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Duke University Health System received nearly $250,000 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in a project that rewards hospitals for high quality care.

Duke University Hospital was named a top performer and received eight monetary awards totaling $175,097, Durham Regional Hospital was named a top improver and received six monetary awards totaling $51,740 while Duke Raleigh was also named a top improver and received four monetary awards totaling $20,815.

"These awards reflect Duke University Health System's commitment to providing high quality clinical care to our patients," says William J. Fulkerson, Jr, MD, Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs at Duke University Health System.

"We are always looking for ways to improve on what we do, and these incentives recognize our results."

The project, called the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration, was created four years ago by Premier health care alliance and the CMS to determine whether economic incentives given to hospitals are effective at improving the quality of inpatient care.

Approximately 250 hospitals voluntarily provide data to Premier which tracks performance and measures improvement in five clinical areas -- heart attack, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), heart failure, pneumonia, and hip and knee replacements.

More than 30 nationally defined, standardized, risk-adjusted measures representing process of care and patient outcomes are tracked to evaluate whether the care provided consistently meets or exceeds accepted evidence-based practice standards.

Duke University Health System received the following awards:

  • Duke University Hospital received a top performer award in heart attack care.
  • Duke University Hospital received top improvement awards in heart attack, CABG, and hip and knee replacements.
  • Durham Regional Hospital received a top improver award in heart failure while Duke Raleigh Hospital received a top improver award in hip and knee replacement.
  • Duke University Hospital and Durham Regional received attainment awards in heart attack, CABG, heart failure, hip and knee replacement and pneumonia. Duke Raleigh received attainment awards in heart attack, hip and knee replacement and pneumonia.

"Programs like this serve as promising role models for future health care reform efforts by recognizing and providing rewards to hospitals that exceed national standards of care," says Fulkerson.