Aurora Health Care: Ranks No. 1 in national quality initiative


Myrle Croasdale

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Demonstration project rewards for quality care

Milwaukee, Wis. – Aurora Health Care is the top performing health system in a national project that ties incentive payments to quality outcomes. Aurora won 253 awards over six years, the most of any participating system, in the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration project sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Premier, a national health care alliance.

“Improving quality is an ongoing commitment for us at Aurora,” says Nick Turkal, MD, Aurora’s president and CEO. “It is a key part of the value we offer and a proven way to contain costs.”

The first national program of its kind, the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration project involved 272 hospitals and spanned six years. It provided incentive payments for top performance in six clinical areas: congestive heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, heart bypass surgery, hip and knee replacement, and reduction of post-operative complications.

These improvements saved the lives of an estimated 8,500 heart attack patients, according to Premier.

During the project’s sixth year, Aurora Memorial Hospital in Burlington, Wis., stood out as a high achiever, earning 10 out of 10 possible awards. In the combined six years of results released, Aurora hospitals earned $1.9 million in incentive payments out of $60 million awarded by CMS.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Premier is a performance improvement alliance of not-for-profit hospitals that works with CMS and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service North West.