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Thursday, April 26, 2012
Feds Begin Forcing Hawaii Island MDs into 'Medical Homes'
By News Release @ 3:57 AM :: 6211 Views :: Hawaii County , Akaka Bill


News Release from HIBC

Starting this month, the Hawaii Island Beacon Community (HIBC) is implementing a physician practice redesign program to transform up to 30 independent Primary Care Physician practices into Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH).

Melinda Nugent, clinical program manager for HIBC, will lead the effort and collaborate with quality improvement coaches from the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii (NKFH). Other partners in the program include North Hawaii Community Hospital and the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA).

Practice transition to the PCMH model is tied to a new strategy for health care reimbursements. The program will use a curriculum developed by TransforMED, an American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) company.

“Introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1967, the PCMH model has become the national standard for primary care delivery,” said Susan B. Hunt, MHA, project director and CEO of HIBC.

“HIBC aims to help physicians fast-track the transformation of their primary care practices at no charge,” she said. “The PCMH includes the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and is designed to improve care quality and efficiency, help people take an active role in improving their own health and reduce costs in the long term.”

Each of the 30 Hawaii Island practices participating will receive, at no charge:

* A baseline practice assessment.
* A customized practice transformation plan.
* Access to 10 webinars that cover topics such as pre-visit planning, care coordination, and data recording and documentation.
* Admission to quarterly collaborative learning sessions with other participants.
* Recognition as a PCMH upon successful completion of the program.

Enrollment is on a first-come basis. As of April 23, spots are still available. (In other words, they are having a hard time finding MDs willing to go along with this.) Primary Care Physicians interested in signing up may contact Melinda Nugent at (808) 933-8559 or mnugent@hibeacon.org.

“Practice redesign is an exciting new venture for NKFH, and we are proud to be a part of this partnership,” said Victoria Page, RN, BSN, director of community health initiatives for NKFH. “We are leveraging our expertise in patient advocacy and chronic disease prevention and treatment, and hiring and training practice coaches who will work with HIBC to facilitate the TransforMED activities within the physician’s office.”

The PCMH is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care for children, youth and adults. It facilitates partnerships between patients and their personal physicians.

PCMH Principles:

  • Personal physician – Each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician trained to provide first contact, continuous and comprehensive care.
  • Team-based care – The personal physician leads a team of individuals at the practice level who collectively take responsibility for the ongoing care of patients.
  • Whole person orientation – The team is responsible for providing for all the patient’s health care needs and appropriately arranging care with other qualified professionals. This includes care for all stages of life: acute, chronic, preventive and end of life care.
  • Coordinated and/or integrated services – Across the health care system: primary care, specialty care, hospitals, home health care and community services. Care is facilitated by registries, Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
  • Accessible – Through expanded hours, open scheduling and new options for communication.
  • Quality and safety – Through the use of evidence-based medicine, clinical decision support tools and active patient participation.
  • Payment – Based on value, coordination, continuous improvement and use of technology.

“The physicians who will be participating in TransforMED’s program and working with us to adopt the PCMH model are true leaders in their field,” Nugent said. “As health care reform sweeps across the nation and our own state, our physicians right here on Hawaii Island will be models that others can look to.”

Nugent has more than 20 years of health care experience and was recently the interim physician practice director at North Hawaii Community Hospital, where she oversaw accreditation and practice optimization.

Previously, as executive director for Ohio-based corporation Marietta Health Care Systems, Inc., she led the expansion of the organization from six providers to more than 100 providers over 12 years and implemented numerous successful initiatives, including EHRs.

Since 2005, TransforMED, a nonprofit subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), has served thousands of physicians, thereby touching the lives of more than 20 million patients. The curriculum being implemented by HIBC is a TransforMED program tailored for the needs of Hawaii Island physicians.

— Find out more:

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii practices retool for patient-centered model

Healthcare IT News April 25, 2012

HONOLULU, HI – The Hawaii Island Beacon Community is spearheading a practice redesign program for up to 30 independent primary care physician practices into patient-centered medical homes (PCMH).

Practice transition to the medical home model is tied to new strategies for healthcare reimbursements.

[See also: 5 keys to EHRs supporting next-generation business models]

The program will use a curriculum developed by TransforMED, a non-profit subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to share best practices in redesign, and tailored to the needs of local physicians, according to Susan Hunt, project director and CEO of the Hawaii Island Beacon Community (HIBC).

The program “aims to help physicians fast-track the transformation of their primary care practices at no charge,” she said in an April 23 announcement.

The beacon community serving the largely rural island is one of 17 local and regional projects around the nation funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to be models which use health IT to measurably improve patient outcomes and to test innovative approaches to improve care.

[See also: North Carolina Blues, Allscripts to hook up 750 docs with EHRs]

The medical home model includes the use of electronic health records (EHR) and “is designed to improve care quality and efficiency, help people take an active role in improving their own health and reduce costs in the long term,” Hunt said.

Medical homes promote team-based care and partnerships between patients and their personal physicians.

The beacon community will collaborate with quality improvement coaches from the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, along with partners North Hawai‘i Community Hospital and the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association.

“The physicians who will be participating in TransforMED’s program and working with us to adopt the PCMH model are true leaders in their field,” said Melinda Nugent, clinical program manager for the beacon community, adding that physicians on Hawaii Island will be models that others can look to.

The participating Hawaii Island practices will receive through TransforMED:

  • Baseline practice assessment
  • Customized practice transformation plan
  • Access to 10 webinars that cover topics such as pre-visit planning, care coordination, and data recording and documentation
  • Admission to quarterly collaborative learning sessions with other participants
  • Recognition as a patient-centered medical home upon successful completion of the program.

[See also: The little center that could]

* * * * *

Brown appointed Principal Investigator for Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has appointed Daniel E. Brown, Ph.D., as principal investigator (P.I.) for the Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community (HIBC), a federally funded health care transformation project administered through the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy. As P.I., Brown is responsible for oversight of the project in its final year and will assist with the necessary infrastructure, policies and procedures for HIBC to carry on as an independent nonprofit entity after the project end date. He will also continue to serve as interim vice chancellor for research, coordinator of graduate programs, and professor of anthropology at UH Hilo.

“The Beacon Community project has reached a level of maturity allowing a natural progression toward the establishment of a freestanding nonprofit entity,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney. “We will support the new nonprofit in its efforts to seek other grants and funding sources to further its vision for the Hawai‘i Island health care system. This success has been made possible by the commitment, support, and engagement of the major health care stakeholders under direction of the former P.I. Karen Pellegrin.

“Dan’s expertise in operations and management will be instrumental in guiding the Beacon Community project through this next phase,” Straney added. “He has extensive administrative experience locally and nationally, and has directly managed complex grant programs at the University. I look forward to the continuation of the Beacon Community project’s advancement under Dan’s leadership.”

Brown has championed the establishment of campus-wide procedures regarding grants and research. His accomplishments include streamlining the grant submission process at the campus, partnering with the UH System to employ an on-campus Compliance Officer, and working with faculty and staff to develop a strategic plan for research and STEM programs. Over an academic career spanning more than 30 years on the mainland and at UH Hilo, he has secured and overseen dozens of research grants, many of which have focused on ethnic disparities in health and, in particular, type II diabetes and hypertension risk in Hawai‘i.

With Brown joining HIBC CEO and Project Director Susan B. Hunt, HIBC will continue to work to transform health and health care on Hawai‘i Island through collaboration, technology and community engagement. HIBC’s initiatives include training and IT support for physicians, planning and implementation of improved clinical operations and protocols, and the Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) program that supports community-based health and wellness programming.

Ultimately, HIBC aims to:

  • Improve access to care.
  • Avert the onset and/or advancement of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Reduce health disparities.
  • Achieve Electronic Health Record (EHR) adoption and Meaningful Use.

“It is exciting to see the Beacon project continue to move forward,” said Hawai‘i Island Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Community health organizations are already being empowered under a shared vision to improve health care and the health of all our people. I know the positive impact will continue to grow.”


Reality: HMA Warns Against 'Imminent Storm' Caused by Obamacare Implementation

Medical Homes imposed by Government Incentives:


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