Archive for the ‘Patient-Centered Medical Home’ Category

Infographic: State Health Innovation Plans

February 2nd, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

An analysis of state health innovation plans illustrates that states are moving toward patient-centered healthcare, according to a new report and infographic by Accenture.

The infographic examines the necessary infrastructure needed to surround the patient and the progress states are making on these elements.

2014 Healthcare Benchmarks: The Patient-Centered Medical HomeHaving established a firm foundation over two decades of patient-centered care, the medical home model is poised for a makeover, expanding to medical neighborhoods and opening the door to specialists' enhanced role in care coordination—while embracing value-based compensation models that reward quality over quantity.

Those are just two of the trends explored in 2014 Healthcare Benchmarks: The Patient-Centered Medical Home, the Healthcare Intelligence Network's in-depth analysis of medical home adoption, tools, technologies, challenges, benefits and outcomes.

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Majority Back Medicare Timeline for Value-Based Reimbursement

January 29th, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

For the first time in Medicare history, HHS has set explicit goals for alternative payment models and value-based payments.

The healthcare industry took notice earlier this week of Medicare's ambitious timeline for moving Medicare payments from volume- to value-based models—an agenda validated by the majority of respondents to HIN's eleventh annual Healthcare Trends and Forecasts survey.

Ninety-two percent of respondents to the December 2014 survey endorsed healthcare’s transition to rewarding healthcare value and quality over volume of services, noting the trend has boosted accountability and revenues.

In a related data point, 26 percent view the adoption of value-based reimbursement and rewards as the most promising area of healthcare.

The HHS timeline will tie 30 percent of traditional or fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models by the end of 2016. Alternative payment formulas include accountable care organizations (ACOs), patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs), and bundled payment arrangements for episodes of care, which CMS has tested in a range of pilots in recent years.

The HHS said it will tie 50 percent of payments to these models by the end of 2018. In 2011, Medicare made almost no payments to providers through alternative payment models, but today such payments represent approximately 20 percent of Medicare payments.

With views toward value-based reimbursement mostly favorable, 2015 Trends survey respondents shared some spoils of a value-over-volume approach:

  • „„“Higher levels of accountability in order to be well positioned to execute in a value environment.”
  • „„“As a high quality provider, shift to rewarding this behavior has increased revenue.”
  • „„“Not as much direct impact as implied and perceived focus on quality and reporting.”
  • „„“We built a provider network upon this principle.”

In other trends documented by the survey, declining reimbursement and cost constraints posed considerable challenges for respondents in the last 12 months, while interventions to tighten transitions in care, reduce hospital readmissions and integrate care via the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model—all value-based initiatives—were among business successes recounted by this year’s participants.

10 Healthcare Trends Measured in 2014: Medical Neighborhoods, Data Analytics Flourish

January 13th, 2015 by Patricia Donovan

2014's HINtelligence Reports captured trends in healthcare delivery, technology and utilization management.


Each year, the Healthcare Intelligence Network's series of HINtelligence Reports pinpoint trends shaping the industry, from cutting-edge care collaborations to remote patient management connections to tactics to reduce avoidable utilization.

HINtelligence Report benchmarks are derived from data provided by more than one thousand healthcare companies.

Here are 10 highlights from 2014 HINtelligence Reports that support Triple Aim goals of improving population health and the patient experience while reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.

Share your reactions with us on Twitter @H_I_N.

  • Readmissions: More than half of survey respondents participate in post-acute partnerships, with home health collaborations the most common (79 percent). These partnerships serve to streamline processes and care transitions, educate and align staff, and implement changes of value to patients, said respondents to the fourth annual Reducing Hospital Readmissions Survey.
  • Palliative Care: While the majority of respondents (68 percent) administer palliative care on an inpatient basis, more than half (54 percent) say care is conducted on home visits and just under a third offer palliative care at extended care facilities.
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home: Prepared to take their medical homes to the next level of care in the year to come, almost half—48 percent—have joined or expect to join a medical home neighborhood, defined by TransformMed℠ as “a strong foundation of transformed primary care practices aligned with health systems and specialists to insure that care is maximally coordinated and managed.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring: More than half of 2014 respondents—54 percent—have instituted remote monitoring programs, the survey found, which was most often employed for patients or health plan members with multiple chronic conditions (83 percent). Other targets of a remote monitoring strategy included frequent utilizers of hospitals and ERs (62 percent) and the recently discharged (52 percent).
  • Telephonic Case Management: More than 84 percent of respondents utilize telephonic case managers. „One-fifth of telephonic case managers work within the office of a primary care practice.
  • Population Health Management: The last two years reflects a dramatic surge in the use of data analytics tools barely on population health management's radar in 2012: the use of health risk assessments (HRAs), registries and biometric screenings more than tripled in the last 24 months, while electronic health record (EHR) applications for population health increased five-fold for the same period.
  • Emergency Room Utilization: Among populations generating the majority of avoidable ED visits, dual eligibles jumped nearly 10 percent in the last four years, from 2 to 11 percent, while other populations—high utilizers, Medicare and Medicaid—remained roughly the same. „„Chronic disease replaced pain management as the most frequently presented problem in the ER, at 54 percent.
  • Stratification of High-Risk, High-Cost Patients: The „LACE readmission risk tool (Length of stay, Acute admission, Charleston Comorbidity score, ED visits) is considered the primary indice and screen to assess health risk, according to 33 percent of respondents.
  • Embedded Case Management: Fifty-seven percent of respondents embed or co-locate case managers in primary care practices, where their chief duties are care and transition management, reducing hospital readmissions and patient education and coaching.
  • 2015 Healthcare Forecast: Almost 92 percent of 2015 respondents said the impact of value-based healthcare on their business has been positive, with more than one quarter identifying healthcare’s value-based shift as the trend most likely to impact them in the year to come.

Make your healthcare voice count in 2015 by answering 10 Questions on Chronic Care Management by January 31, 2015. You'll receive a complimentary HINtelligence Report summarizing survey results.

The Year in Healthcare Intelligence: Reimbursement, Value-Based Results Resonate with Readers

December 29th, 2014 by Patricia Donovan

Newswise, fee-for-value healthcare initiatives eclipsed fee-for-service models.

When survival of healthcare providers hinges on payment for services rendered, it's not surprising our 2014 readers closely tracked news of emerging payment models and results from patient-centered, quality-based initiatives.

Here is a retrospective of stories that dominated our readers' news feeds over the last 12 months:

  • We reported on results from many accountable care organizations (ACO) over the last year, but few generated interest like the Anthem Blue Cross-Healthcare Partners accountable care collaboration that saved more than $4 million. The program succeeded by sharpening its focus to those with two or more chronic diseases—the population that research shows can most effectively be helped by coordinated care, officials state. A dedicated staff of care managers and care coordinators identify hospitalized ACO patients, coordinate transitions of care, and ensure patient care and healthcare resources are accessible.

  • Heads also turned when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed updated penalties and incentives for its Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), an accountable care initiative for Medicare beneficiaries. The proposed rules are designed to strengthen MSSP by placing greater emphasis on primary care services and promoting transitions to performance-based risk arrangements. CMS is also suggesting a third ACO model," track 3," which integrates some elements from the Pioneer ACO model.

  • The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model, a stepping stone to an ACO, garnered its share of readership, especially when the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) added five measures to its medical home criteria, the gold standard for patient-centered measurement.

    In its third iteration of PCMH standards since 2008, the NCQA added behavioral health integration and care management for high-need populations, among other new criteria.

  • The patient-centered model suffered a setback, however, when one of the first, largest, and longest-running multipayor trials of PCMHs in the United States was associated with limited improvements in quality and was not associated with reductions in use of hospital, emergency department (ED), or ambulatory care services or total costs of care over three years. Research by Rand Corporation and colleagues centered on patient-centered activities in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chronic Care Initiative.

  • There was good news on the medical home front, however: A study published in September, 2014 attributed reductions in emergency room visits, principally by patients with chronic illness, to the PCMH approach. Research by Independence Blue Cross (Independence) and CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services (CTI), and published by Health Services Research, found that transitions to a medical home were associated with a 5 to 8 percent reduction in ED utilization. This finding is specific to patients with chronic illness(es) having one or more ED visits in any given year. These reductions were most evident among patients with diabetes.

  • Readers also paid attention when Geisinger Health System, an early adoptor of care coordination for chronic illness, announced that its all-or-none or “bundled” approach to primary care for patients with diabetes produced better health outcomes, and the benefits happened quickly for the more than 4,000 patients in the study. The system-wide approach was not easy, warned Geisinger: the model requires constant evaluation, and must be scalable across a variety of practice settings.

  • Also raising the bar for physician practices was Highmark, which shared six requirements for the "best practices" element of its successful pay-for-performance initiative. Physician practices can earn additional rewards for completion of an office-based best practice project, essentially a small pilot, that involves measurement and reporting.

  • On the flip side, reporting of some questionable hospital pricing strategies rated some page views as well. Data released early in 2014 by National Nurses United (NNU) and the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy (IHSP) found that some U.S. hospitals charge more than 10 times their cost, or nearly $1200 for every $100 of their total costs. Public oversight or regulation seems to help constrain excessive pricing, researchers found; Maryland, probably the most regulated state in the United States, has the lowest average charges of all the states among its 10 most expensive hospitals.

  • Cost savings aside, readers seemed especially attuned to new approaches or technologies designed to streamline healthcare delivery and enhance the patient experience, such as an uptick in remote monitoring.

    One hundred percent of respondents to the Telehealth in 2013 Survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network monitor weight and vital signs, up from a respective 79 and 77 percent in 2010. The health conditions monitored remotely remain the same from 2010, the top three being heart failure, COPD and diabetes.

  • And finally, as all eyes focus on care management interventions that span the healthcare continuum, many readers responded to a story on a CMS pilot that would give hospice patients more options in the type of care they wish to receive at the end of life. Under the Medicare Care Choices Model, individuals who meet Medicare hospice eligibility requirements could receive palliative care services from certain hospice providers while concurrently receiving services provided by their curative care providers.

Were these stories on your news radar in 2014? Stay up-to-date in 2015 with the latest healthcare news, trends and benchmarks with a free subscription to the Healthcare Business Weekly Update.

5 Features of the Patient-Centered Medical Home

October 23rd, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

Patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) are not about pigeon-holing certain diseases or illnesses, says Terry McGeeney, MD, MBA, director at BDC Advisors, but about delivering acute and chronic care prevention and wellness. Dr. McGeeney reiterated the five essential features of the medical home as the groundwork for a medical neighborhood.

Given many of the initiatives of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), coupled with the Triple Aim, many have gotten bogged down and probably overly focused on the name: patient-centered medical home (PCMH). What’s important are the features or attributes of the PCMH: first, its patient-centeredness, a partnership among practitioners, patients and their families that ensures and respects the decisions of the patients and ensures patients have the education and support they need.

Secondly, in a PCMH, the care needs to be comprehensive. It’s a team of care providers who are wholly accountable for a patient’s physical and mental healthcare needs, including prevention and wellness, acute care, and chronic care.

Third, you will hear discussions about the PCMH being about a certain disease or illness. Please note that it’s acute and chronic care prevention and wellness. Pigeon-holing conditions, while important, is more of a chronic quality improvement initiative and not PCMH.

Fourth, under the PCMH, care needs to be coordinated. Care is organized across all elements of the broader healthcare system, including specialists, hospital, home healthcare, community service and support. There’s a lot of debate now about what we call ‘post-acute care’ or ‘transitions in care.’ Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator of CMS, recently spoke on the importance of post-acute care. This is what coordinated care particularly is all about.

Care has to be accessible. Patients are able to access services with shorter waiting times, after-hours care with access to EHRs, etc., and there has to be a commitment to quality and safety. Clinicians and staff need to enhance quality improvement with the use of health IT and other tools that are available to them.

We also need to be very careful that quality care is not equated with lower cost of care. Sometimes those two have a tendency to get muddled.

Source: Blueprint for a Medical Neighborhood: Building Care Coordination Between Specialists and PCPs

http://hin.3dcartstores.com/Blueprint-for-a-Medical-Neighborhood-Building-Care-Coordination-Between-Specialists-and-PCPs_p_4967.html

Blueprint for a Medical Neighborhood: Building Care Coordination Between Specialists and PCPs provides a framework in which to evaluate the patient-centered medical neighborhood (PCM-N) model. Pictured here is Terry McGeeney, MD, MBA, director of BDC Advisors, who navigates the landscape of the medical neighborhood, from the value-based payment realities of healthcare today to identifying and engaging specialists in a medical home neighborhood.

Bon Secours Blueprint for Advanced Medical Home: From Mortar to Measurement

October 7th, 2014 by Patricia Donovan

The building of Bon Secours Health System's Advanced Medical Home1 began with a walk-through—an assessment of bricks and mortar, explains Robert Fortini, vice president and chief clinical officer at Bon Secours Health System.

In Phase 1 of our Advanced Medical Home project, my team goes into a practice and does a basic workflow discovery—an assessment of bricks and mortar. Oftentimes, the physical plant is not effectively used.

Our objective in a primary care practice is to give each physician at least three or four exam rooms whenever possible. We will do that in a number of different ways, even if it means putting up walls or moving charts out now that we are electronic, or eliminating sample medication closets. We will do whatever it takes to achieve those three rooms per physician.

Next, we review the staff that is providing clinical support. We have developed competency assessment tools for patient service representative (PSR) staff, medical assistant (MA) staff, several different levels of licensed practical nurse (LPN) and our registered nurse (RN) navigator, which is the embedded case manager.

Third, we do an analysis of the physician’s panel size and risk acuity levels and form teams. Team formation is a difficult thing to do because you not only have to assess skills, licensures, panel size and patient acuity, but you also have to take personalities into consideration as well. That is the single most difficult obstacle to being effective.

Fourth, we introduce equipment and training on that equipment so the staff has tools they can use. We do wave testing point of care again, the objective being to eliminate that patient behavioral component and capture an actionable result on the spot before they leave the office. Their hypoglycemic agent or their Coumadin® dose could be titrated accordingly.

Fifth, we do optimization training with the use of our electronic medical record (EMR). We make sure everyone knows how to navigate and is comfortable with the documentation we require. We also use a coding training for the physician’s staff.

Finally, we have a set of metrics to establish baseline so we measure performance.

1. The Advanced Medical home is a model developed by the American College of Physicians involving the use of evidence-based medicine, clinical decision support tools, the Chronic Care Model, and other strategies to manage a patient population.

embedded case management

Robert Fortini, PNP, is vice president and chief clinical officer for Bon Secours Medical Group in Richmond, Virginia. He is responsible for facilitating provider adoption of EMR, coordinating clinical transformation to a patient-centered medical home care delivery model, and facilitating participation in available pay for performance initiatives as well as physician advocacy and affairs.

Source: Case Managers in the Primary Care Practice: Tools, Assessments and Workflows for Embedded Care Coordination

WellPoint Referral Preparedness Tools Support Physician-Specialist Care Compacts

October 2nd, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

With the help of care compacts that drive accountability between primary care physicians and specialists, WellPoint has launched a medical neighborhood pilot for three specialties with clear care coordination alignment opportunities with primary care medical homes. Here, Robert Krebbs, director of payment innovation at WellPoint, Inc., discusses how Wellpoint supports the care compact model with Referral Preparedness Tools— add-ons devised for physician/specialist patient handoffs.

One thing we found interesting was the uniform request from physicians for what we call ‘Referral Preparedness Tools.’ That’s a name we made up. These are add-ons to care compacts that call out common conditions for a given specialty, the conditions for which they often get referrals or consult requests from PCPs. It specifies for that condition what the specialist would like to see for the initial consult or regular repeating referral, and what they want the PCP to do first and send to them and specifically, what they want the PCP not to do—that is, things to avoid before sending the patient over.

On the flip side, the tool lists for that condition what the specialist intends to send back to the PCP. The practice will work on this together for common conditions. The tool doesn’t list everything that could possibly happen, but rather specifies the patient flow for common conditions.

We didn’t initially include this tool in our care compact expectations. The practices asked us for this; they see this as a true opportunity to drive improvement and efficiency in the system, to avoid unneeded care and to make sure that the correct care is provided for all patients.

We’re going to monitor development of these tools throughout the pilot to determine common themes so we can provide a good template starting place on this run as well as for future pilot practices in this program. We’re excited that specialists have made this template their own. They’re hard at work identifying what they’d like to see in these scenarios.

dual eligibles care
Robert Krebbs is the director of payment innovation at WellPoint where he has accountability for the design, development and rollout of value-based payment initiatives. He works directly with network physicians and facilities on innovative performance measurement programs aimed at delivering healthcare value by promoting high quality, affordable care.

Source: Care Compacts in the Medical Neighborhood: Transforming PCP-Specialist Care Coordination

7 Lessons from a Health Network’s Home Visit Program

September 23rd, 2014 by Melanie Matthews

Home visits to patients with complex care needs can provide huge returns by identifying patient compliance barriers that are only apparent when seeing a patient in their home. Dr. Larry Greenblatt, M.D., director for the chronic care program at Durham Community Health Network for Duke University Medical Center, shares organizational lessons from using home visits as part of a care transition program to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions and emergency room utilization.

With our patient population, none of these patients in the program have simple or single diagnosis. We learned that Care Partners providing intensive and frequent service with a strong face-to-face component backed by an interdisciplinary support team can help high-utilizing patients receive their care in more effective and efficient outpatient settings.

Second, when using previous programs that focused on telephone education and advice, we discovered that the face-to-face interactions have a direct impact on these patients and their ability to change their care model.

Third, we discovered that, if effective on a larger scale, our care model could be used nationally as a significant means of reducing healthcare costs.

Fourth, this intervention reduced unplanned admission days by 77 (71 percent) in three months. This reduction greatly benefits the medical patients and gives us increased capacity for new admissions. It also improves the life and the care of those patients who are involved in the program.

Fifth, most of our pilot patients had unmet mental health and substance abuse problems and had difficulty obtaining needed services. That was another benefit of having the multidisciplinary team sitting around the table as we did care conferences on our patients on a weekly basis. We actively addressed the mental health needs to help get a patient’s medical issues taken care of and result in higher benefits from our care being linked to all of the care.

Sixth, this multidisciplinary approach, direct face-to-face contact and ongoing telephone contact is the secret in making this program work.

And finally, patients often did not have a primary care provider at the beginning of the pilot and they benefited from being linked with one. Finding them a medical home was important and made the patients feel more comfortable with continuing to keep outpatient appointments.

home visits
Dr. Larry Greenblatt, MD, is the medical director for the chronic care program at Durham Community Health Network. Dr. Greenblatt is also an associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center, where he has been on the faculty since 1994. Dr Greenblatt focuses on postgraduate medical education and primary care.

Source: Home Visit Handbook: Structure, Assessments and Protocols for Medically Complex Patients

4 Goals for Furthering Care Coordination in the Medical Neighborhood

August 28th, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

With the advent of the medical neighborhood, care coordination is no longer the sole domain of the primary care practice (PCP), but a responsibility shared among all providers that touch the patient. But how to formalize co-management of patients by PCPs and specialists — in a way that both assures efficient delivery of high-quality healthcare and addresses the ‘pain points’ of each provider group? Here, Robert Krebbs, director of payment innovation at WellPoint, Inc., discusses the four goals for furthering care coordination in the medical neighborhood.

The care compact isn’t intended to solve all the world’s problems. We know it’s not going to make care coordination perfect, but it’s a starting point. Just like the PCMH provides a foundation for the medical neighborhood, the care compacts provide a foundation for care coordination between practices. It’s an essential starting point to further care coordination expectations across the medical neighborhood.

First, with the care compact, we’re helping the pilot practices by identifying the PCPs they can collaborate with to put care compacts in place. We’re playing connector for these two practices.

Second, we’re assessing the current care coordination capabilities of the specialist practices in the pilot and looking at where they’re starting from in terms of care coordination.

Third, we’re watching them customize the care compact and monitoring how they adapt it to their practice needs so we can come up with a stronger template at the end of this pilot than we started with that guides this last point.

Finally, we’re going to disseminate best practices throughout the process to all participants in the pilot. Everyone will benefit from the hard work of each participating practice.

Excerpted from Care Compacts in the Medical Neighborhood: Transforming PCP-Specialist Care Coordination.

8 Challenges to Medical Home Success

August 21st, 2014 by Cheryl Miller

"The reality of today is that the healthcare world as we know it is changing more than any time since the advent of Medicare," says Dr. Terry McGeeney, director of BDC Advisors. System coordination, patient-centeredness and patient engagement are some of the new industry goals, he says, which bring new challenges, chief among them being physician reluctance to change.

  • First, there are some real challenges to making the changes to patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). A lot of physicians are reluctant to change. Physicians have been trained to be change-averse and variable-averse to avoid making mistakes at two o’clock in the morning, etc.
  • Second, physician leadership and physician champions are critical, and again, sometimes this has to be trained and taught.
  • Third, there’s a culture that is very traditional in healthcare; we need to think and talk about that. There is also a culture within individual practices and health systems that creates barriers to successful transformation.
  • Fourth, some providers are not able to function effectively in a team environment and this needs to be supported and transformed with the appropriate training provided.
  • Fifth, communication is critical at multiple levels. Successful medical neighborhoods and clinically integrated neighborhoods (CINs) are built around communication, care plans, care that’s delivered, data, quality metrics, lab data, etc.
  • Sixth, there has to be trust between all of the entities as systems are transforming and payor data becomes more critical. Partnerships with payors around shared savings or shared risk are becoming more common. Trust is critical, and again, that hasn’t always existed.
  • Seventh, we need to make sure there are aligned incentives; you can’t ask people to do more work for the same compensation. You can’t ask them to assume more risk for the same compensation. Incentives need to be aligned around what is now called ‘value-proposition’ or ‘pay-for-value,’ or to where there is an expectation to improve quality and lower cost.
  • And finally, there needs to be full recognition that PCMH transformation is not easy. It’s very difficult, it’s time consuming, but at the end it’s highly rewarding.

value-based reimbursement
Terry McGeeney, MD, MBA, is a director at BDC Advisors. He was recently appointed a visiting scholar in Economic Studies for the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C.

Source: Driving Value-Based Reimbursement with Integrated Care Models