Archives: KHI News Service

On January 1, 2017, the KHI News Service became part of KCUR public radio’s new initiative, the Kansas News Service. The Kansas News Service will continue to cover health policy news and broaden its scope to include education and politics. All stories produced by the former KHI News Service are archived here. Stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to

CMS extends funding for hospital engagement networks

By Dave Ranney | September 28, 2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced it had renewed contracts with 17 organizations that administer ongoing efforts to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions.

Two of the organizations — the American Hospital Association and Health Research and Educational Trust — have been underwriting Kansas’ participation in what’s called the hospital engagement network (HEN) since the initiative began in 2012.

In Kansas, HEN is a project of the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative, the product of a partnership between the Kansas Medical Society and Kansas Hospital Association.

According to data from the collaborative, Kansas HEN in its first three years prevented 3,800 adverse events, saving more than $23 million.

Most of the 125 hospitals in Kansas participate in the Kansas HEN initiative.

Kansas Hospital Association CEO Tom Bell said in a prepared statement that the second round of contracts will provide Kansas hospitals with “access to the latest evidence-based practices and standards known to improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of care.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the HEN initiative led to 1.3 million fewer adverse events and infections is hospital settings from 2010 to 2013, reducing health care costs by more than $12 billion. It’s also estimated that 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals.

The new contracts, funded with $110 million as part of the Affordable Care Act, extend the national HEN initiative for another year.

Another CMS announcement is expected soon on $500 million in grants to expand HEN to include physician offices and clinics. The new initiative also will help physicians and clinics begin the process for moving from a volume-based reimbursement system to a value-base system.