Press Release

American Hospital Association/Health Research & Educational Trust Selected to Continue Improvements in Patient Safety

Chicago, IL – The American Hospital Association (AHA)/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) has been selected as one of 17 national, regional or state hospital associations and health system organizations to continue efforts in reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. Through the Partnership for Patients initiative – a nationwide public-private collaboration that began in 2011 to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and 30-day readmissions by 20 percent – AHA/HRET will participate in a second round of Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) to continue working to improve patient care in the hospital setting.  

“Hospitals and health systems have made incredible strides in patient safety and are eager to accelerate their quality improvement efforts,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “Through the work of the original HEN, we know that, as a field, we saved thousands of lives, improved care across key areas of patient care and realized significant cost savings.”

Since the launch of the Partnership for Patients, the vast majority of U.S. hospitals and many other stakeholders have joined the collaborative effort and delivered results. The Department of Health and Human Services estimated that 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013. Nationally, patient safety is improving, resulting in 1.3 million adverse events and infections avoided in hospitals since in that time period. This translates to a 17 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions over the three-year period.

“We are thrilled that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has decided to select us and believe our participation will allow us to build upon the important patient safety and engagement work we started under the original HEN contract,” said Maulik Joshi, president of HRET and associate executive vice president for AHA. “Through our extensive partnership with state hospital associations, hospitals and health systems, we know that we will be able to offer the field important performance improvement tools and raise the bar for everyone.” 

The Partnership for Patients and the HENs are one part of an overall framework established by the Affordable Care Act to deliver better care, spend dollars more wisely, and improve care. Initiatives like the Partnership for Patients, Accountable Care Organizations, Quality Improvement Organizations and others have helped reduce hospital readmissions in Medicare by nearly eight percent between January 2012 and December 2013 – translating into 150,000 fewer readmissions – in addition to the quality improvements mentioned above.  

“We have made significant progress in keeping patients safe and we are focused on accelerating improvement efforts through collaboration and reliable implementation of best practices,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “This second round of Hospital Engagement Networks will allow us to continue to improve health care safety across the nation.” 

Round two of the Hospital Engagement Networks will continue to work to develop learning collaboratives for hospitals and provide a wide array of initiatives and activities to improve patient safety. They will be required to: conduct intensive training programs to teach and support hospitals in making patient care safer; provide technical assistance to hospitals so that hospitals can achieve quality measurement goals; and establish, implement, and improve  the system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting the Partnership for Patients’ quality improvement goals. The activities of the Hospital Engagement Networks will be closely monitored by CMS to ensure that they are generating results and improving patient safety. 

“The American Hospital Association is excited to have the opportunity to again partner on the HEN,” said Jonathan Perlin, M.D., chairman of the AHA Board of Trustees and president, clinical services, and chief medical officer of HCA in Nashville, Tenn. “As a nation, we made patient care a priority and, through the support of this public-private partnership, have shown that we can achieve significant improvements in quality and patient safety.”

The 17 organizations (listed in alphabetical order) receiving contracts in round two of the Hospital Engagement Networks are:

  • American Hospital Association/Health Research & Educational Trust
  • Ascension Health
  • Carolinas HealthCare System
  • Dignity Health
  • Healthcare Association of New York State
  • Health Research Education Trust of New Jersey
  • Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
  • Iowa Healthcare Collaborative
  • LifePoint Health
  • Michigan Health and Hospital Association Health Foundation
  • Minnesota Hospital Association
  • Ohio Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety
  • Ohio Hospital Association
  • Premier Inc.
  • Tennessee Hospital Association
  • VHA-UHC Alliance NewCo Inc.
  • Washington State Hospital Association

For more information on the Partnership for Patients and the Hospital Engagement Networks, please visit:



About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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