January 2015 Newsletter

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Monthly Newsletter

Volume 4  Number 1

January 1, 2015

HNY 2015


Affordable Care Act Funding Will Improve Accessibility

and Affordability


(HARTFORD, CT) –Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Governor Dannel P. Malloy, and the state’s Congressional delegation applauded the announcement today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarding Connecticut $45 million to test health care payment and delivery models. This funding builds upon the State Innovation Model (SIM) design grant that Connecticut received in March 2013 to develop a State Healthcare Innovation Plan, which was completed in December 2013.

“This is excellent news for Connecticut and our residents,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, Chair of the Healthcare Innovation Steering Committee.

“I thank President Obama and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell for their support of state-led initiatives to enhance quality, affordable healthcare; and our Congressional delegation for their advocacy on behalf of the state’s application. In particular, I commend the efforts by Mark Schaefer and the Healthcare Innovation team who developed a winning model that emphasizes quality of care—absolutely critical to furthering a strong and vibrant state.”

“This funding is great news for Connecticut because it’s an important part of continuing our efforts to increase access to quality healthcare,” said Governor Malloy. “Connecticut has been at the forefront of implementing affordable, accessible coverage. When it comes down to it, these efforts are really about improving the quality of life for the people of our state.”

The SIM grant will support the ongoing work of the Malloy Administration to improve access to healthcare and behavioral health treatment, and strengthen healthcare delivery by emphasizing quality of care and outcomes.

“We could not be more pleased to be awarded a State Innovation Model Test Grant. This award represents the completion of a monumental two- year effort that saw unprecedented collaboration between our various stakeholders,” said Dr. Mark Schaefer, Director of Healthcare Innovation. “We still have a great deal of work ahead, but I am confident that with the continued efforts of our team and the support of our stakeholders we will improve the lives of the residents of our state. I’m grateful for the terrific leadership of Vicki Veltri and the Office of the Healthcare Advocate, which developed the foundation for these much needed reforms.”

Connecticut’s plan includes more than $6 million to measure and improve community health and health equity, address increasing rates of obesity and diabetes, and strengthen primary care. The state also plans to implement a Medicaid Quality Improvement Shared Savings Program designed to reward providers that invest in delivering better quality care, more equitable care, and a better care experience for Medicaid beneficiaries.

“This grant will improve coordinated care, shift the focus onto personal healthcare goals, and make the quality and cost of treatment more transparent,” said Dr. Tom Raskauskas, Healthcare Innovation Steering Committee member and CEO/President,St. Vincent’s Health Partners, Inc. “Helping patients take charge of their healthcare is key— making it easier to communicate with their doctors and build expert coordinated care teams to ensure they have the tools to set healthcare goals and reach them.”

“This substantial federal grant continues Connecticut’s national leadership in health care payment reform, and will bring improvements in care and health equity to all aspects of the healthcare system,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

“Connecticut is leading the nation in innovations to transform access to quality healthcare nationwide— delivering better care at lower costs.”

“In many ways, Connecticut is a proof of concept for the Affordable Care Act. Through committed leadership at the state and federal levels, we have shown that the law can be transformative for individuals and health care providers,” said Senator Chris Murphy. “Our exchange has been one of the most successful and well-run in the country and I’m thrilled that this new funding, for which I was proud to advocate, will give Connecticut the opportunity to once again be a leader. For too long, the health care delivery system in our country has prioritized quantity of services rather than quality. This initiative will demonstrate that by focusing on primary care and rewarding health outcomes will not only mean cost savings over time but also a healthier population.”

“Connecticut has a long tradition of being a center for innovation in health care,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “This grant, made possible by the Affordable Care Act, will help improve the way we deliver healthcare in Connecticut. Congratulations to the State of Connecticut for winning this award. I look forward to seeing how Connecticut families benefit from improved health care quality and lower costs.”

“Under the leadership of Governor Malloy, Connecticut has been nationally recognized as being at the forefront of healthcare reform,” said Congressman John B. Larson. “I applaud the efforts of our Governor, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, the Office of the Healthcare Advocate and many others for their efforts to obtain this award. As implementation of this funding begins, I look forward to seeing Connecticut continue to engage stakeholders throughout our health care community to make this a success.”

“The single most important thing we can do for our nation’s long-term fiscal stability is to rein in the cost of healthcare,” said Congressman Jim Himes.

“This grant will build on the Affordable Care Act by supporting innovative programs designed to help reduce health care costs, save money for individuals and the government, and improve the delivery of care. I was pleased to help push for this grant and I look forward to supporting Connecticut’s continued progress in improving our health care system.”

“Connecticut has always been a leader in providing high-quality healthcare services, and today’s grant will help our state continue to expand access to affordable care,” said Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty. “I want to thank Secretary Burwell for her investment in our endeavors. This grant will go a long way in improving the delivery of care, particularly with additional residency opportunities for primary care providers. I commend Governor Malloy, Lt. Governor Wyman, the Office of the Healthcare Advocate, and Mark Schaefer and the entire Healthcare Innovation team for their commitment to a successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act here in our state. I look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that every Connecticut resident can access high-quality, timely, and affordable healthcare.”

“I am very pleased to see recognition that reform of the healthcare delivery system means opportunity for all to improve their health— particularly so for those that have experienced compromised health outcomes due to inequities in the system,” said Patricia Baker, Healthcare Innovation Steering Committee member and President and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation. “Connecticut seized this opportunity to ensure this transformation is charged with eliminating health inequities in our state. This grant is a tremendous step forward in building an equitable health care delivery system for the residents of Connecticut.”

“We are committed to partnering with Connecticut to advance the goals we all share: better care, smarter spending, and ultimately, healthier people,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. “We’re seeing states do some very innovative things when it comes to improving the ways we deliver care, pay providers, and distribute information. These funds will support Connecticut in integrating and coordinating the many elements of health care – including Medicaid, Medicare, public health, and private health care delivery systems – to the benefit of patients, businesses, and taxpayers alike.”

Nationwide, 11 states were awarded over $620 million in federal funds funded by the Affordable Care Act to test health care payment and service delivery models that will improve health care quality and lower costs.



Bayada Home Health, Stratford VNA and VNS of Connecticut announced that they have been named a Top Agency of the 2014 HomeCare Elite™, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. Now in its ninth year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall. Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice (process measure) implementation, patient experience (Home Health CAHPS®), quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least one outcome in Home Health Compare. Out of 9,994 agencies considered, 2,501 are elite.

The award is sponsored by OCS HomeCare by National Research Corporation, the leading provider of home health metrics and analytics, and DecisionHealth, publisher of the most respected independent newsletter in the home health profession, Home Health Line.

“The 2014 HomeCare Elite winners demonstrate a commitment to providing high quality care in their home health communities and we recognize them for their remarkable achievements,” said Mary Oakes, Senior Vice President of Post-Acute at National Research. “We congratulate Bayada Home Health, Stratford VNA and VNS of Connecticut on being recognized as a top home care agency.”

Road to 10: CMS Online Tool for Small Practices

Road to 10, an online resource built with the help of providers in small practices, is now available. This tool is designed to help small medical practices jumpstart their ICD-10 transition. “Road to 10” includes specialty references and helps providers build ICD-10 action plans tailored for their practice needs.

Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Initiative (BPCI)

Bundle up for Quality

Weekly update calls continue to review the status of the project.

In preparation for the April 1st roll out, the Transitional Leadership Committee has been meeting on a monthly basis. This month’s meeting was held on Thursday, December 18th.

The BPCI timeline was reviewed.

Jessica Fauci, Executive Director, Medical Nursing and Case Management gave an update on the inpatient mapping process. There was also discussion regarding medication reconciliation, patient mobility, communication and barriers to a timely discharge. A draft copy of the preferred provider brochure that would be handed out to patients was shared with the group.

Amy Kurzatkowski, Outpatient Pharmacy Manager explained the Meds to Beds program. Suggestions were made as to how to inform patients as well as the medical community.

Each of the four preferred Home Health Agnecies- Bayada, Jewish Senior Services, Stratford VNA and VNS of Connecticut-gave a brief presentation on the services that they provide.

The next Transitions Leadership Committee meeting will be held on Thursday, January 29th at 1:00 PM in the Hawley conference room.

We anticipate that the work that is done in these meetings will positively overflow to the transitions of all patients between each of the settings and across the clinically integrated network.

Discount Purchasing Program

Yankee Value Prop_Diane_Ogiba

We are extremely excited to announce our membership with Yankee Alliance, a national group purchasing organization focused on working with healthcare providers to reduce their supply and operating expenses through aggregation of data, purchasing, ideas and knowledge.

For over 25 years, Yankee Alliance’s members have achieved savings from a comprehensive portfolio of contracts, customized to meet their unique purchasing needs. Through an affiliation with Premier, Inc. one of the largest national group purchasing organizations, Yankee Alliance members have access to over 2,100 contracts covering everything from food service to housekeeping supplies.

To learn more about this program, we will be having a webinar on January 13th at 1:00 PM. To register for this webinar, please contact Karen O’Driscoll at (203) 275-0205 or via email at karenodriscoll@stvincentshealthpartners.org.

Contact Information

Dr. Thomas Raskauskas, CEO/President, (203) 275-0202; thomas.raskauskas@stvincentshealthpartners.org

Dr. Michael Hunt, Chief Medical Officer/Chief Medical Information Officer, (203) 275-0203; michael.hunt@stvincentshealthpartners.org

Colleen Swedberg, MSN, RN, CNL Care Coordinator, (203) 275-0209; colleen.swedberg@stvincentshealthpartners.org

Anthony Brockman, Director of Information Technology, (203) 275-0206; anthony.brockman@stvincentshealthpartners.org

Karen O’Driscoll, Director of Professional Relations, (203) 275-0205; karenodriscoll@stvincentshealthpartners.org

Sophia Jackson, RN, Care Coordination Associate, (203) 275-0212; sophia.Jackson@stvincentshealthpartners.org

Mina Gasdia, RN, Care Coordination and Integration Associate, (203) 275-0207; mina.Gasdia@stvincentshealthpartners.org

Kyle Lanning, JD, Information and Integration Manager, (203) 275-0204; kyle.lanning@stvincentshealthpartners.org

Erika Foster, Integration Associate, (203) 275-0208; erika.foster@stvincentshealthpartners.org

Susanne Salgado, Communications and Operations Associate, (203) 275-0201; Susanne.Salgado@stvincentshealthpartners.org