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Tennessee hospital group saves money, improves care

CHATTANOOGA (Times Free Press) -- Two years after it was implemented, a 10-hospital collaborative in Tennessee -- including Erlanger Health System -- has seen improved patient care and millions of dollars in savings through its focus on surgical outcomes and best practices.

A study published Jan. 23 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons finds the Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative had significant improvements in various surgical procedures from 2009 to 2010, including lower rates of acute renal failure, superficial site infection and wound disruption.

The improvements led to a savings of nearly $2.2 million per 10,000 cases and a total potential savings of up to $8 million for all cases, the study said.

The collaborative is one of the first of its kind in the nation and shows the benefits of doctors, hospitals and insurance groups working together, said Dr. Joseph B. Cofer, a professor of surgery and surgery residency program director in the Department of Surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine-Chattanooga.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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