June 1, 2009
Vol. II, No. 3
Five States Funded to Transform Safety Net Clinics into Medical Homes
A national safety net medical home initiative will provide $6 million to help 68 community health centers in five states transform themselves into PCMHs. Health centers in Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Oregon and Pennsylvania will receive training and ongoing support to improve how they deliver care to more than 500,000 patients.
Funded by The Commonwealth Fund and eight co-funders, the initiative is led by Qualis Health, a Seattle-based quality improvement organization. Working closely with the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation, Qualis Health will support health centers' efforts to improve the coordination of information between primary care and specialty care or community providers, use health IT to identify patients with unmet needs and improve care for those with chronic conditions, and systematically obtain feedback from patients for quality improvement.
The goals of the initiative are to transform these health centers and to promote state policies that will ensure that the model is sustained and spread throughout each state. At the end of the initial grant period, all 68 health centers should be recognized as replicable models of excellence.
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The researchers found that children who had just a usual source of care were more likely to visit the ER than those who had a medical home. "With just a usual source of care, you may not have access to integrated healthcare delivery, including appropriate referrals, timely care, interpreter services or culturally sensitive communication with your PCP," said Dr. Raphael. "The medical home serves as your partner, your built-in care, your home base for receiving healthcare."
Racial/ethnic disparities in ER utilization were reduced when children had medical homes as opposed to a usual source of care, said Dr. Raphael. He noted that at least 15 percent of children have special healthcare needs. "These are kids with severe chronic disease ranging from severe asthma to children who need tubes to feed and breathe," said Dr. Raphael. "This group is of particular interest, as they represent a resource-intense and medically fragile population."
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Healthcare organizations are recalibrating business plans, projects and priorities mid-year in response to the recession, pending healthcare reform and high numbers of unemployed, uninsured and underinsured. Find out how the current financial environment is impacting healthcare trends by completing HIN's Survey of the Month on Healthcare Trends in 2009: Mid-Year Adjustment by June 30. Youíll get a free executive summary of the compiled results. Your responses will be kept strictly confidential.
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Patient Registries: The Track to Better Quality Healthcare
Besides creating realistic views of clinical practices, patient outcomes, safety and comparative effectiveness, patient registries support evidence development and decision-making and are associated with improved management of chronic illness. Learn how 150 healthcare organizations use registries to identify and track patients with defined diseases or conditions — an essential first step toward health IT implementation.
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