« The Dual Agenda: April 2, 2015 Issue

Noteworthy News

Hartford Foundation Renews Funding for EWA

The John A. Hartford Foundation announced that it has renewed funding for the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), a key Community Catalyst partner. Last year, the EWA published the “Quality Care Through a Quality Workforce” toolkit to be used by advocates for older adults who are dually eligible. As a member organization of the alliance, Community Catalyst is excited  to see EWA receive these important resources to further expand its work in the years ahead.

The March edition of FrontpAGE, The John A. Hartford Foundation’s e-newsletter, announces the EWA grant along with four others awarded to advance the health of older adults. FrontpAGE also reports on a recent training session on falls prevention conducted  by Martha Watson, Advanced Nurse Practice Manager at Miriam Hospital, and Geriatric Provider Advocate for the Rhode Island Voices for Better Health project, with mention of a Dual Agenda column on the same topic by Audrey Chun, MD, a VBH Geriatric Provider Advocate in New York state.

Improving Home Health and Medical Equipment Service Coordination

The Integrated Care Resource Center has published a technical assistance brief on improving coordination of home health services and durable medical equipment (DME) for individuals enrolled in the dual eligible demonstrations. Both Medicare and Medicaid cover these services, but with different rules and overlapping payment methodologies, especially in the fee-for-service system. The brief provides an overview of how the dual  eligible demonstrations propose to deal with this overlap by reviewing the Memoranda of Understanding and three-way contracts for each state pursuing a demonstration. The brief also provides recommendations for how states, health plans and CMS could improve coordination of these overlapping benefits.

Trauma-Informed Care to Improve the Health of High-Need Medicaid Populations

Health care providers are increasingly focusing on the effect of trauma on the health and lives of their patients. This brief from the Center for Health Care Strategies  provides an introduction to trauma‐informed care and describes how it can be adopted to better serve high‐need, high‐cost Medicaid populations. The brief also highlights examples from three innovative programs in Alaska, Oregon and New Jersey that are using trauma-informed care to improve the health of their patients.

New Inventory of Innovative Programs Targeting Super-Utilizers

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) has compiled an inventory of innovative programs from across the country that are testing new models of care for “super utilizers.” Super utilizers are generally low-income individuals with complex medical, behavioral health and social needs. CHCS plans to update the inventory periodically as the field continues to change.

Primary Care Chain Looks to Scale Up Using Best Practices

The New York Times reports on Iora Health, a for-profit outcome-oriented company that is raising venture capital to expand its innovative approach to primary care. The company’s business model is meant to keep high-need patients out of the hospital by improving services while earning a dividend on the expensive care it was able to avoid. Iora practices team up with either an employer that pays for its workers’ health care or a private Medicare plan. Usually the company receives a flat monthly payment for each patient and, if it saves money on overall health spending, it takes a percentage of what is saved. Iora currently has 11 practices in operation and plans to open 15 more around the country this year.

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