Partnership for Patients


Partnership for Patients logo.

The Partnership for Patients initiative is a public-private partnership working to improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans. Physicians, nurses, hospitals, employers, patients and their advocates, and the federal and State governments have joined together to form the Partnership for Patients.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the Partnership for Patients model in 2011 as one of the first models tested using section 1115A of the Social Security Act. The PfP was a quality improvement network designed to reduce preventable Hospital Acquired Conditions (HACs) by supporting over 3,700 acute care hospitals to achieve more than a 40 percent reduction in Hospital Acquired Conditions (HACs) and a 20 percent reduction in readmissions. While patients and private and federal partners worked to align policy and action toward the goal, government contractors called Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) provided direct technical assistance to acute care hospitals in implementing evidenced based and best practices of high performing healthcare systems. After nearly three years of work, the PfP saw an 8.8 percent reduction in overall harm rates equating to the prevention of an estimated 518,000 harms to patients, and averting more than 15,500 deaths. The cost-savings from these reductions were an estimated $4 billion in overall savings for 2012 and 2011 combined.

Awarded September 26, 2015, 17 Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) sustained the momentum to provide assistance to improve patient safety and strive for the reduction of preventable patient harm by 40% and reducing 30-day all-cause readmissions by 20%. Working with 3,500 hospitals to support the overarching goals, data showed a decline in preventable patient harm in U.S. hospitals compared to the 2010 baseline. This  resulted in an estimated 2.1 million fewer harms experienced by patients, 87,000 lives saved, and nearly $20 billion in cost savings from 2010 to 2014 as well as substantial reductions in the 30-day Medicare fee-for-service all-cause readmission rate.

Representing the next phase in evolution of highly coordinated patient safety efforts, the Partnership for Patients (PfP) Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) integrated with the Quality Improvement Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) program in 2016 to maximize the strengths of the QIO program while continuing to expand the current national reductions in patient harm and 30 day readmissions. Built on the collective momentum of the HENs and QIOs, CMS elected to refer to the contractors awarded as Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs). CMS, through the 16 Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs), worked to further instill best practices in harm reduction in more than 4,000 of the Nation’s acute care hospitals. The HIINs regularly engaged with hospitals, providers, and the broader caregiver community to quickly implement evidence-based practices in harm reduction to improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries.

The Partnership for Patients’ Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs) and its participating hospitals worked to reduce Hospital Acquired Conditions and Hospital Readmissions through the achievement of two goals:

  1. A 20% reduction in all-cause patient harm (to 97 Hospital-Acquired Conditions [HACs]/ 1,000 discharges) from 2014 interim baseline (of 121 HACs/1,000 patient discharges); and
  2. A 12% reduction in 30-day readmissions as a population-based measure (readmissions per 1,000 people).

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), data showed successful reductions in hospital-acquired conditions such as adverse drug events and healthcare-associated infections helped prevent 20,500 hospital deaths and save $7.7 billion in health care costs from 2014 to 2017. AHRQ’s preliminary analysis estimates that hospital-acquired conditions were reduced by 910,000 from 2014 to 2017. The estimated rate of hospital-acquired conditions dropped 13 percent; from 99 per 1,000 acute care discharges to 86 per 1,000 during the same time frame.

To view the AHRQ report titled, AHRQ National Scorecard on Hospital-Acquired Conditions Updated Baseline Rates and Preliminary Results 2014-2017 please visit:

Key Elements of the Partnership

The Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks. Sixteen national, regional, or state hospital associations will serve as Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs). These awards will integrate the Partnership for Patients (PfP) Hospital Engagement Networks (HEN) into the Quality Improvement Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) program in order to maximize the strengths of the QIO program and the PfP HENs to sustain and expand current national reductions in patient harm and 30 day readmissions for the Medicare program. Learn more about the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs).

The Hospital Engagement Networks. Hospitals across the country are critical partners in this work. Through the Partnership for Patients, 17 State, regional, national and hospital system organizations served as Hospital Engagement Networks. These organizations helped identify solutions already working to reduce hospital-acquired conditions, and worked to spread them to other hospitals and health care providers. Learn more about the 17 Hospital Engagement Networks.

On February 11, 2015 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a request for proposals for Hospital Engagement Network contracts to continue the success achieved in improving patient safety.

On September 25, 2015 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded contracts to 17 Hospital Engagement Networks as Round 2 of the Partnership for Patients begins.

The Community-Based Care Transitions Program. Another major Partnership for Patients network includes sites awarded to participate in the Community-Based Care Transitions Program. These sites each constitute a collaborative community effort including community-based organizations such as social service providers or Area Agencies on Aging, multiple hospital partners, nursing homes, home health agencies, pharmacies, primary care practices, and other types of health and social service providers serving patients in that community. Through the program, these sites are testing models for improving care transitions from the hospital to other settings and for reducing readmissions for high-risk Medicare beneficiaries. Learn more about the CCTP.

Patient and Family Engagement. The relationship between health care professionals and their patients and families is critically important to the Partnership. It is a key part of keeping patients from getting injured or sicker in the hospital and helping patients heal without complication through improved transitions across health care settings and reduced readmissions. Learn more about the importance of patient engagement to the Partnership.

Additional information about the Partnership for Patients can be found via the interim update on 2013 Annual Hospital-Acquired Condition Rate and Estimates of Cost Savings and Deaths Averted from 2010 to 2013.


Latest Evaluation Reports

Prior Evaluation Reports

Additional Information


Where Health Care Innovation is Happening