April 14, 2016

Lee Memorial Health System Continues Commitment to Quality


Update April 20, 2016

CMS announced today a new timeline for launching its Hospital Quality Star Ratings program. The first posting of stars, which had been scheduled for tomorrow, April 21, has now been delayed until July. We appreciate CMS’ decision to delay, as we know how important accuracy is for quality rating systems like this one. Lee Memorial Health System was one of many hospitals and health systems urging CMS to review the methodology of the quality rating system, along with more than 50% of U.S. Senators and Congressmen who signed letters asking CMS to delay releasing the star ratings.

LMHS remains 100% committed to the Rapid Response Quality Improvement program underway throughout the health system. Though the announcement of the rating has been delayed, it is important we continue to work with energy and focus on our continuous improvement journey.


Jim Nathan As consumers are increasingly involved in selecting healthcare providers, the healthcare industry is striving to come up with the best ways to measure and report on quality of care provided.

Just as we might turn to Consumer Reports or Kelly Bluebook before buying a car, consumers can now scan a variety of national healthcare ranking systems to help them choose where they receive care.

These rankings benefit providers as well, allowing us to learn more about how the care we provide compares to others across the nation. At Lee Memorial Health System, we respect and are transparent with these quality measures, presenting them at our quarterly board meetings and posting them on our website.

While Lee Memorial Health System’s hospitals have received many prestigious awards throughout our history – including recognitions such among Healthgrades’ America’s 50 Best Hospitals for two consecutive years, the Governor’s Sterling Award, and two consecutive years receiving the Florida Hospital Association award for quality, our ranking by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services indicates we can improve.


Learn more about the rankings and our action plan

Though excelling in many areas, each of our system’s acute care hospitals received a one-star rating from CMS’ Five-Star Quality Rating System. Our scores suggest we need to focus on three areas: clinical documentation, patient experience and clinical quality.

The report also recognizes our strengths. We scored in the top 11% of hospitals for survival rates, and our heart attack (AMI), heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke and pneumonia survival rates are significantly better than the rest of the nation. We take this report seriously. Though confident that positive changes occurred in the time between the assessment and report, we have acted swiftly to develop an aggressive plan to address these ratings issues.

We are fully committing to our goals of performing consistently at a five-star level and gaining a five-star recognition from CMS. We have formed a Rapid Response Quality Team of senior leaders and created work groups of physicians, clinical staff and senior leaders who are digging deeply into our opportunity areas.

We have work to do to gain five-star recognition, and we have a roadmap for getting there. We have a track record of success when we energize the entire organization on improvement opportunities. Thus, I am confident that our Lee Memorial Health System family of talented, dedicated and determined caregivers and staff – who do great work every day and every night– will enable us to perform in the top decile of CMS measures.

I am confident that our Lee Memorial Health System family of talented, dedicated and determined caregivers and staff – who do great work every day and every night – will enable us to perform in the top decile of CMS measures.

We look forward to sharing more news about our continuous improvement.

Peace,

Jim Nathan

Jim Nathan

President, Lee Memorial Health System

Thank you for your support. Together we are caring people, caring for people.


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