Study: Adverse Event Reduction Led to Greater Revenue Loss Than Savings

A perinatal safety initiative at Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services decreased adverse events, which yielded a net financial loss of $39,348, according to a study in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

In 2008, Fairview Health Services implemented the Zero Birth Injury initiative to improve obstetrics care. Fairview tracked the number of perinatal adverse events and used hospital administrative records to determine the costs and revenues associated with maternal and neonatal birth injuries before and after the initiative.

The initiative was associated with an average 11 percent decrease in the rate of maternal and neonatal adverse outcomes between 2008 and 2011. While the reduction in adverse events saved the system $284,985 in costs, it also led to a decrease in revenue of $324,333 from 2008, generating a net loss of $39,348, or $305 per adverse event avoided, according to the study.

The authors noted the importance of shared savings arrangements to incentivize quality improvement efforts.

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