Healthcare Innovation Central
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{Million Hearts Campaign} Heart disease and stroke are the cause of 1 in 3 deaths, and the leading cause of preventable deaths in America. They cost $315.4 B in healthcare costs a year, and are the leading contributors to racial disparities in life expectancy.

Last week the Connecticut Department of Public Health, in partnership with the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors coordinated a Million Hearts Workshop for healthcare leaders, healthcare providers, insurers, and pharmacy students. The focus of the workshop was the role of pharmacy services such as Medication Therapy Management in achieving the objectives of the Million Hearts Campaign.

Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Chair of the State Innovation Model, Director of Healthcare Innovation Dr. Mark Schaefer, and Connecticut Healthcare Advocate Vicki Veltri today announced that Alliance Medical Group of Middlebury, Northeast Medical Group of Stratford, St. Vincent's Health Partners of Bridgeport, and Western CT Health Network of Danbury will receive technical assistance under the State Innovation Model (SIM) Advanced Medical Home Vanguard pilot program. The four practices represent more than 30 providers in Connecticut. Primary care practices are encouraged to participate in the Advanced Medical Home Vanguard Program pilot program. Applications are accepted on a first-come first-served basis.

The SIM Program Management Office is seeking consulting services to support the implementation of a Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) Consortium to promote the statewide adoption of VBID. Services include, but are not limited to, identifying and engaging the necessary stakeholders, establishing and facilitating an employer-led consortium with core interest sub-groups, facilitating annual learning collaborative, assessing current VBID programs and designing model VBID programs. The deadline for proposals is 3 p.m. on July 31, 2015. Click here to access the request for proposals.

{SGR Repeal} On April 16, 2015 President Obama signed legislation that repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), and changes the way Medicare pays doctors.

As reported by the Washington Post, the president announced that the legislation gives assurances to doctors about their payments and “it also improves it because it starts encouraging payments based on quality, not the number of tests that are provided or the number of procedures that are applied but whether or not people actually start feeling better. It encourages us to continue to make the system better without denying service.”
 
This month, Cigna reported that its value-based payment reform in Connecticut has led to improved quality and reduced cost among its participating medical groups. Cigna’s value-based payment program, called Cigna Collaborative Care, rewards a medical group if it meets targets for improving quality and reducing costs, much like the SIM-funded value-based payment initiative currently being designed (Medicaid Quality Improvement & Shared Savings Program). Read Cigna’s announcement here.
 
A SIM-funded physician survey conducted by UConn Health and Yale School of Health asked more than 1,000 physicians across Connecticut questions ranging from their job satisfaction to their thoughts about patient-centered medical homes. The survey was released to the Healthcare Innovation Steering Committee on April 9, 2015.