MGH receives NPSF accolade
The National Patient Safety Foundation has awarded Massachusetts General Hospital an NPSF Socius Award for its care management program.

The Boston-based hospital was honored for a program executed in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to raise the level of care given to patients with multiple chronic illnesses through the use of nurse case managers.

The Care Management Program was one of six three-year demonstration projects selected by CMS in 2005 to test a range of ideas for caring for the sickest 15 percent of Medicare patients. Launched in 2006, the program initially enrolled 2,500 high-risk patients, coordinating and integrating their care needs across various conditions and challenges. Case managers assessed patient needs, collaborated with physicians to develop treatment plans, educated patients about their options for medical treatment and support services, facilitated patient access to services and supported patient self-management of medical conditions.

The results of this program included:

  • Hospitalization rates, emergency room visits and mortality rates were statistically significantly lower for patients in the pilot program than for a comparison group;
  • Patients in the pilot reported higher satisfaction rates than the comparison group in regard to discussions and communication with the healthcare team; and
  • An independent review found statistically significant reductions in the cost of care: savings to the Medicare program of $2.65 for every $1 spent on the Care Management Program for the program’s first three years, and an even greater savings—a $3.35 return on investment for every $1 spent—in the first 24 months of the renewal period.
Based on the initial results, the Care Management Program was one of three initiatives approved for a renewal by CMS. Approximately 1,700 new patients were added, and other hospitals have also been added to the program, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Mass.