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Health Net of the Northeast Joins New York Partnership for Improving Patient Safety; Unique Collaboration Supports Regional Rollout of The Leapfrog Group.

Business/Health Editors


Health Net of the Northeast, Inc., has joined local businesses, hospitals, providers and other health plans to form the New York Partnership for Improving Patient Safety (NYPIPS), as part of the New York Regional roll-out of The Leapfrog Group's patient safety initiative in New York.

The Leapfrog Group is a Business Roundtable-sponsored program dedicated to improving patient safety. The Leapfrog Group designated the New York Metropolitan area as one of 12 geographic areas of concentration in 2002.

"As a major health care benefits provider for more than a million members in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we have a role in providing access to safe health care," said John Charde, M.D., chief medical officer for Health Net of the Northeast. "The entire health care community in the Metropolitan area also must work collaboratively to ensure that consumers have access to information that helps them make informed decisions about where to seek care."

Based on its commitment to provide its members useful data for making informed, evidence-based health care decisions, Health Net also is planning to introduce an Internet-based program later this year which will allow its members to access data on hospital results for a number of surgical procedures. This would include outcomes such as mortality rates, complications and days spent in the hospital following surgery, and will link to other Leapfrog data and services.

Health Net, Inc., is a national member of The Leapfrog Group, which supports the implementation of three proven standards to help reduce or eliminate medical mistakes in hospitals: 1) The use of computerized physician order-entry systems (CPOE); 2) Staffing intensive care units (ICUs) with specialists trained in critical care medicine; and 3) Selecting hospitals with the best results or extensive experience for select high-risk conditions and procedures (evidence-based hospital referral). Research conducted by John D. Birkmeyer, M.D., Dartmouth Medical School, indicates that these three improvements could save up to 58,300 lives per year, and prevent 522,000 medication errors, if implemented by all non-rural hospitals in the United States.

As a first step, NYPIPS sent letters to all urban, acute-care hospitals in the New York area. They were asked to demonstrate their support for patient safety by voluntarily completing The Leapfrog Group's online survey regarding their facility's progress toward the implementation of three proven patient practices identified by Leapfrog.

Many local hospitals have already completed the survey and meet the Leapfrog standards. NYPIPS hopes that by bringing key stakeholders in the health care delivery system together under the umbrella of patient safety, more hospitals will complete the survey.

NYPIPS and its individual member organizations will work to recognize and reward hospitals that implement these proven safety practices. In addition, the group will develop programs to educate and inform consumers about preventable medical mistakes, and stress the importance of choosing hospitals that meet Leapfrog's recommended hospital patient safety practices when making elective health care choices.

Health Net of the Northeast, Inc., is a full-service health plan that serves more than 1.1 million members in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Health Net offers a wide array of products including: HMO, Point-of-Service, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), third-party administration, Medicare and Medicaid.

Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT) is one of the nation's largest publicly-traded managed health care companies. Its mission is to enhance quality of life for its customers by offering products distinguished by their quality, service and affordability. The company's HMO, insured PPO and government contracts subsidiaries provide health benefits to approximately 5.3 million individuals in 15 states through group, individual, Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE programs. Health Net's subsidiaries also offer managed health care products related to behavioral health, dental, vision and prescription drugs, and offer managed health care product coordination for multi-region employers and administrative services for medical groups and self-funded benefits programs. For more information on Health Net, Inc., please visit the company's Web site at

About NYPIPS: NYPIPS is a voluntary partnership between key stakeholders in the health care delivery system including employers, hospitals, physicians, health plans and consumer organizations. The goal is to draw attention to important issues surrounding patient safety in an effort to help reduce the number of patients harmed or killed by medical errors. Organizations interested in participating in NYPIPS should call 212/252-7440, extension 13.

About The Leapfrog Group: The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 by the Business Roundtable and has support from the National Health Care Purchasing Institute. More than 100 Fortune 500 corporations and other large private and public sector health benefits purchasers have joined the Leapfrog Group initiative, representing more than 31 million enrollees. To date they have rolled out their initiative in 19 regions across the country, including Atlanta; California; East Tennessee; Minnesota; Seattle-Tacoma-Everett; Michigan; Kansas City, MO; New York Metro; Dallas/Fort Worth; Savannah, GA; Rochester, NY; Central Florida; Wichita KS; Colorado, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Oct 7, 2002
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