Four leading healthcare providers and one community organization have been named recipients of the 2012 IPRO Quality Awards. The awards, given annually by IPRO, recognize providers and professionals who demonstrate a high-level of commitment to improving the quality of care provided to New York’s Medicare beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients. The awards were presented during IPRO’s 28th Annual Meeting, June 5th at the New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott Hotel. “These awardees represent leaders of New York State’s healthcare community,” says Clare B. Bradley MD, MPH, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at IPRO. “What unites them is their commitment to quality. We applaud them for their achievements.” Awards were given for accomplishments on a range of quality-related topics:
IPRO has been chosen to work on an important new federal project that could have major ramifications for how healthcare services are paid for in the future. Currently, most services are reimbursed individually, on a unit-by-unit basis that is often criticized as costly and inefficient. Under a national contract won by a multi-state team put together by Massachusetts-based Brandeis University, experts will organize services into larger episodes of care—with the goal of recognizing and rewarding those providers who can deliver high value services. IPRO was chosen by the Brandeis team to help translate clinical logic into a functioning Patient Centered Episode of Care System (PACES), as well as to work on important software documentation activities. While this four-year contract from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will initially focus on its use to power the CMS physician value modifier, bundled payment demos, and physician resource use reporting, experts believe that PACES could have a major affect on how other public and private payers reimburse a wide range of healthcare services.
IPRO has entered into an affiliation agreement with Lumetra Healthcare Solutions, a San Francisco-based not-for-profit organization with a long history of innovation in quality improvement and cost-containment. The affiliation enables Lumetra Healthcare Solutions to remain a separate company, focused primarily on West Coast and national clients, while realizing the administrative efficiencies of consolidating financial, human resources and information technology resources with IPRO’s infrastructure. “Lumetra has grown into a well-diversified organization with a dedicated and highly-energetic work force,“ says IPRO Chief Executive Officer Theodore O. Will.
“We’re excited by the opportunity to collaborate in a way that strengthens the nationwide reach of both organizations.” Lumetra Healthcare Solutions solves healthcare business problems with an integrated clinical, analytical, and technological approach that reduces complexity and costs while improving patient outcomes. For more information, visit www.lumetrasolutions.com.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a national Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, with a goal of reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs among nursing home residents by 15 percent by the end of the calendar year. Currently, the agency estimates that as many as 40 percent of patients with signs of dementia receive antipsychotic drugs, despite the absence of a diagnoses of psychosis. The agency is emphasizing non-pharmacological alternatives, including more consistent staff assignments, more exercise for patients, better management of chronic pain and individualized activity planning. CMS has developed a “Hand in Hand” training program for nursing home staff, emphasizing abuse prevention and patient-centered care. State and federal nursing home surveyors are receiving increased training in behavioral health.
In addition, beginning this month CMS is including facility-specific rates of antipsychotic drug use on the Medicare Nursing Home Compare website located at . According to CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner: “We want our loved ones with dementia to receive the best care and the highest quality of life possible.”
IPRO is currently offering technical assistance to communities across New York in an effort to address preventable readmissions of Medicare beneficiaries to acute care hospitals. According to national data, 17.6 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are re-hospitalized within 30 days of discharge from an acute care hospital—with three out of four re-admissions viewed as potentially preventable. Under the three-year Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) contract that began last summer, IPRO educates providers and communities on key issues affecting re-hospitalization rates. Program experts have identified five essential elements of community-based campaigns to reduce preventable readmissions. These include: (1) assessing patient/caregiver understanding of medications and instructions via the Teach-Back Method; (2) identification and referral of high-risk readmission patients for follow-up care; (3) cross setting medication reconciliation; (4) streamlined, standardized information transfer across settings; and (5) support for patient/caregiver self-care. For more information on IPRO’s activities, read “Integrating Health Care Across the Continuum: Strategies to Support the Move from Silos to Partnerships,” by IPRO Senior Director Sara Butterfield, RN, BSN, CPHQ, which appears in the June 2012 edition of the Home Care Association of New York State’s newsletter, The Educator, now available at: www.hca-nys.org/documents/EducatorVolume3Edition3June2012.pdf