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Cedar Rapids-- The national spotlight will shine on Cedar Rapids next week as local health care leaders travel to the nation's Capitol to participate in a gathering called "How Do They Do That? Low-Cost, High-Quality Health Care in America," sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Cedar Rapids was chosen because it has been identified as a successful health care model for achieving high-quality care at significantly reduced costs.
Ted Townsend, President and CEO of St. Luke's Hospital, James Levett, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Physicians' Clinic of Iowa (PCI) and Tim Charles, President and CEO of Mercy Medical Center are scheduled to participate in a July 21st meeting with health experts in Washington, DC.
The Cedar Rapids contingent was invited by Donald Berwick, MD, President and CEO for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the delivery of health care throughout the world. Berwick is also a clinical professor of pediatrics and health care policy at the Harvard Medical School.
IHI is organizing the meeting as they participate in the national discussion over ways to assure universal health care coverage, cost containment, better health and better health care for all Americans. Poor performing communities – with very high costs and average or poor care – have been attracting attention, but IHA identified Cedar Rapids and other regions with the opposite characteristics – low-cost and high-quality health care. The goal of the meeting is to build public awareness among public and policy-makers that successful models for high-quality health care at significantly reduced costs already exist in many regions and in many forms throughout America.
Townsend, Levett and Charles will join nine other teams from high performing regions to explore with IHI participants why they think their performance is so good when compared with the U.S. median. In the afternoon they will meet with policy makers, association officials, media and others about the findings later in the day.
Data from publicly available sources, such as "Dartmouth Atlas" and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) "Hospital Compare" Web site suggest that per capita health care costs in Cedar Rapids are low for the nation and that care equals or exceeds the norm in quality. According to IHI compiled data, Cedar Rapids' cost rank is 12th lowest in spending (2006 data) in the U.S. out of 306 Hospital Referral Regions (HRR). HRRs represent regional health care markets for specialized consultative care. Each HRR contains at least one hospital that performs major heart procedures and brain surgery. Cedar Rapids is also ranked 23rd out of 306 HRRs for cost. This is based on Medicare spending per capita. Additional Cedar Rapids data: The 2006 price-adjusted Medicare spending per person was $7,657 and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) composite quality score was 96.0.
Media may catch up with Townsend and Levett as they depart from the Eastern Iowa Airport on Monday, July 20 around 11 a.m. (They have a noon flight). Charles is scheduled to fly to Washington, DC also on Monday and is catching a ?? flight (he will arrive at the airport around ??).
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Corizzo, St. Luke's Hospital, 319/369-8372 or 319/560-2385; Steve Drake, Mercy Medical Center, 319-398-6550 and Lisa Gleason, Physicians' Clinic of Iowa, 319/399-2022 or 319/538-2678.