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January 10, 2014

Anna Jaques receives $333,500 state grant

NEWBURYPORT — Anna Jaques Hospital has received a state grant of $333,500 to increase its capability of communicating with post-care providers, and also to help in implementing new tools to support enhanced monitoring of quality of care.

The funding comes from the state Health Policy Commission, an independent state agency created through a state cost-care containment provision known as the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization and Transformation Investment Program (CHART).

State Rep. Mike Costello, D-Newburyport, and state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, were instrumental in obtaining the grant, state officials say.

Hospital managers say the grant they received is for hospitals that are not teaching facilities and are not structured as for-profit institutions.

Mark Goldstein, hospital executive vice president and chief financial officer, said, “A significant portion of the grant funding will go toward the purchase of new software that enables the hospital to track in more detail, and in real time, patient health information, outcomes and cost data.

“This is essential for us to do a better job of reducing unnecessary readmissions to the hospital, better managing patients with chronic diseases, enhancing patient safety, and reducing costs,” he said. “The grant will also be used to fund targeted interventions for a high risk sub-set of patients, and better coordinate the care of these patients after they return home from a hospitalization.”

About 31 of the state’s 64 medical institutions qualify under this criteria, and Anna Jaques Hospital was approved for the grant.

Anna Jaques serves about 165,000 people every year, according to state statistics. The hospital is the largest employer in the city, having 700 full-time workers and more than 1,000 when part-timers are considered.

”This grant will allow for cost-effective web-based case management and coordination,” said Costello, who chairs the powerful joint financial services committee at the Statehouse, in a statement. “It will result in a greater healthcare experience.”

Ives said, in a statement, “This is an important investment in our community hospitals for the delivery of quality, accessible healthcare.”

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