Twenty-four hospitals receive more than $3.7 million in incentive payments
LITTLE ROCK – Mena Regional Health System received a $24,086 performance bonus payment from Arkansas Medicaid and AFMC as part of the annual Inpatient Quality Incentive (IQI) program during a ceremony Oct. 8 at the Statehouse Convention Center. More than $3.7 million in performance bonus payments were made to 24 Arkansas hospitals for the 2015 IQI program. This year’s program showed a significant increase in both the number of hospitals and total payments – in 2014, 13 hospitals received $2.6 million. This is the ninth year IQI has given incentive payments to hospitals.
Since the IQI program began in 2007, Arkansas Medicaid has awarded $33 million to hospitals that have participated in the program and successfully improved care. Through the IQI program, Arkansas hospitals are now screening 99 percent of admitted patients for tobacco use. A majority of the patients identified as tobacco users were offered or provided counseling as well as medications to help them quit.
This year, IQI recognized hospitals that showed improvement in obstetrics and tobacco use screening and treatment. Hospitals were required to meet specific goals for at least 80 percent of eligible measures, including sending blood samples of newborns to the Arkansas Department of Health for screening and offering treatment for tobacco use. The IQI advisory board, AFMC and Arkansas Medicaid selected the measures. Hospitals must also pass validation of their reporting to qualify.
The Arkansas Hospital Association, Arkansas Medicaid and AFMC worked together to develop the IQI program, which has earned national attention for its innovative involvement with the health care community. This program reflects a growing movement toward rewarding hospitals for commitment to quality and providing evidence-based care to their patients.