America’s largest initiative to transform healthcare got the attention it deserved on May 22 as hundreds of participants in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) initiative took part in a full day learning session at the Ohio Union on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
Led by The Health Collaborative, approximately 700 attendees (participating both in person and virtually) represented nearly 450 practices that engaged team-based sessions designed to move data and best practices into action.
Andrea Harmon, CMS regional lead to the CPC+ initiative and Richard Shonk, MD, chief medical officer for The Health Collaborative, provided insight into the progress of the region in program year one, explored methods for coordinating payer transformation efforts, and proposed new learning communities within the regional landscape.
Overall, the outcomes shared for the third quarter of 2017 are impressive. Notably, metrics in care management, care compacts, Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs), and emergency department/hospital discharge follow-up have realized significant increases since the start of the initiative. Medicare data also shows a slight decrease in both inpatient hospital utilization and emergency department visit utilization (observed/expected ratio).
“Practices are placing effort to build a stable foundation in which they can build a successful structure to support the transformation processes and implementation of CPC+ core functions,” remarked Tiffany Mattingly MSN, RN, director of clinical quality improvement for The Health Collaborative. “This work takes time to see results in cost and utilization, which is why focusing on the metrics is helpful early on. These are the process measures which will ultimately decrease cost and utilization and increase quality,” continued Mattingly.
Although the message of collaboration and team engagement was directed toward the regional CPC+ partners, there were many valuable, key takeaways that all practices can learn from – even those not participating in the CPC+ initiative.
For example, Dr. Shonk explained that when it comes to improvement, let data be your guide. For a successful quality improvement endeavor, it’s helpful to first identify a key staff member responsible for downloading and reviewing reports each quarter and diversify your data sources. Then, he suggest that you share with your data with any collaborating partners and be sure to view data over a time because trends are more valuable than any single point of data. “In a nutshell, whoever measures value controls payment,” stated Dr. Shonk.
In addition to programs focused on regional trends in care delivery data, the conference also included concurrent breakout sessions and interactive roundtable sessions that addressed pressing issues facing all members of the care team. Advance care planning, electronic health record quality measure strategies, and collaborative care agreements within systems and across the neighborhood were just a few of the featured sessions to encourage regional and peer collaboration.
One specific panel presentation, Behavioral Health Models in Action, featured Adena Health Systems and the Family Practice Center of Wadsworth which was led by Ohio Academy of Family Physicians Past President Matthew Finneran, MD. The tag-team presentation highlighted the incredible patient success that can be achieved when untraditional primary care and behavioral health partners come together.
The Ohio-Northern Kentucky region of the CPC+ initiative includes 562 participating practices and 350,000 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, which makes it the largest of the 18 regions. In fact, if you look at the CPC+ initiative from a national perspective, the Ohio-Northern Kentucky region equates to 20% of the entire project.
Questions regarding the CPC+ initiative should be directed to The Health Collaborative.