“As surgeons, providing the best possible patient care is central to all we do. To improve care across our state we need the right tools and we also need collective action to help all hospitals improve. FSCI provides both. FSCI’s focus on risk-adjusted data and an outcomes-driven approach leads to reduced complications and higher quality care for our surgical patients, and it helps us reduce the high costs associated with complications.”Lawrence Lottenberg, MD, FACS
Immediate Past President, Florida Chapter, American College of Surgeons
Associate Professor of Surgery and Anesthesiology and Trauma Medical Director
University of Florida College of Medicine
Hospitals and providers work hard to provide the best possible care for patients, yet complications still occur. When they do, the patient’s health is jeopardized, additional treatment is required, and the cost of care increases. That is the last thing we want to have happen.
Through an exclusive, new collaborative called the Florida Surgical Care Initiative (FSCI), the Florida Hospital Association and the American College of Surgeons are bringing hospitals and surgeons together in a statewide effort to prevent surgical complications, reduce costs and improve the quality of care for our patients. Our goal is to make Florida a national leader in health care quality.
Getting Ahead of the Curve
National policymakers are beginning to take steps to reduce what they consider to be “unjustified” geographic variations in health care costs, quality and value. As cited in a recent letter to the Quality Care Coalition (a coalition of providers in “low-cost” states), Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, stated: “I understand that the current geographic variation in Medicare reimbursement rates is inequitable, and I will right these inequities to the extent allowable by law.” If we act now, we can position Florida’s hospitals to perform highly when compared to hospitals in other parts of the country.
FSCI will focus on four high-impact outcome measures being examined by CMS: surgical site infection, urinary tract infection, colorectal outcomes and elderly surgery outcomes. These four measures were selected because they are applicable to hospitals of all sizes and types and they cover the most common complications. The measures were developed by the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). After review by the National Quality Forum, CMS will begin to implement them as national quality measures as early as next year. Florida’s hospitals have an exclusive opportunity to work on these four measures ahead of hospitals in other states.
By working together, Florida’s hospitals and surgeons will have a tremendous impact on improving care for Floridians. We will restore health faster, safer and at a lower cost.