DETROIT (WWJ) – The U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services was in town Friday for a roundtable discussion on a national patient safety program.

WWJ’s Pat Sweeting reports Kathleen Sebelius join hospital officials, doctors, patients, and other key health care advocates at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit to highlight the Partnership for Patients.

The new public-private partnership will help improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans. It brings together leaders of major hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates along with State and Federal governments in a shared effort to make hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly.

Sebelius, noting the insurance industry is very enthusiastic about this program, said the program is focused on preventable injury and death in hospitals.

“We are focusing care of the so-called ‘dual eligibles,’ the older Americans who quality for both Medicare and Medicaid, knowing that that’s a group of patients who often have chronic conditions that need extra care. The readmissions are really about how you follow-up care,” Sebelius said.

Already, more than 1,500 hospitals, as well as physicians and nurses organizations, consumer groups, and employers – totaling more than 3,000 partners have pledged their commitment to this initiative.

Among partners committed to patient safety, Henry Ford Health System and the Greater Detroit Area Health Council Inc. are national leaders in the efforts to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care.

“We are putting forth about a billion dollars worth of resources for technical assistance and help and support – half of it dedicated toward the goal of reducing the hospital acquired conditions and half of it with the readmission strategy,” Sebelius said.

The three-year goal is saving more than 60,000 patient lives by focusing on preventable injuries and patient care complications.

Over the next decade, the initiative could save about $50 billion in health care costs and result in billions more in Medicaid savings.

For more details on the Partnership for Patients, visit


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