Today in Complex Care

Funding Opportunities in Complex Care, July 2017

By Dan Kamyck | July 6, 2017 at 4:21 PM

Open Funding Opportunities

National

The RCHN Community Health Foundation seeks to identify and support a representative and committed group of health center grantees and partners that are planning or are engaged in local or state initiatives to engage in “health neighborhoods” that support systems for population health management, while also addressing local, upstream causes of health disparities. Community health centers, designated look-alikes and primary care associations are eligible to apply for this award. FUNDING | The Foundation expects to fund five awards under this program, with an approximate amount of $125,000 per award. DEADLINE | Letters of Interest are due 5:00 pm eastern time on Monday, July 24, 2017. Selected applicants will be invited to complete a full proposal. Award announcements are expected to be made in mid-October 2017.

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Three Care Models to Know: Presentations from the 2017 CAPG Conference

By Dan Kamyck | June 27, 2017 at 7:52 PM

CAPG's Annual Conference in California attracts national industry leaders from top medical groups, independent practice associations, hospitals, health plans, and government who come together to share and learn about the latest trends in capitated, coordinated healthcare. 

Among the many presenters were executives from three leading healthcare organizations, each presenting their successes and lessons learned in care redesign and innovative care delivery models.

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ACT.md wins "People's Choice Award" from MassChallenge and Massachusetts Competitive Partnership

By Dan Kamyck | June 14, 2017 at 12:51 PM

More than 600 leaders in Boston's digital health community gathered yesterday to celebrate the inaugural season finale of PULSE@MassChallenge and to honor the first cohort of 31 digital health start-ups accepted to the program.

ACT.md was honored with the People's Choice Award from MassChallenge, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, and event attendees. Accepting the award, Dr. Narath Carlile, ACT.md CMIO, thanked our Program Champions Cerner and Humana for their support, and our customers like Boston Medical Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and Aetna who are doing things differently to improve health and healthcare for patients and families in Massachusetts and across the country.

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Nearly 1 million Medicaid beneficiaries to be served by ACOs in Massachusetts, starting January 2018

By Dan Kamyck | June 13, 2017 at 5:48 PM

In the largest change to Massachusetts Medicaid (MassHealth) in 20 years, the state has named the 18 accountable care organizations selected to care for 900,000 MassHealth members. Following a successful pilot program, the new MassHealth ACO program will roll out across the state in January 2018.

Thomas Barker, attorney at Foley Hoag, told Boston Business Journal that no other state is moving as aggressively as Massachusetts to shift its Medicaid program to accountable care - “this is the state saying we’re progressing along, we’re not slowing down.”

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Accountable Health Community Profile: Baltimore, MD

By Dan Kamyck | June 12, 2017 at 1:27 PM

Last spring, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a $157 million innovation round focused on building “Accountable Health Communities.” These communitywide partnerships screen patients for unmet social needs and connect them from the health care system to community resources. 

The City of Baltimore won approval for their five-year, $4.2 million Accountable Health Community project designed to "move beyond one-off programs that connect patients to resources and toward a city-wide ecosystem that addresses patients’ social needs comprehensively."

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Finding answers for children with undiagnosed complex medical conditions

By Dan Kamyck | June 8, 2017 at 4:04 PM

Families of children with rare disease, especially undiagnosed illnesses, often wait years for answers. For Nicole Donoghue, a mom in North Carolina, the task of coordinating diagnostic efforts among the 10 specialists serving her young son ultimately fell in her lap. This meant the burden of piecing it all together fell to her. In her own words:

What I really needed was a medical quarterback helping me navigate all the results, the assumptions, and our options. But my son did not have a medical quarterback; he had a tenacious mom unwilling to let her son’s ailments go unanswered. But we ran out of time.
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Digital Tool for Patient-Reported Cancer Symptoms Extends Survival

By Dan Kamyck | June 6, 2017 at 6:03 PM

Symptom management is a core concern of oncology practice, with clinicians trying to alleviate suffering and avoid complications for advanced cancer patients. However, up to half of symptoms go missed between visits, seriously challenging clinicians' symptom management efforts and impacting patient survival.

A potential solution: Systemic symptom monitoring via web-based interface. According to a randomized trial, patients' use of a digital tool was associated with improved quality of life and longer overall survival – by almost half a year. “This approach should be considered for inclusion as a part of standard symptom management,”said Dr. Ethan Basch, principal investigator.

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CMS releases new standardized screening tool for health-related social needs

By Dan Kamyck | June 1, 2017 at 2:52 PM

Nine in ten physicians serving low-income communities believe patients’ social needs are as important to address as their medical conditions. But according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), screening for social needs is not yet standard clinical practice due to "the absence of established pathways and infrastructure and perceptions of inadequate time to make community referrals."

New social screening tool: CMS is out with a new 10-item screening tool to identify patient needs across five domains of social needs. The tool was designed to be "short, accessible, consistent, and inclusive," with input from experts at Kaiser Permanente, Boston Children's, Hennepin Health, and other organizations.

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95% of hospitals & health systems will develop high-value PAC networks by 2020

By Dan Kamyck | May 25, 2017 at 3:59 PM

With the federal government putting pressure on post-acute care (PAC) providers to reduce utilization, growth in PAC preferred provider networks is "surging" across the country, according to both a Manatt analysis and a Premier study.

National PAC trends: "Though unlikely in the immediate term, the future of PAC payment will continue to shift toward risk-adjusted, site-neutral payments and tests of value-based payment models, including acute-post-acute care bundles," says Stephanie Anthony, Director, Manatt Health.

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Finding joy in palliative care practice: one physician's perspective

By Dan Kamyck | May 24, 2017 at 4:39 PM

Four years ago, Dr. Kathryn Kirkland at Dartmouth-Hitchcock left the world of infectious disease–a world that "felt increasingly superficial, fragmented, isolated, a hard place to find joy and meaning"–for the world of palliative care. Through several patient stories in JAMA, she recounts three elements of practice which cultivate joy:

It’s funny how the world of palliative care, which each day brings us face-to-face with illness, with mortality, with heartbreak, is not a place of overwhelming sadness. Each day, instead, we find (or perhaps we cocreate) meaning, and even joy in our work. What core elements of our practice allow this to happen? 

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