HealthBridge: Technology Upgrade

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”32055″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”http://verinovum.com/”][vc_column_text]As we shared with you back in early May, we have partnered with a software company called Verinovum to develop our next generation technology platform powering The Health Collaborative’s HealthBridge service line. This new technology platform will give us the opportunity to scale according to the needs of our growing market, provide greater reliability to our customers, and ensure the highest level of data security.

We will be making this transition as seamless as possible.  We have begun the transition to our new platform and anticipate all phases of our implementation plan will be complete later this year. You can read the full press release on our Verinovum partnership on our website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

#StepUpCincy

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”32651″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”http://genh.healthcollab.org/step_up_cincinnati_2016″][vc_column_text]

Brought to you by Gen-H and the United Way

Step up your company’s United Way campaign this year with a fun challenge that also boosts your wellness program. Gen-H is partnering with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Business Courier, and regional employers to roll out the second annual Step Up Cincinnati walking challenge. Area workplaces are already forming their teams and gearing up for the challenge planned for September 27 through October 25!  Place a bet on your co-workers, tracking the highest number of steps per person. Organize walks that energize your campaign and your employees. The pot goes in the winning company’s name toward the Gen-H community health agenda, supporting United Way’s Bold Goals for Health .

For more details on the Step Up Cincinnati challenge and to sign up your company,  visit http://genh.healthcollab.org/step-up-cincinnati-2016/.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Workforce Report: Cincinnati Healthcare Continues to Show Moderate Growth

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Every industry goes through periods of growth, swings, upsurges, and downturns in their workforce. A recent study by The Health Collaborative has shown Cincinnati’s healthcare sector is experiencing a steady, moderate growth in the Greater Cincinnati region.
The Greater Cincinnati Annual Healthcare Workforce Report unveiled four key findings:

  • Average retirement age of medical professionals has remained steadfast at 64 years old
  • Surgical Assistants and Certified Medical Assistants have the two highest job vacancy rates
  • A higher number of Registered Nurses are under the age of 40 than at any point since 2007
  • The overall vacancy rate of 4.9 percent for full-time health care positions rose slightly from 4.2 percent in 2014

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”32655″ img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]These findings not only share key market information about what is taking place in our Cincinnati community, but also allow members the opportunity to address current needs and to think about the future.
Health systems are continuing to experience some moderate job growth in our market, but growth is not as high as it was from 2011 to 2012 when the economy accelerated its rebound from the recession,” said Jason Bubenhofer, Manager of Business Intelligence at The Health Collaborative. “However, certain positions and sectors are starting to see some increased demand within the last year.”
In 2015, the overall organizational retirement rate reported at 1.1 percent, matching the same report from 2014, and making it now the fourth consecutive year that the annual retirement rate has been greater than one percent since 2009, when The Health Collaborative began tracking the data. All organization positions, as well as registered nurses, have held a consistent average retirement age at 64 years old. Retirements have been slowly increasing during the last several years as baby boomers are beginning to exit the workforce, but our local nursing schools have done an excellent job supplying the market with highly trained nurses under 40 years old to step in and fill these roles.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][blockquote]

These findings not only share key market information about what is taking place in our Cincinnati community, but also allow members the opportunity to address current needs and to think about the future.

[/mk_blockquote][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Also according to the survey, there are several “hot jobs.” Certified Medical Assistants at physician practice locations and Certified Surgical Technicians at hospital locations had the two highest vacancy rates of all positions measured at 11.7 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively.  This shows a continued increase in vacancy rates of these positions over 2014, from 10 percent and 9 percent, in 2014 respectively. This is key information for recruiters as they are able to easily compare the needs of their health system against the needs of the community market.
The survey captured a total of 44,642 employees (39,481 full-time equivalent positions) across regional hospitals, physician practices, and other health care organization positions.  Positions captured in the survey represent a wide variety of departments within health care organizations, including: home health, laboratory, health information, nursing, patient care, pharmacy, radiology, therapy, physician practice, as well as administrative support, food service, and maintenance. Physicians were not included in the survey.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This year, the Greater Cincinnati Healthcare Workforce Report surveyed regional hospitals to identify key workforce data such as employee vacancy rates, retirement rates and age distributions for 34 key hospital positions and eight key positions within physician practices. This study by The Health Collaborative was designed to help hospitals, physician practices, healthcare leaders and recruiters to better address the personnel needs of hospitals and other healthcare providers. The report contains valuable community market information that is not available from any other source.
Data were voluntarily submitted to The Health Collaborative by participating hospitals and hospital systems and included vacancy data and workforce age data effective December 31, 2015. Retirement data are effective for the full time period from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. Thank you to all who participated. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Workforce Report: Cincinnati Healthcare Shows Growth

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Every industry goes through periods of growth, swings, upsurges, and downturns in their workforce. A recent study by The Health Collaborative has shown Cincinnati’s healthcare sector is experiencing a steady, moderate growth in the Greater Cincinnati region.

The Greater Cincinnati Annual Healthcare Workforce Report unveiled four key findings:

  • Average retirement age of medical professionals has remained steadfast at 64 years old
  • Surgical Assistants and Certified Medical Assistants have the two highest job vacancy rates
  • A higher number of Registered Nurses are under the age of 40 than at any point since 2007
  • The overall vacancy rate of 4.9 percent for full-time health care positions rose slightly from 4.2 percent in 2014

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”32655″ img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]These findings not only share key market information about what is taking place in our Cincinnati community, but also allow members the opportunity to address current needs and to think about the future.

Health systems are continuing to experience some moderate job growth in our market, but growth is not as high as it was from 2011 to 2012 when the economy accelerated its rebound from the recession,” said Jason Bubenhofer, Manager of Business Intelligence at The Health Collaborative. “However, certain positions and sectors are starting to see some increased demand within the last year.”

In 2015, the overall organizational retirement rate reported at 1.1 percent, matching the same report from 2014, and making it now the fourth consecutive year that the annual retirement rate has been greater than one percent since 2009, when The Health Collaborative began tracking the data. All organization positions, as well as registered nurses, have held a consistent average retirement age at 64 years old. Retirements have been slowly increasing during the last several years as baby boomers are beginning to exit the workforce, but our local nursing schools have done an excellent job supplying the market with highly trained nurses under 40 years old to step in and fill these roles.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][blockquote]

These findings not only share key market information about what is taking place in our Cincinnati community, but also allow members the opportunity to address current needs and to think about the future.

[/mk_blockquote][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Also according to the survey, there are several “hot jobs.” Certified Medical Assistants at physician practice locations and Certified Surgical Technicians at hospital locations had the two highest vacancy rates of all positions measured at 11.7 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively.  This shows a continued increase in vacancy rates of these positions over 2014, from 10 percent and 9 percent, in 2014 respectively. This is key information for recruiters as they are able to easily compare the needs of their health system against the needs of the community market.

The survey captured a total of 44,642 employees (39,481 full-time equivalent positions) across regional hospitals, physician practices, and other health care organization positions.  Positions captured in the survey represent a wide variety of departments within health care organizations, including: home health, laboratory, health information, nursing, patient care, pharmacy, radiology, therapy, physician practice, as well as administrative support, food service, and maintenance. Physicians were not included in the survey.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This year, the Greater Cincinnati Healthcare Workforce Report surveyed regional hospitals to identify key workforce data such as employee vacancy rates, retirement rates and age distributions for 34 key hospital positions and eight key positions within physician practices. This study by The Health Collaborative was designed to help hospitals, physician practices, healthcare leaders and recruiters to better address the personnel needs of hospitals and other healthcare providers. The report contains valuable community market information that is not available from any other source.

Data were voluntarily submitted to The Health Collaborative by participating hospitals and hospital systems and included vacancy data and workforce age data effective December 31, 2015. Retirement data are effective for the full time period from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. Thank you to all who participated. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Meet the Team: Mary Maune

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]We are very pleased to share an exciting new staffing update.

Mary Maune is taking on a newly created role within our organization: Account Manager, Large Accounts. Over the past few years, Mary has successfully managed the YourHealthMatters consumer outreach programs and public reporting website and, most recently, has been instrumental in the management of large grant proposal projects. Her knowledge of our work and her ability to develop and manage relationships with external stakeholders will be invaluable in helping us meet the needs of you, our customers and members.

Mary’s main responsibility will be to oversee all relationships with local Cincinnati health systems, specifically our member hospital groups and large accounts. She will also be managing the Group Purchasing Organization. Mary will be reporting to Keith Hepp, CFO and SVP of Business Development, as well as working closely with Sean Flynn, Senior Account Manager, and Sharon Trainer, Member Services and Program Coordinator. In the short term, Mary’s focus will be on seeing existing grants and programs through completion.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”32661″ img_size=”200×300″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“I’m excited for this new opportunity to expand and enhance our member relationships,” Mary shared. Already looking ahead, Mary has set new goals to streamline The Health Collaborative’s communication process with members, by working closely with our internal leadership team to identify opportunities for efficiency.

Mary is a Muncie, Indiana native and Ball State graduate who currently resides in College Hill, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and three young boys. Outside of work, Mary loves to spend time with her sons – three-year-old twins and a five-year-old – and volunteer for College Hill community association boards and events. During the summer, you’ll find her cheering for the Reds, and come fall she’ll be watching college football games and rooting for Notre Dame.

Given her adaptability, depth of knowledge, leadership, and relationship management skills, we are excited to have Mary strengthen our customer relationships and help The Health Collaborative explore new growth opportunities. Congratulations on your new role, Mary![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Changing the Business of Primary Care

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]All counties in Ohio and four counties in Northern Kentucky have been selected for the Comprehensive Primary Care model (CPC+). Announced last month by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, CPC+ is the expansion of an earlier pilot program coordinated by The Health Collaborative that saw its original success right here in our region.

Approximately 562 practices in Ohio and Northern Kentucky are expected to participate in this next phase as well as practices in 13 other regions across the United States.

In 2012, 75 primary care practices spanning from Northern Kentucky into the Dayton area were selected from a very competitive field to participate in the Comprehensive Primary Care initiative (CPC).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”32665″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The success of the local practices and practices in six other regions in the pilot program led to the CPC+ expansion.

CPC+ is based on the principle that much of the care management and coordination that helps patients prevent and manage chronic disease or improve recovery from a hospitalization is typically not billable. As a result, opportunities are being missed to manage and treat complications early on, before they become acute or result in another hospital visit. During the pilot program Medicare, Medicaid, and participating commercial insurers paid participating primary care doctors a monthly care management fee for each patient in addition to the reimbursement for their usual services.  The payment made it possible for practices to fund care management and perform other services that helped patients do a better job of managing their health between doctor visits.

A team of quality improvement professionals at The Health Collaborative led the selected practices in a four-year learning collaborative where doctors and care coordinators shared best practices and participated in coaching.  Practices also submitted clinical quality data to track patient outcomes and payers submitted billing data to track cost.  The data were aggregated to calculate whether patients in these practices had fewer avoidable emergency room episodes, fewer hospitalizations and had better outcomes at a lower cost.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][blockquote]

 For 2014, the cost of serving Medicare patients in our CPC practices resulted in a $6.5 Million dollar gross savings while also increasing patient satisfaction scores.

[/mk_blockquote][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Aggregating cost and outcome data is a new process in our market and it has taken some time to develop confidence in the numbers generated for reported savings. We know that for 2014, the cost of serving Medicare patients in our CPC practices resulted in a $6.5 Million dollar gross savings while also increasing patient satisfaction scores. Results for 2015 will be released later this fall.

Also notable is that patients in the participating practices, when surveyed about their experience, report a high level of satisfaction with their care providers and with the quality of care they received.

“We always believed high quality primary care led to better health and lower cost,” said Dr. Shelly Stanforth, a physician at Maineville Family Medicine who is participating in the pilot.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“This initiative has allowed us to train staff to work as a team and have more patient contact, often resolving issues before they became more serious.”

“These numbers are truly encouraging because they support the theory that money spent to keep people well has a return on investment,” says Craig Brammer, CEO of The Health Collaborative.

The participating physicians and care teams are also reporting a higher level of satisfaction. “We expect our primary care providers to be the quarterbacks of our care, but our traditional payment system didn’t pay them to do that.  This system gives them the resources they need to give care in a more integrated way and that’s satisfying to physicians and patients alike,” said Brammer.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Relevant Policy Updates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”31295″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”http://www.nrhi.org/”][vc_column_text]Brought to you by NRHI and The Health Collaborative

Through our partnership with NRHI (Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement), we’re bringing you relevant policy updates to help you and your organization understand how changes in federal policy affect the delivery and consumption of health and healthcare in our region.

Lawmakers return to Washington.  Congress returned from a seven-week recess on September 6, and lawmakers are scheduled to leave again before the end of the month. The top priority for lawmakers is passing a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded past the end of the fiscal year.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) moved this week to bring to the floor a package including a stopgap spending measure and Zika funding. The CR would run until December 9 and would be written at fiscal 2016 spending levels.

CMS to physicians: “Pick your pace” for first year of MACRA.  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt announced in a blog post on September 8 that physicians will be allowed to “pick their pace” of participation for the first performance period under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Physicians will have four options to avoid a negative payment adjustment:

  1. Test the Quality Payment Program. As long as physicians submit some data, including data from after January 1, 2017, they will avoid a negative payment adjustment
  2. Participate for part of the calendar year. Physicians may submit data for a reduced number of days, and may still qualify for a small positive payment adjustment
  3. Participate for the full calendar year. Practices may choose to submit Quality Payment Program information for a full calendar year, beginning on January 1, 2017, making them eligible for a “modest” positive payment adjustment.
  4. Participate in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model in 2017. The blog post seems to suggest that participation in an Advanced APM in 2017 is sufficient on its own to avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2019, but this won’t be clear until the final rule is released.

This announcement is short on details, which CMS says will be further fleshed out in the MACRA final rule, expected on or around November 1.  It is unusual for an agency to release details from a final rule so far in advance of its publication.  The timing of this “sneak peek” is interesting, given that CMS will very soon be notifying physicians of results from the Value-based Payment Modifier 2015 performance year – and these results could spell 2017 rate reductions for a large number of physician organizations that did not report quality data in 2015.

Final payment rules on this Administration’s docket.  With less than 4 months left under the current administration, there are a number of final rules pending that are likely to have far-reaching impact on various sectors of the health care industry.  Top among these, as mentioned above, is the final CY 2017 Physician Fee Schedule rule, along with final rules on MACRA, are expected to be released sometime on or before November 1.  Also expected to be released before year’s end are payment rules addressing: (1) the Part B Drug Payment Model, which will be a mandatory demonstration testing alternative ways to pay for Part B drugs; (2) the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System, fixing rates for CY 2017 and implementing statutory cuts to new off-campus hospital outpatient departments; (3) Home Health, end-stage renal disease, and Durable Medical Equipment; and (4) DSH payments for qualifying hospitals; (5) supplemental payments to providers under Medicaid.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which administers the section 340B Drug Pricing Program, has also finalized controversial “mega-guidance” on the program, which is undergoing final review of the Office of Management and Budget.

House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee examines pay-for-performance systems in Medicare Part A. The House Ways and Means Committee Health Subcommittee on September 7 held a hearing titled, “Incentivizing Quality Outcomes in Medicare Part A.” The Subcommittee discussed pay-for-performance systems in the hospital inpatient setting and future payment reforms, including those in the post-acute care setting. Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) touted the Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act (H.R. 3298) and indicated they will work to advance the bill in the near future.

CMS notifies hospitals of 2017 Results under Medicare EHR Incentive Program; small percentage of hospitals face penalties.  Eligible hospitals that were not meaningful EHR users during the 2015 reporting period and that are not granted a hardship exemption will be subject to a three-fourths reduction of the market basket update for FY 2017 IPPS rates.  CMS has reportedly sent letters to the hospitals that were eligible to participate in the meaningful use program but have failed to do so, notifying them of the penalty. The hospitals facing lower reimbursements represent a small percentage of those eligible to participate in the Medicare electronic health record program. The vast majority—98 percent—of the more than 4,800 hospitals eligible to participate in the meaningful use program, have done so successfully, according to the CMS.  CMS released additional details on FY 2017 penalties in a Fact Sheet posted on September 2.

Poll finds more patients say their doctor is entering medical data electronically. The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released this month included questions on electronic health records (EHR) and health IT for the first time since 2009. The poll found that 80 percent of patients say their physicians are entering data electronically during their visit, compared with 46 percent in 2009. Fifty-two percent of respondents say it is “very important” that their health care provider uses EHRs, up from 42 percent in 2009. Many patients, especially African-Americans and Latinos, are concerned about the privacy of electronic health records.

 

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

CEO Corner: Payment Reform Initiative Comes to the Healthcare Community

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”32460″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]How do Olympic athletes rise to success? They work in partnership with their trainers, coaches, and teammates to pave the best path to victory. Our strategy is similar in that we work with payers, providers, and patients to find winning solutions to healthcare’s most challenging problems. Ultimately that means better healthcare, smarter spending, and a healthier community.
We’ve added a policy update to Value Connections in our ongoing effort to provide you with the tools that you need to do be successful. You spoke: our members told us they want information on health policy and how it affects your organization and our community. We listened: Starting with this issue, we’re compiling a few relevant policy updates in conjunction with our friends at the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The most notable update relates to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation. This legislation is the overarching change that will affect how Medicare payments are made to physicians. MACRA works in three main ways: it repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that calculates payment for physicians, creates a new framework to reward physicians for providing high quality care and reducing unnecessary costs, and merges three existing quality reporting programs to a consolidated model.
The MACRA Quality Payment Program is core to the CMS goal of paying for value and quality care. The Quality Payment Program has two paths: Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APM).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The Comprehensive Primary Care model (CPC+) is an advanced APM, which is often considered the path of least resistance, as the MIPS reporting requirements are more complex and burdensome. In CPC Classic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation collaborated with commercial and state health insurance plans in seven US regions to offer population-based management fees and shared savings opportunities to participating primary care practices. The Health Collaborative is pleased to share that we are now one of the fourteen regions selected to pilot CPC+ and this new way of paying for primary care—paying for keeping people well.
What does it mean that Ohio/NKY has been selected? We are now part of the CPC+ five-year initiative, and practices will soon be selected to participate. These practices will be paid in a way that will allow them to focus on population health, open access, and non-traditional delivery methods such as telehealth and eVisits. In the state of Ohio alone, there could be over 300 practices selected to pilot this model of care. It requires a significant amount of money for these practices to transform the way they deliver care, so we’re taking a proactive approach to implement changes in the smartest, most efficient way. This five-year initiative will begin January of 2017.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_blockquote align=”right”]

In the state of Ohio alone, there could be over 300 practices selected to pilot this model of care…so we’re taking a proactive approach to implement changes in the smartest, most efficient way.

[/mk_blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Check out the article “Changing the Business of Primary Care” to see what we’ve accomplished with CPC and where we hope to go with CPC+.
And as usual, keep the conversation going by following The Health Collaborative on Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

CEO Corner: Payment Reform & the Healthcare Community

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”32460″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]How do Olympic athletes rise to success? They work in partnership with their trainers, coaches, and teammates to pave the best path to victory. Our strategy is similar in that we work with payers, providers, and patients to find winning solutions to healthcare’s most challenging problems. Ultimately that means better healthcare, smarter spending, and a healthier community.
We’ve added a policy update to Value Connections in our ongoing effort to provide you with the tools that you need to do be successful. You spoke: our members told us they want information on health policy and how it affects your organization and our community. We listened: Starting with this issue, we’re compiling a few relevant policy updates in conjunction with our friends at the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The most notable update relates to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation. This legislation is the overarching change that will affect how Medicare payments are made to physicians. MACRA works in three main ways: it repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that calculates payment for physicians, creates a new framework to reward physicians for providing high quality care and reducing unnecessary costs, and merges three existing quality reporting programs to a consolidated model.
The MACRA Quality Payment Program is core to the CMS goal of paying for value and quality care. The Quality Payment Program has two paths: Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APM).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The Comprehensive Primary Care model (CPC+) is an advanced APM, which is often considered the path of least resistance, as the MIPS reporting requirements are more complex and burdensome. In CPC Classic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation collaborated with commercial and state health insurance plans in seven US regions to offer population-based management fees and shared savings opportunities to participating primary care practices. The Health Collaborative is pleased to share that we are now one of the fourteen regions selected to pilot CPC+ and this new way of paying for primary care—paying for keeping people well.
What does it mean that Ohio/NKY has been selected? We are now part of the CPC+ five-year initiative, and practices will soon be selected to participate. These practices will be paid in a way that will allow them to focus on population health, open access, and non-traditional delivery methods such as telehealth and eVisits. In the state of Ohio alone, there could be over 300 practices selected to pilot this model of care. It requires a significant amount of money for these practices to transform the way they deliver care, so we’re taking a proactive approach to implement changes in the smartest, most efficient way. This five-year initiative will begin January of 2017.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_blockquote align=”right”]

In the state of Ohio alone, there could be over 300 practices selected to pilot this model of care…so we’re taking a proactive approach to implement changes in the smartest, most efficient way.

[/mk_blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Check out the article “Changing the Business of Primary Care” to see what we’ve accomplished with CPC and where we hope to go with CPC+.
And as usual, keep the conversation going by following The Health Collaborative on Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

CEO Corner: Payment Reform & the Healthcare Community

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”32460″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]How do Olympic athletes rise to success? They work in partnership with their trainers, coaches, and teammates to pave the best path to victory. Our strategy is similar in that we work with payers, providers, and patients to find winning solutions to healthcare’s most challenging problems. Ultimately that means better healthcare, smarter spending, and a healthier community.

We’ve added a policy update to Value Connections in our ongoing effort to provide you with the tools that you need to do be successful. You spoke: our members told us they want information on health policy and how it affects your organization and our community. We listened: Starting with this issue, we’re compiling a few relevant policy updates in conjunction with our friends at the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The most notable update relates to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation. This legislation is the overarching change that will affect how Medicare payments are made to physicians. MACRA works in three main ways: it repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that calculates payment for physicians, creates a new framework to reward physicians for providing high quality care and reducing unnecessary costs, and merges three existing quality reporting programs to a consolidated model.

The MACRA Quality Payment Program is core to the CMS goal of paying for value and quality care. The Quality Payment Program has two paths: Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APM).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The Comprehensive Primary Care model (CPC+) is an advanced APM, which is often considered the path of least resistance, as the MIPS reporting requirements are more complex and burdensome. In CPC Classic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation collaborated with commercial and state health insurance plans in seven US regions to offer population-based management fees and shared savings opportunities to participating primary care practices. The Health Collaborative is pleased to share that we are now one of the fourteen regions selected to pilot CPC+ and this new way of paying for primary care—paying for keeping people well.

What does it mean that Ohio/NKY has been selected? We are now part of the CPC+ five-year initiative, and practices will soon be selected to participate. These practices will be paid in a way that will allow them to focus on population health, open access, and non-traditional delivery methods such as telehealth and eVisits. In the state of Ohio alone, there could be over 300 practices selected to pilot this model of care. It requires a significant amount of money for these practices to transform the way they deliver care, so we’re taking a proactive approach to implement changes in the smartest, most efficient way. This five-year initiative will begin January of 2017.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_blockquote align=”right”]

In the state of Ohio alone, there could be over 300 practices selected to pilot this model of care…so we’re taking a proactive approach to implement changes in the smartest, most efficient way.

[/mk_blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Check out the article “Changing the Business of Primary Care” to see what we’ve accomplished with CPC and where we hope to go with CPC+.

And as usual, keep the conversation going by following The Health Collaborative on Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Announcing 2016 Gen-H Award Finalists

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”32057″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”http://genh.healthcollab.org”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Awards have been designed to correspond to the Four Pillars of our work: Collective Impact, Program Management, Professional Services, and Innovation. For the Collective Impact category, we developed the Gen-H award to recognize an individual, team, or organization that has shown commitment to the Gen-H goals of making the healthy choice the easy choice where we live, work, learn, or play.

Nominees for this category were selected for exemplary action in any or all of the following Gen-H aligned efforts:

  • Positively address health equity gaps in all we do
  • Make healthy foods available where we live, work, learn & play
  • Integrate physical activity into our daily lives
  • Integrate coping strategies to reduce the health impact of stress
  • Advocate for incentives & policies that support healthy living
  • Empower individuals to become knowledgeable consumers of health & healthcare services
  • Activate the care system to continuously improve prevention and treatment of chronic diseases
  • Support measurement systems that identify and reward high quality, high value healthcare
  • Increase the capacity in our region to meet the healthcare needs of every person
  • Create stronger partnerships between healthcare professionals and public/private community resources that support health

Finalists for the 2016 Gen-H award are:

Carole Quackenbush, Veterans Liaison for VITAS Healthcare: Carole connects individual veterans to benefits, provides education to hospice staff on how to care for the specific and unique needs of a veteran patient or family, and serves on multiple boards for veteran-related causes. Recently she hosted Dr. E. Bruce Heilman on his motorcycle journey cross-country. Carole honors the veteran community through her work with VITAS Healthcare, The Tuskegee Airmen, Honor Flight, Wounded Warriors, and many other respected organizations. Carole has helped to raise money for these veteran efforts, connects veterans to needed services, and educates healthcare workers on the needs of veterans.

Craig Osterhues, Step Up Cincinnati: Craig is the Health Services Leader at GE Aviation, and has been instrumental in organizing the 2016 Step Up Cincinnati corporate step challenge. The proceeds from the challenge will go toward supporting Gen-H backbone activity as it relates to the United Way’s Bold Goals for Health. The challenge brings a fun and competitive new energy to employee wellness programs, and offers a unique opportunity to incorporate physical activity into the workday. Participants can enjoy the health and stress reduction benefits of walking, while strengthening team relations and tackling a fun challenge together – developing and modeling a culture of health at their workplace as they go.

go Vibrant (Laura Chrysler and Mark Jeffreys): Go Vibrant is a homegrown non-profit created and founded by Mark Jeffreys whose mission is to make an active and energetic lifestyle irresistible and healthy living accessible to all.  Go Vibrant has three core focus areas: walking routes, digital content, and unique, irresistible experiences. Go Vibrant has created the largest network of urban walking routes in the country, and has recently launched the Million Step Challenge (active now through Oct. 29). Other initiatives include: a digital content experience, Go Discover and Play; the Silly Sock Walk; go Vibrant menu items at the Taste of Cincinnati; go Vibrant Play Now in Washington Park – a way for residents to borrow fitness equipment for free; and the interactive go Vibrantscape at Smale Riverfront Park.

Let’s Change Our City (Angelica Hardee and Caroline Hensley): The entirely student-led initiative known as Let’s Change Our City was implemented to better align community resources serving low-income individuals in the city. Outcomes of the students’ work include a publicly-accessible guide of community resources, and an annual conference attended by nearly 50 representatives from area social service and healthcare organizations. Let’s Change Our City has long-term potential to increase the number of low-income individuals connected to community resources addressing social determinants of health, and impact thousands of low-income individuals living in the city. Implementation also capitalized on the unique time, talents, and energy of students to make change in their own community and provided students unique experiential opportunities.

Mercy Health (Nicole Martel, Anne Stone, and Michelle Hopkins): As one of the five major area hospital systems in our region, Mercy Health has implemented a variety of programs and strategies aimed at improving the health and wellness of their employees, patients, and families, and the communities they serve. Among those relevant to Gen-H are: the “We Ask Because We Care” program, designed to better serve those with race, ethnicity, or language barriers to care; The Greater Cincinnati Outdoor Fitness Gym in Roselawn; the CDC-led diabetes prevention program, which allows one-on-one support for those wanting to better manage their condition; Bond Hill Day, which includes health screenings and an “Ask a Doc” panel; an annual cancer awareness and prevention event in Bond Hill; partnering with The First Ladies Health Initiative on a Health Day event for faith communities; mobile mammography visits; the Man Up! Men’s Health Expo; and many more. Mercy employees are offered education and opportunities around healthy and mindful eating; managing chronic conditions such as diabetes; on-site fitness centers; stairwell campaigns; height-adjustable standing desks; and much, much more.

TriHealth Corporate Health Services Team (Terri Hanlon-Bremer, Chief Operating Officer): TriHealth’s Corporate Health Services keep employees safe, healthy, and on the job with an emphasis on workplace productivity and health improvement. Physicians, nurses, counselors, fitness/wellness coordinators, and other professionals with specialized expertise provide a wide scope of services to area employers, including health and wellness programming, coaching, chronic condition management, injury prevention and treatment, disability or worker’s compensation case management, fitness center management, employee assistance/work life balance programs, onsite medical clinics, and executive physicals. Health coaching helps participants manage stress and improve healthy behaviors, which leads to better performance in their work and personal lives. Through our health and productivity solutions, including results-oriented programming, employers maximize their most important asset: their employees. Healthy employees are productive employees.

Congratulations and good luck to all Gen-H Award Finalists!

Below is a gallery of photos taken at the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists Breakfast, held on September 14 at Bronte Bistro in Rookwood Commons. For more information about the awards and the Inspire | Healthcare event on November 2, please visit healthcollab.org/inspire.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”3″ images=”32727,32760,32759,32728,32732,32729,32761″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Announcing 2016 Quality Improvement Award Finalists

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Awards have been designed to correspond to the Four Pillars of our work: Collective Impact, Program Management, Professional Services, and Innovation. For the Program Management category, we developed the Richard M. Smith Leadership in Quality Improvement Award to recognize an individual or team that has identified an opportunity to improve patient care and safety, and applied the PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) principles of quality improvement to develop a successful intervention. Nominees must have demonstrated measurable improvements in the Triple Aim areas of healthier people, better care, and smarter spending. Their work should center around a clinical or non-clinical project that impacts patient care and/or experience. Examples include: medication management, falls prevention, infection control, emergency preparedness, care transitions/warm handoff, access to care, care management, or complex disease management. Eligible nominees must be members or customers of The Health Collaborative.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Finalists for the 2016 Richard M. Smith Leadership in Quality Improvement Award are:

Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA): COA has been nominated for its transformative work developing our region’s Care Transitions innovation. In the five years since receiving one of the nation’s first federal contracts to create and implement this innovation, COA and its partners have delivered an outstanding success story that has achieved national recognition for reducing hospital readmissions among at-risk seniors. COA’s Care Transitions is a health coaching, intervention and medical adherence program for older adults who have been hospitalized. It is designed to help frail seniors who have been discharged from the hospital avoid future preventable hospital admissions, and to help patients access appropriate post-acute medical care and home and community-based services. The program uses coaching, health information technology, help with medications, chronic disease self-management and connection to community resources to help hospitalized seniors get home and stay home. Positive outcomes of the program include: a growing patient volume (7,581 patients in 2015 compared with 6,236 in 2014); a high completion rate at 72%; medical adherence by most patients; reduced hospital readmissions; and reduced costs.

Linda Juengling, MSN, RN, NE-BC for the Level Two Huddle at Good Samaritan Hospital: Linda Juengling, Director of Nursing for Critical Care, recognized an opportunity to improve the identification and resolution of issues/problems related to the delivery of safe, timely and efficient care. Ms. Juengling developed the structure and format for the Level Two Huddle at Good Samaritan Hospital to communicate potential or existing safety issues facing patients and team members, increase safety awareness, and foster a culture of safety. Each hospital department conducts a Level One Huddle in their respective area to identify issues around patient care, safety issues, quality indicators, and a daily game plan. The Level Two Huddle then addresses concerns or barriers to patient care that cannot be addressed at the departmental level. Ms. Juengling demonstrated the urgency behind the need for this initiative. Due to her drive and passion for safety, she was able to generate excitement within the management team for the huddle. The Level Two huddle has identified potential and actual safety risks/issues, involving a systematic approach utilized to address and resolve issues. It also provides a well-structured and time-limited approach to preventing safety events and resolving process-issues leading to safety events/concerns. This demonstrates rapid-fire improvement in a coordinated and expedited approach, which did not occur prior the Level Two Huddle.

“Decreasing Obstetric Harm with a Patient Driven Protocol” team at the Mercy Health Family Birthing Center: It’s something many moms-to-be fear – vaginal tears that occur during labor. Ranked by severity on a scale of one to four, the worst vaginal tears cause pain as well as discomfort during sex and bowel movements for weeks. They can also lead to more serious concerns, including: pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which the uterus, bladder and bowel fall into the vagina and may require pelvic floor surgery to repair; lifelong lack of bladder control; and lifelong lack of bowel control. A talented team of Family Birthing Center nurses at Mercy Health – Cincinnati, which provides advanced, quality, compassionate care in your neighborhood through its care network, wanted to spare their patients these issues and researched techniques they could employ to reduce the incidence of vaginal tears during childbirth. They succeeded in reducing the most serious third- and fourth-degree tears by more than half and also reduced pushing time by half.

Leadership Saves Lives Coalition at St. Elizabeth Healthcare: St. Elizabeth Healthcare joined nine other Mayo Clinic Care Network members in a groundbreaking study looking at how to reduce inpatient heart attack deaths by influencing organizational culture. Leadership Saves Lives was a two-year project initiated in mid-2014 involving health systems across the country. Recognizing that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, the study’s goal was to learn how patients, family members, emergency medical technicians, emergency room personnel, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare administrators and others can collaborate to provide the best care and best outcomes possible. St. Elizabeth is the only health system in the state and region participating in this study, the first of its kind to look at how organizational culture affects patient outcomes. St. Elizabeth began Leadership Saves Lives Initiative in 2014 with an impressive mortality rate of 4.5% (well below the national mean of 5.68%), and in 2015, the mortality rate at St. Elizabeth decreased further to 3.7%. By raising awareness and focus on this issue throughout all levels of the health system and the community, St. Elizabeth is leveraging all resources toward a single goal of reducing heart attack mortality.

“Reducing Falls and Restraints on a Senior Behavioral Health Unit” team at TriHealth’s Good Samaritan Hospital: Fall rates and restraint times on the Senior Behavioral unit at Good Samaritan Hospital were above targets set by the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) and were at all-time highs within inpatient units at TriHealth. The staff worked on the implementation of a private observation room that promoted a relaxing environment using aromatherapy, relaxing music, and no over-stimulating activities. The patients could use the sensory stimulation activity cart and receive therapeutic one-on-one interaction by an observer while being restraint free. These strategies not only reduced falls and restraint times when implemented, they provided patients an improved quality of life. In addition, the results demonstrated decreased length of stay and overall hospital costs. This project demonstrates the passion that staff on the Senior Behavioral Unit have for this specific patient population and the need to improve the health status of the people they serve.

“Maintenance Matters: Improving Patient Adherence to Adult Health Guidelines through Optimized Office Workflows” team at TriHealth’s Bethesda Family Practice: This group used multiple PDCA cycles (a modified rooming process and a patient check-in sheet) that focused on improving patient adherence to adult health maintenance guidelines. In the span of 1-year the percentage of patients undergoing the recommended colonoscopy, mammogram, diabetic eye and foot exams demonstrated significant improvements. Mean rooming time significantly improved from 7.09 to 5.74 minutes (p<0.05) by implementing a modified rooming process. This process change helped identify deficiencies prior to the visit by the physician. The Maintenance Matters project was the third place winner of the Richard M. Smith Quality Day’s Award at TriHealth.

“TriHealth Employees: Making “Sharp” Moves and Preventing Sharps Injury” team at multiple TriHealth facilities: This was a system-wide project that focused on decreasing the number of employee percutaneous injuries by 30% in 2015. It saw a 41% decrease in percutaneous injuries, demonstrated with the optimization of sharps equipment and the implementation of a hands free/Neutral Zone in the OR. In addition, education reinforced the practice of using a hands-free technique and a percutaneous injury board that displayed last injury brought awareness to the forefront.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Congratulations and good luck to all Richard M. Smith Leadership in Quality Improvement Award Finalists!

Below is a gallery of photos taken at the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists Breakfast, held on September 14 at Bronte Bistro in Rookwood Commons. For more information about the awards and the Inspire | Healthcare event on November 2, please visit healthcollab.org/inspire.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”3″ images=”32735,32736,32737,32738,32739,32740,32741″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Announcing 2016 Informatics Solutions Award Finalists

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Awards have been designed to correspond to the Four Pillars of our work: Collective Impact, Program Management, Professional Services, and Innovation. In the category of Professional Services, we have developed the Informatics Solutions Award to acknowledge an individual, team, or organization that has applied products from the HealthBridge technology suite – either data services, notification products, or business intelligence – to create a solution to an ongoing challenge. Nominees must have demonstrated measurable improvements through use of one of our HealthBridge service line solutions around patient outcomes, cost savings, and/or work flow efficiency.

Finalists for the 2016 Informatics Solutions Award are:

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Jay Brown and Megan Sullivan of UC Health: UC Health has been a long time customer of The Health Collaborative, and throughout 2016 they have
continued to utilize innovative opportunities to apply our informatics solutions to improve all facets of the Triple Aim: healthier people, better care, and smarter spending. Jay Brown, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer and Megan Sullivan, Director of Quality Improvement, have been instrumental in continuing to find creative ways to take advantage of informatics for continuous improvement. UC Health partnered with The Health Collaborative in developing and making operational a new service to provide clinical data to health plans for which are used to measure health plans effectiveness via HEDIS measures. UC Health was able to bring in a unique combination of internal constituents, from IT to Quality to Payment, for a true collaborative effort. The result is a more efficient manner of providing this data to health plans for UC Health. UC Health has also utilized those same groups to partner on new emerging services such as providing ED visit notifications to health plans, pilot integration with EMS companies, and finally, supporting and guiding The Health Collaborative’s new technology solution, which is currently underway.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”32751″ img_size=”600×600″ alignment=”right”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Pamela Morris of CareSource Management Group: As CEO of CareSource, Pam has worked to enhance the analytics ability of CareSource to improve the healthcare outcomes for each member. When data shows that patients can be impacted, she leads the organization to find ways to improve healthcare outcomes. Through using analytics, there has been an improvement in the health and outcomes for patients and providers. Through using analytics platforms, Pam has lead CareSource to improve on HEDIS outcomes, reaching stretch goals to improve the outcomes for those patients with the most need. By creating usable analytics, providers are more able to find those most at risk, get patients into care management programs, and ensure that the patients get the care that they need. By having actionable data from analytics, providers can more quickly move high risk patients to improve their healthcare outcomes. By leading shared analytics with providers through varying agreements, two worlds, insurance and provider practices, are moving the needle on outcomes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”32750″ img_size=”600×600″ alignment=”right”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Independent Physicians Collaborative: Recognizing the diverse healthcare environment in Cincinnati and the advances in healthcare technology, IPC adopted an organizational initiative focused on driving innovative and uniform technology utilization within IPC practices. By collaborative adoption of emerging technologies within IPC practices, patients of IPC enjoy the highest continuity of care between treating physicians possible. Independent practices coordinating together on to increase truly collaborative care between all area physicians regardless of organizational, technology or political boundaries embodies what true innovative patient care can look like. IPC members utilize a diverse mix of healthcare information systems (PM/EHR systems) and the vast majority of primary care providers in the Greater Cincinnati area utilize Epic within their respective health systems. Recognizing a gap in communication between these disparate systems, IPC articulated an adoption strategy to increase the secure information exchange between health system physicians and IPC physicians. As a result of the initiative, hundreds of additional independent specialists are now active and accessible on the Direct Messaging network.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Congratulations and good luck to all Informatics Solutions Award Finalists!

For more information about the awards and the Inspire | Healthcare event on November 2, please visit healthcollab.org/inspire.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Announcing 2016 Innovation Award Finalists

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Awards have been designed to correspond to the Four Pillars of our work: Collective Impact, Program Management, Professional Services, and Innovation. Corresponding with the Innovation pillar is the Innovation Award, which recognizes an individual or organization with the most compelling new idea to deliver better health, improve care, and/or lower costs. The innovation must measurably improve significant business and/or clinical processes that positively impact patient care. Nominees must be a member or customer of The Health Collaborative.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Finalists for the 2016 Innovation Award are:

Brookwood Retirement Community: Brookwood is leading the charge in telemedicine with a Cardiac Recovery Program, a Pulmonary Program, and also an Orthopedic Program. By implementing an in-house laboratory, Brookwood ensures physicians are able to bring their residents the best care and outcomes possible, in as little time as possible. They entered an experimental study with Christ Hospital in cardiac telehealth (video conferencing). A Samsung Tablet was given to elderly participants, allowing them to video conference with their physician utilizing a “puck” placed on the chest to relay heart rates and cardiac information to the physician. Over 90% of the population studied utilized the tablet correctly and were satisfied with the process. With 60 elevated-acuity cardiac patients participating in the program, only one resulted in re-hospitalization. Extensive cardiac education was given to each employee in almost every department, and nursing staff got to experience classroom-style education along with “live” training in cardiac care. With these advances, Brookwood has demonstrated that a skilled nursing facility can support a high acuity cardiac patient with minimal physician support.

Cincinnati Eye Institute (Marsha Wylie & Ron Sprinkle): Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI) has pioneered a way for its ophthalmologists to electronically share eye exam results and electronic health records (EHRs) for their diabetic patients with primary care doctors at area health systems. Dilated retinal exams are important because diabetes can cause blood vessels in the eye to hemorrhage, leading to blindness. Learning if a patient has retinal disease can help a primary care doctor prescribe treatment for diabetes and avoid organ damage. CEI worked with HealthBridge to develop a computer interface program so diabetic eye exams generated by CEI’s NextGen EHR could be directly imported and read by the Epic health record system. This has improved healthcare for thousands of diabetic patients, potentially reducing healthcare costs by informing the PCP in real time of the patient’s eye exam results, in addition to helping doctors and payers comply with HEDIS reporting requirements regarding patient care. In addition to sending important information about the status of the patient’s diabetic eye exam, CEI is also communicating findings regarding glaucoma and cataracts.

Conversations of a Lifetime, supported by Bethesda Inc.: Hospice of Cincinnati’s Conversations of a Lifetime™ (COL) is a program that links education and training to practice with the goal of improving end-of-life care and planning for adults with life-limiting or terminal illness, ahead of a crisis or end-of-life circumstance, to achieve better patient-centered care. COL combines several evidence-based strategies to create an innovative program that educates and builds awareness for better and earlier advanced care planning. COL employs four key components: physician coaching, advance care planning facilitator training, technology enhancements, and community engagement. It offers a custom coaching program in collaboration with VitalTalk®; advance care plan facilitator training available for Registered Nurse care coordinators, social workers, chaplains and others in outpatient settings, hospitals and long-term care facilities; process improvements for documenting patient wishes and making advance care planning documents available in the EMR; and traditional and novel public engagement strategies in order to stimulate conversation around end-of-life and advance care planning among diverse populations.

The StartStrong Initiative, supported by Bethesda Inc.: StartStrong goals were to reduce preterm birth and the unnecessary use of the Cincinnati Children’s emergency department, targeting two urban neighborhoods: Avondale and Price Hill. To accomplish this, the group committed to changing the way high-risk women and their infants access and use health and wellness care, forming better linkages between clinicians and community services like home visitors and community health workers, concentrating more intentionally on the social influences of health and helping moms become better health care consumers. The focus of this perinatal intervention called upon the excellent but typically unconnected services that are available in those communities. What emerged from StartStrong was an improved system, improved outcomes, improved family satisfaction and enthusiastic support from administration. Now, more babies are being carried to term, more pregnant women are gaining access to prenatal care, and more families are benefiting from nurse case managers and home health visitors (nearly twice as many as before StartStrong was implemented!) in these neighborhoods.

Partners in Care at St. Elizabeth Healthcare: St. Elizabeth Healthcare (SEH) is dedicated to a Partners in Care culture — a culture based upon four core patient- and family-centered care principles: respect and dignity, information-sharing, collaboration and participation. A component of this culture includes interactive patient care (IPC) through the GetWellNetwork. IPC technology provides even greater opportunity for our Partners in Care team to engage, educate and empower patients and loved ones to take a more active role in a patient’s health. At the same time, the system works to provide additional education opportunities for patients, enhance communication with the patient care team and to help personalize, humanize and demystify each patient’s healthcare experience. In clear support of the IPC technology and continued improvements in patient care, associates made significant pledges to the current St. Elizabeth Associate Vision campaign, making it possible to create better patient experiences through the purchase of the GetWellNetwork — initially launching at St. Elizabeth Edgewood, Florence and Ft. Thomas locations in August 2015.

Hospice of Southwest Ohio for VGo: Hospice of Southwest Ohio’s two newest team members are called VGo. Both of the VGos are utilized in many ways to increase the presence of loved ones who may be experiencing their final journey of life and for those who are not fortunate enough to be bedside with their loved ones. VGo may be utilized any where in the world as long as the user has internet access, sound and a camera on their computer. When a loved one cannot make their final visit, Hospice of Southwest Ohio can place VGo at bedside and the end user can manipulate it in several ways. VGo is similar to Skype but one party has no need to handle a cell phone, tablet or computer. VGo is driven by the end user and can move about a room in many ways. Not only is VGo utilized to visit with Hospice of Southwest Ohio patients but VGo has also been utilized for those unable to be physically present at a memorial service or funeral for their loved one.  Hospice of Southwest Ohio physicians can also access VGo twenty fours a day, seven days a week to look in on patients if requested to do so. VGo has provided many a family member and friend the opportunity to visit that one last time with those patients of Hospice of Southwest Ohio.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Congratulations and good luck to all Innovation Award Finalists!

Below is a gallery of photos taken at the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists Breakfast, held on September 14 at Bronte Bistro in Rookwood Commons. For more information about the awards and the Inspire | Healthcare event on November 2, please visithealthcollab.org/inspire.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”3″ images=”32754,32755,32756,32757″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Announcing 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]MEDIA CONTACT:
Shannan Schmitt
Director of Communications
(513) 307-0328
Release Date: September 16, 2016
Announcing the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists
22 Finalists Across Four Categories – Winners to be Announced at Inspire | Healthcare Dinner on November 2
CINCINNATI – The Health Collaborative announced the finalists this week for the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Awards. Building off the success of its inaugural year in 2015, the program recognizes individuals, teams and organizations working to improve health and healthcare in our community.
The winners, selected for inspiring the healthcare community in areas of innovation, informatics, quality improvement, and population health, will be named at the Inspire | Healthcare celebration on November 2nd at The Monastery in Mt. Adams.
The award categories and finalists for 2016 are as follows:
Gen-H Award:
Recognizes a workplace, organization, group or individual that has contributed to the Gen-H agenda where they live, work, learn, or play. Nominees for this category were selected for exemplary work in addressing health equity gaps, making healthy foods available where they live, work, learn & play, and integrating physical activity into their daily lives.
Finalists for the 2016 Gen-H Award are:

  • Carole Quackenbush: Veterans Liaison for VITAS Healthcare
  • Craig Osterhues: Step Up Cincinnati
  • Laura Chrysler and Mark Jeffreys: go Vibrant
  • Angelica Hardee and Caroline Hensley: Let’s Change Our City
  • Nicole Martel, Anne Stone, and Michelle Hopkins: Mercy Health
  • Terri Hanlon-Bremer: TriHealth Corporate Health Services Team

Richard M. Smith Leadership in Quality Improvement Award:
Awarded to the individual or team that has identified an opportunity to improve patient care and safety, and applied the PDSA principles of quality improvement to develop a successful intervention. Nominees must have demonstrated measurable improvements in the Triple Aim areas of healthier people, better care, and smarter spending. Their work should center on a clinical or non-clinical project that impacts patient care and/or experience. Examples include: medication management, falls prevention, infection control, emergency preparedness, care transitions/warm handoff, access to care, care management, or complex disease management. Eligible nominees must be members or customers of The Health Collaborative.
Finalists for the 2016 Richard M. Smith Leadership in Quality Improvement Award are:

  • Care Transitions Team: Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio
  • Linda Juengling, Level Two Huddle: Good Samaritan Hospital
  • Decreasing Obstetric Harm with a Patient Driven Protocol team at the Mercy Health Family Birthing Center
  • Reducing Falls and Restraints on a Senior Behavioral Health Unit team at TriHealth
  • Maintenance Matters: Improving Patient Adherence to Adult Health Guidelines through Optimized Office Workflows team at TriHealth
  • TriHealth Employees: Making “Sharp” Moves and Preventing Sharps Injury team at TriHealth
  • Leadership Saves Lives Coalition at St. Elizabeth Healthcare

Informatics Solutions Award:
Acknowledges the individual, team, or organization that has applied products from the HealthBridge technology suite – either data services, notification products, or business intelligence – to create a solution to an ongoing challenge. Nominees must have demonstrated measurable improvements through use of one of our HealthBridge service line solutions around patient outcomes, cost savings, and/or work flow efficiency.
Finalists for the 2016 Informatics Solutions Award are:

  • UC Health – Jay Brown and Megan Sullivan
  • Pamela Morris: CareSource Management Group
  • Independent Physicians Collaborative (IPC): Glen Prasser

Innovation Award:
Recognizes an individual or organization with the most compelling new idea to deliver better health, improve care, and/or lower costs. The innovation must measurably improve significant business and/or clinical processes that positively impact patient care. Nominees must be a member or customer of The Health Collaborative. Finalists for the 2016 Innovation Award are:

  • Brookwood Retirement Community
  • Marsha Wylie & Ron Sprinkle: Cincinnati Eye Institute
  • Conversations of a Lifetime, supported by Bethesda Inc.: Hospice of Cincinnati
  • The Bethesda Inc. StartStrong Initiative
  • Partners in Care: St. Elizabeth Healthcare
  • VGo: Hospice of Southwest Ohio

All finalists will be honored and winners announced at the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare dinner on November 2 at The Monastery in Mt. Adams. Visit http://healthcollab.org/inspire to learn more and register for the event.
-###-
About the Health Collaborative:
The Health Collaborative is a non-profit organization that strives to positively impact health status, experience, outcomes, and affordability by fostering a connected system of healthcare and community health through innovation, integration, and informatics in the greater Cincinnati region. For more information about the Health Collaborative, visit
www.healthcollab.org.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Below is a gallery of photos taken at the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists Breakfast, held on September 14 at Bronte Bistro in Rookwood Commons. For more information about the awards and the Inspire | Healthcare event on November 2, please visithealthcollab.org/inspire.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”3″ images=”32761,32760,32759,32757,32756,32755,32754,32751,32750,32741,32740,32739,32738,32737,32736,32735,32732,32727,32729,32728″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Announcing 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]MEDIA CONTACT:

Shannan Schmitt
Director of Communications
(513) 307-0328

Release Date: September 16, 2016

Announcing the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists
22 Finalists Across Four Categories – Winners to be Announced at Inspire | Healthcare Dinner on November 2

CINCINNATI – The Health Collaborative announced the finalists this week for the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Awards. Building off the success of its inaugural year in 2015, the program recognizes individuals, teams and organizations working to improve health and healthcare in our community.

The winners, selected for inspiring the healthcare community in areas of innovation, informatics, quality improvement, and population health, will be named at the Inspire | Healthcare celebration on November 2nd at The Monastery in Mt. Adams.

The award categories and finalists for 2016 are as follows:

Gen-H Award:

Recognizes a workplace, organization, group or individual that has contributed to the Gen-H agenda where they live, work, learn, or play. Nominees for this category were selected for exemplary work in addressing health equity gaps, making healthy foods available where they live, work, learn & play, and integrating physical activity into their daily lives.

Finalists for the 2016 Gen-H Award are:

  • Carole Quackenbush: Veterans Liaison for VITAS Healthcare
  • Craig Osterhues: Step Up Cincinnati
  • Laura Chrysler and Mark Jeffreys: go Vibrant
  • Angelica Hardee and Caroline Hensley: Let’s Change Our City
  • Nicole Martel, Anne Stone, and Michelle Hopkins: Mercy Health
  • Terri Hanlon-Bremer: TriHealth Corporate Health Services Team

Richard M. Smith Leadership in Quality Improvement Award:

Awarded to the individual or team that has identified an opportunity to improve patient care and safety, and applied the PDSA principles of quality improvement to develop a successful intervention. Nominees must have demonstrated measurable improvements in the Triple Aim areas of healthier people, better care, and smarter spending. Their work should center on a clinical or non-clinical project that impacts patient care and/or experience. Examples include: medication management, falls prevention, infection control, emergency preparedness, care transitions/warm handoff, access to care, care management, or complex disease management. Eligible nominees must be members or customers of The Health Collaborative.

Finalists for the 2016 Richard M. Smith Leadership in Quality Improvement Award are:

  • Care Transitions Team: Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio
  • Linda Juengling, Level Two Huddle: Good Samaritan Hospital
  • Decreasing Obstetric Harm with a Patient Driven Protocol team at the Mercy Health Family Birthing Center
  • Reducing Falls and Restraints on a Senior Behavioral Health Unit team at TriHealth
  • Maintenance Matters: Improving Patient Adherence to Adult Health Guidelines through Optimized Office Workflows team at TriHealth
  • TriHealth Employees: Making “Sharp” Moves and Preventing Sharps Injury team at TriHealth
  • Leadership Saves Lives Coalition at St. Elizabeth Healthcare

Informatics Solutions Award:

Acknowledges the individual, team, or organization that has applied products from the HealthBridge technology suite – either data services, notification products, or business intelligence – to create a solution to an ongoing challenge. Nominees must have demonstrated measurable improvements through use of one of our HealthBridge service line solutions around patient outcomes, cost savings, and/or work flow efficiency.

Finalists for the 2016 Informatics Solutions Award are:

  • UC Health – Jay Brown and Megan Sullivan
  • Pamela Morris: CareSource Management Group
  • Independent Physicians Collaborative (IPC): Glen Prasser

Innovation Award:

Recognizes an individual or organization with the most compelling new idea to deliver better health, improve care, and/or lower costs. The innovation must measurably improve significant business and/or clinical processes that positively impact patient care. Nominees must be a member or customer of The Health Collaborative. Finalists for the 2016 Innovation Award are:

  • Brookwood Retirement Community
  • Marsha Wylie & Ron Sprinkle: Cincinnati Eye Institute
  • Conversations of a Lifetime, supported by Bethesda Inc.: Hospice of Cincinnati
  • The Bethesda Inc. StartStrong Initiative
  • Partners in Care: St. Elizabeth Healthcare
  • VGo: Hospice of Southwest Ohio

All finalists will be honored and winners announced at the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare dinner on November 2 at The Monastery in Mt. Adams. Visit http://healthcollab.org/inspire to learn more and register for the event.

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About the Health Collaborative:

The Health Collaborative is a non-profit organization that strives to positively impact health status, experience, outcomes, and affordability by fostering a connected system of healthcare and community health through innovation, integration, and informatics in the greater Cincinnati region. For more information about the Health Collaborative, visit
www.healthcollab.org.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Below is a gallery of photos taken at the 2016 Inspire | Healthcare Award Finalists Breakfast, held on September 14 at Bronte Bistro in Rookwood Commons. For more information about the awards and the Inspire | Healthcare event on November 2, please visithealthcollab.org/inspire.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_slide” interval=”3″ images=”32761,32760,32759,32757,32756,32755,32754,32751,32750,32741,32740,32739,32738,32737,32736,32735,32732,32727,32729,32728″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

THC board given 2016 Outstanding Board Excellence Award

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The Cincinnati Business Courier  announced this week The 2016 Outstanding Directors Awards recognizing exceptional leadership among the boards of Greater Cincinnati area businesses and nonprofits.  The Health Collaborative’s Board of Directors is being honored with an Outstanding Board Excellence award to recognize their exemplary dedication and performance.  Click here to read the announcement and view the other honorees.

Our board was nominated for their wide variety of perspectives and expertise, which lend credibility, neutrality, and integrity to The Health Collaborative’s leadership of health and healthcare improvement initiatives across the region. Having expertly guided us in 2015 through the successful merger of three nonprofit organizations (the Greater Cincinnati Health Council, HealthBridge, and The Health Collaborative, now unified and known as The Health Collaborative), they have helped to drive innovation and accelerate our community’s progress.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_blockquote align=”right” animation=”fade-in”]

“I’m proud to work with an organization that has been able to create such community collaboration in our region.”
 – Tim Putnam, President, Margaret Mary Health

[/mk_blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The combined work of the three organizations has resulted in Greater Cincinnati gaining a national reputation for healthcare innovation. Collectively, we have brought tens of millions of dollars to the region to support new technology and pilot programs to improve our care delivery system, lower overall costs, and promote better health for all in the region. Our board is credited with much of the decision-making that continues to propel both our organization and our region forward in health and healthcare improvement and leadership.

No other region in the country has been as successful at bringing together such a diverse group of stakeholders around health and healthcare, or with such an impressive track record of success. Our regional work in quality improvement, data transparency, health information exchange, payment reform, stakeholder convening/collective impact, disaster & emergency preparedness, consumer engagement, business intelligence, and much more, is routinely praised by other regions and systems across the country as a model for innovation. None of this would be possible without the support and expertise of our board. 

As board member Tim Putnam, President of Margaret Mary Health, recently stated: “What we’ve accomplished this year is a testament to the power of healthcare [stakeholders] in our community working toward a common goal: to improve the health and healthcare of our friends, family, and neighbors. This is unique to Greater Cincinnati, and I’m proud to work with an organization that has been able to create such community collaboration in our region.”

The 2016 Outstanding Directors Awards will be presented at an invitation-only, black-tie reception and dinner on Oct. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. Congratulations to our board and to all other honorees![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Looking back on AF4Q: Community-based quality improvement

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”28362″ img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), the signature health transformation project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), came to a close in late 2015. This program was the largest privately-funded, community-based quality improvement initiative the country had seen to date, and over time it has given stakeholders more information than ever regarding both barriers and opportunities for improving the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective, and equitable healthcare. Those lessons are detailed this week in a special supplemental issue of The American Journal of Managed Care. Click here to read the full article and learn more about the underlying theory of change, its evolution over time, and the key activities undertaken by alliances across the country. Below we’ll explore the many ways AF4Q continues to impact health and healthcare in our own region of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Cincinnati was one of only 16 communities selected back in 2008 to participate in the project. Thanks to AF4Q resources and support, The Health Collaborative was honored to help guide the region toward creating a “culture of health.” While AF4Q itself has concluded, the important transformation work it inspired still continues.

AF4Q is responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the development of some of our signature programs such as the initial Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) transformation, public reporting of health outcomes on YourHealthMatters, payment reform initiatives such as Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC), and the regional Collective Impact on Health initiative, now known as Gen-H.

  • YourHealthMatters is the only public reporting website that offers consumers objective information about area healthcare providers and their services. Data provided to the website voluntarily by providers allows us to track measures of patient care and align healthcare outcome goals with patient self-management goals. Throughout the duration of the initiative, every measure reported has improved over baseline. The website measures colorectal cancer screening rates, cardiovascular health, hypertension/high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • The “MakeTheRightCall” campaign was created by our Consumer Council as a part of AF4Q.  Using digital media, the community learned the value of saving the emergency room for real emergencies and strengthening their relationship with their primary care doctor to get treatment for urgent health issues. The campaign has been embraced and shared by the faith community, health care providers, the Council on Aging, and many other partners.
  • AF4Q was the forebear of the Gen-H (Collective Impact on Health) effort currently underway in the seven-county Greater Cincinnati region of Hamilton, Clermont, Warren, and Butler counties in Ohio; and Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties in Kentucky. This work will result in a sustained, coordinated community agenda to improve health and health care and reduce the burden of health care costs on our community.
  • AF4Q also enabled The Health Collaborative to fulfill a need for expertise in the region with the hiring of former Procter & Gamble brand specialist and marketing manager, Judy Hirsh. As director of consumer strategy & engagement and the AF4Q program director, Hirsh convened focus groups to determine how consumers would best understand and use health care quality ratings.

In March of 2014, Cincinnati’s efforts to improve diabetes care and increase patient engagement in their own diabetes management was featured in an article in the publication Journalists on Quality. This 2014 series included insightful profiles written by prominent health policy journalists on how RWJF’s AF4Q initiative has affected care in local communities.

As noted in Geri Aston’s article “An Infusion of Resources Gets the Quality Ball Rolling,” prior to receiving the $3 million grant from AF4Q, our health improvement efforts in the Cincinnati region were “abundant but not systematic,” said Craig Brammer, CEO of The Health Collaborative. Past initiatives were plentiful but generally small and isolated, such as seasonal flu shot programs and mental health awareness campaigns. “AF4Q provided that infusion of resources, expertise, and cooperation with sister alliances to allow us to ramp up the level of our work,” Brammer said. Today, about 800 Cincinnati-area primary care practices are reporting measures on the YourHealthMatters website and more than 200 practices are certified as PCMH practices.

The outcomes and achievements noted above are encouraging, and over time, they will help transform the community in which we live, work, learn, and play by promoting and fostering a culture of health. Perhaps just as important are the relationships, trust, and community will that have been built around these programs. The Health Collaborative remains enormously grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Aligning Forces for Quality for their support and expertise, to the partnerships that resulted from it, and for the enduring legacy they helped create in improving Greater Cincinnati’s health landscape.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]