriate action initiated within 24 hours.”
Study co-author Palmira Santos, PhD, a senior research and policy analyst at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, agreed: “The PETs were instrumental in the demonstration sites achieving extremely positive results in improving patient safety and significantly reducing the number of claims and events as well as the amount of dollars paid for obstetric adverse events.”
Demonstration site results validated the study hypotheses. Results included:
A completion rate of 90 percent for all physicians and nurses on all education and training elements: Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) and shoulder dystocia e-learning, simulation and TeamSTEPPS™ training, disclosure and root cause analysis training, and implementation of a new Ascension Health shoulder dystocia bundle.
A 64 percent reduction in the rate of actual and potential liability cases involving shoulder dystocia, from 4.19 per 1,000 births during the pre-grant period to 1.50 per 1,000 births at the demonstration sites. (The non-demonstration site reduction was 46 percent, from 1.57 to 0.85.)
A 52 percent decrease in the total number of actual and potential liability cases, from the pre-grant period rate of 14.06 per 1,000 births to 6.78 per 1,000 births at the demonstration sites. (The non-demonstration sites experienced only a 35 percent decrease, from 7.35 to 4.78.)
A significant decrease in the total dollar amount incurred for obstetrics-related professional liability claims. Eight claims/notices of intent to sue/suits occurred during the pre-grant period, resulting in $7,592,132.79, as compared to $930,400.00 for four claims/notices of intent to sue/suits arising during the grant period.
Based on the success of the Excellence in Obstetrics demonstration project, Ascension Health has begun to spread the care model as a standard for all obstetrics units throughout the health system. A System-wide conference for obstetrics leaders was held in December 2013 to launch the effort.
Another article in the January 2014 edition of Health Affairs, “How Policy Makers Can Smooth The Way For Communication-And-Resolution Program,” is co-authored by one of Ascension Health’s Risk Management leaders. A third article, “The Moral Imperative To Disclose Medical Error: Doing The Right Thing,” co-written by several leaders from Ascension Health including President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Henkel, appears on the Health Affairs blog. All three articles are accessible via the “Newsroom” page on Ascension Health’s website at www.ascensionhealth.org.
“We are grateful to Health Affairs and to AHRQ for helping us spread the word with policy makers and clinical leaders about the importance of communicating openly and honestly with patients and families about unexpected medical events, and about how full disclosure improves outcomes for patients and providers,” Hendrich said.
Click on the links below to read the respective articles
(St. Louis) October 10, 2013 — Ascension Health’s Hospital Engagement Network has been awarded new funding from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to further expand its work to enhance clinical quality and patient safety.
The Ascension Health Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) competed successfully as a hospital engagement network in the federal Partnership for Patients program to be chosen for this work. The award was made on September 26, 2013. Ascension Health is one of six HENs across the country selected to receive the funding, which is designated for leading edge advanced practice topics. The $14.5 million in new funding will allow Ascension Health and its hospitals to create and test strategies to measure and improve outcomes for patients. Specifically, Ascension Health’s hospitals will develop and share with other hospitals around the country significant advances in ten areas, including:
Severe sepsis (a rapid onset of organ dysfunction caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection) and septic shock (a form of severe sepsis accompanied by a life-threatening decrease in blood pressure).
Clostridium difficile (C.diff), a bacterial infection that can be acquired during hospitalization and after treatment of an unrelated infection with antibiotics. C.diff infection leads to a wide range of symptoms from diarrhea to life-threatening colon inflammation, and primarily occurs in older adults in hospitals.
Iatrogenic delirium, a rapid decline in cognitive function, which results in temporary, but severe confusion and disorientation as a result of medical treatment.
Creating a hospital culture of safety that fully integrates patient and worker safety.
Safe patient handling and mobility. Healthcare workers suffer a higher rate of musculoskeletal disorders than construction, mining or manufacturing workers. The majority of injuries can be attributed to overexertion related to repeated transfer, repositioning and ambulation of patients.
Hospital-acquired acute renal (kidney) failure.
Undue exposure to radiation, in light of the introduction of more sophisticated CT scanning technology and nuclear medicine modalities that has led to a greater cumulative radiation exposure in patients.
Transformation of home health care models to reduce unnecessary hospital and emergency department visits.
Funding also will be used to analyze preventable events that can cause harm to patients, and to develop cost savings calculations for multiple focus areas using hospitals’ actual cost and volume data rather than projections. Using actual cost and volume data will allow hospitals to more objectively quantify the impact and savings associated with particular quality and safety interventions.
The Partnership for Patients program was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2011 to help improve the quality, safety and affordability of healthcare for all Americans with the goal to:
Decrease preventable hospital acquired conditions by 40 percent.
Decrease hospital readmissions by 20 percent.
As one of 26 Partnership for Patients HENs, Ascension Health and its hospitals have identified, documented, refined and shared best practices to eliminate:
Obstetrical adverse events, including Early Elective Deliveries
Surgical site infections
Venous thromboembolism (VTE)
Ventilator-associated events (VAE)
Of the six leading edge advanced practice topic recipient HENs, two are healthcare systems – Ascension Health and Carolinas HealthCare System – and Ascension Health is the only Catholic health system funding recipient.
“Being selected for this initiative is a testament to the extensive efforts that Ascension Health and its more than 80 acute care hospitals have undertaken over the last several years in support of enhanced clinical quality, patient safety and the development of a culture of high reliability,” said Ann Hendrich, RN, Ph.D., F.A.A.N., Ascension Health’s Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Quality/Safety and Nursing Officer. “Consistent with our Mission, participation in this effort will help ensure that Ascension Health’s hospitals will continue to be leaders in delivering person-centered, holistic care to those we are privileged to serve.”