WRMC Earns Medicaid Quality Recognition

White River Medical Center (WRMC) was recently recognized and rewarded for efforts in improving quality care by the Arkansas Medicaid and the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care (AFMC). WRMC received an Inpatient Quality Incentive (IQI) performance payout in the amount of $190,800 for improved quality measures in obstetrics (OB) and tobacco cessation.

The IQI program requires eligible hospitals to meet specific goals in certain quality measures that are proven to improve patient outcomes. Hospitals must also pass a validation test to receive payment or recognition.

Statistics measured in the OB department include: the number of elective deliveries, clinical support for patients who choose breastfeeding exclusively, timely newborn health screenings, and the number of cesarean section deliveries for first delivery mothers. To achieve these goals and improve care, WRMC OB leaders strengthened lactation counseling services by encouraging more clinical staff to earn the lactation certification, and emphasizing the importance of documenting the medical reason for early elective delivery in the patient’s record.

Tobacco cessation results were measured by the documentation of tobacco use screening and tobacco cessation treatment offered to patients that reported tobacco use. For this measure, a team was created to develop a streamlined process by which patients are screened and offered treatment. The team worked to communicate the importance of tobacco cessation to physicians and staff, and extend coverage to ensure patients admitted on the weekends are screened.

“Multiple team members helped us in achieving these goals and improving the quality of care for our patients,” said Gary Paxson, Chief Quality Officer. “We are honored to be recognized by Arkansas Medicaid for our efforts and I am proud of all who made it happen.” 

IQI was developed through a partnership between Arkansas Medicaid and the AFMC, and has earned national attention for its innovative involvement with the healthcare community. The program provides millions of dollars in performance bonus payouts as rewards to eligible hospitals for their commitment to quality and for providing evidence-based care to their patients.

WRMC is a 224-bed regional referral center and the flagship facility of White River Health System (WRHS). WRHS is a not-for-profit healthcare system serving residents throughout North Central Arkansas.  The system includes hospitals, outpatient facilities, primary care and specialty physician office practices.  WRHS is a member of the Premier Alliance, the American Hospital Association, and the Arkansas Hospital Association and licensed by the Arkansas Department of Health.