CalPERS Leads Initiative to Establish Hospital Standards

August 22, 2005 ( - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is hosting a half day conference of some of the state's largest, most influential public and private health benefits purchasers focusing on action steps of the Partnership for Change: Promoting Value in Hospital Care Initiative.

According to a CalPERS press release, the goal of the initiative is to obtain uniform measures of quality and performance from California hospitals. Rob Feckner, CalPERS Board President, said in the news release, “Our hope is to develop strategies that will achieve common standards to assess the quality of care, enhance patient safety, and provide incentives for efficient, cost-effective delivery of services. It’s about creating greater value in hospitals.”

Many conference attendees have endorsed a Partnership commitment aimed at slowing the rate of health care costs, which are principally driven by hospital pricing (See Study: Health care System Costs Drive Consumer Costs ), and improving the quality of care.

According to the press release, major goals of the effort include:

  • scientifically defensible standards to measure the quality and cost-effectiveness of hospital care
  • objective criteria to guide purchasers and health plans in negotiating contracted rates with hospitals
  • accurate, publicly available information about the cost of specific hospital services.

More information about the Partnership for Change can be found on CalPERS Web site at ..

CalPERS, the third largest purchaser of employee health benefits in the nation, serves 1.2 million members.