Accountable Care Organization

Success Stories

Health Catalyst

Integration of Community Health Workers Improves Care Management Effectiveness

While the delivery of healthcare is essential to staying healthy and getting well, it is not the only determinant of health. Other factors such as psychosocial factors and environmental conditions in which people live, work, and age can have a far greater influence. These factors are referred to as social determinants of health. Existing evidence has found that addressing social determinants of health like housing and food, is effective in improving patient health outcomes and decreasing healthcare costs.
Social determinants of health can significantly affect a person’s overall health and quality of life. Patients with social determinants that negatively impact health, such as lack of access to transportation and the place in which they live, can be exceptionally challenging to keep healthy and often rely on the emergency department (ED) for care. Reaching and engaging with patients in primary care settings can be vital to addressing patient needs. The positive influence of community health workers (CHWs) acting as a bridge between vulnerable patients and the healthcare system has shown to decrease emergency department visits and hospital admissions.
Partners HealthCare, a non-profit health system located in Boston, recognized that meeting the needs of vulnerable patient populations was an opportunity to improve patient outcomes as well as reduce cost. Through its integrated care management program (iCMP), the Partners system had some success in improving the care delivered to underserved communities. Partners’ academic medical centers, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, conducted pilots which focused on the CHW role; one model that empowered CHWs to serve as care leads, and one model that incorporated CHWs into the care team.
Results:
Integration of CHWs into the iCMP is yielding positive results for both pilots. Using a pilot conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, when comparing the difference in six months post-program outcomes to six months pre-program outcomes:

When the CHW functions as a lead, results include a:

$664 larger per member per month (PMPM) reduction in total medical expense and an 11 percent larger reduction in ED visits compared to the control group.

When the CHW functions as a part of the care team, results include a:

$635 larger PMPM increase in total medical expense, however, patients with a CHW team member had a 28 percent larger reduction in ED visits, and an 11 percent larger decrease in office no-show rates compared to the control group.

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Machine Learning Improves Accuracy of Risk Predictions and Improves Operational Effectiveness

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) readmission penalties are a significant concern for healthcare organizations, with over 2,500 hospitals being penalized each year, resulting in CMS withholding more than $500 million in payments.
For Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), hospital readmissions carried more than financial consequences. Care managers had to use multiple systems and time-consuming, manual processes to identify recently discharged patients at risk for readmission. These processes limited the effectiveness of the care management team, as care managers lost valuable time searching patient records for data needed to prioritize their workload and choose the right interventions.
To address this problem, the data analytics teams at WMCHealth and network member Bon Secours Charity Health System leveraged artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop a more accurate readmission risk prediction model that would enable care managers to use their time coordinating and engaging with patients more effectively. Results include:

A risk prediction model that is 17 percent more accurate than widely used readmission risk models in identifying patients at high-risk and low-risk for readmission within 30-days.
Care managers obtain follow-up appointments faster, usually within seven days, and connect patients with the services needed to prevent unnecessary visits to the emergency department and readmissions to the hospital.
1,327 hours per year saved, freeing up care managers to spend more time with patients.

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Widespread Analytics Adoption Improves ACO Measure Performance

On an annual basis, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are required to accurately report data that is used to assess quality performance. This is necessary in order for the ACO to be eligible to share in any savings generated. Improvements in measure performance are often linked with ACOs that have offered providers the skills, tools, and data required to understand and track their own performance, as well as that of their peers.
Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system, spanning the 18 counties of western North Carolina. Mission formed one of the largest ACOs in the country, Mission Health Partners (MHP), providing services for nearly 90,000 patients. While MHP had previously achieved success in improving its ACO measure performance, it sought to increase its quality scores even higher. Without access to transparent, actionable data, leadership was unsure if improvements would be sustained, let alone if existing workflows could lead to new improvements. After developing a comprehensive plan that included a massive expansion to data access, Mission practices were able to sustain initial improvements, identify new opportunities, and improve population health quality even further.
Substantial improvement across multiple ACO measures:

29 percent relative improvement in the number of patients receiving colorectal cancer screening.
10 percent relative improvement in the number of patients receiving breast cancer screening.
7 percent relative improvement in the number of patients with blood pressure under control.

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Integrating Data and Analytics into Provider Workflow Improves ACO Performance

Reimbursement rates for an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) are based on the quality composite score from the Physician Quality Reporting System Group Practice Reporting Option, examining best practice preventative care and primary care measures. As a result, ACO participants may receive payment adjustments based on their quality composite performance.
U.S. Medical Management (USMM), a leading provider of home-based primary care services for complex patient populations and managed care clients, also operates a multi-state Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO serving over 23,000 complex or fragile Medicare patients. USMM needed to support its providers in meeting their patients’ necessities, while also ensuring they were providing and documenting appropriate best practice preventative and primary care ACO measures.
USMM turned to its analytics platform and analytics applications, implementing the Community Care Advanced Application to aid its efforts. The analytics platform integrates data from the organization’s EMR, billing system, and external claims data, bringing cross-organizational data into focus and delivering specific, actionable interventions needed to improve performance.
After implementing Community Care, USMM achieved a 90th percentile performance for:

Tobacco screening and cessation plan.
Clinical depression screening and follow-up plan.

The organization also earned an 80th percentile performance for:

Influenza immunization.
High blood pressure screening and follow-up plan.
Screening for future fall risk.

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Enhanced Recovery Program Improves Elective Colorectal Surgical Outcomes

Contemporary colorectal surgery is often associated with long LOS, high costs, and surgical site infections (SSI) approaching 20 percent. Much of the LOS variation is not attributable to patient illness or complications, but most likely represents differences in practice style. Successfully reducing SSI requires a multimodal strategy under the supervision of numerous providers with high compliance across the spectrum.
Allina Health was using established, evidence-based clinical guidelines, yet clinical variation remained high across pre-arrival, preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care areas, leading to substantial variation in LOS, cost of care, and the patient experience. To ensure greater consistency, Allina Health developed an enhanced recovery program (ERP) for patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery, which built standard protocols into the EHR to address elements of care from pre-arrival through post-discharge.
To facilitate the program and monitor performance, Allina Health developed an ERP analytics application with an administrative dashboard to easily visualize first-year results:

78 percent relative reduction in elective colorectal SSI rate.
19 percent relative reduction in LOS for patients with elective colorectal surgery.
82.4 percent utilization of preoperative and postoperative order sets, increasing the consistency of care and reducing unwarranted variation.

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Opportunity Analysis Permits Successful Execution of At-Risk Contracts

Growth in the government payer mix and an increased cost burden to the commercial population, decreases in the private payer population, and programs like the Medicare Shared Services Program, have caused joint ventures, partnerships, and co-branding efforts, better known as at-risk contracts, between payers and providers to increase.
Allina Health has three Integrated Health Partnership (IHP) contracts, an accountable care model that incentivizes healthcare providers to take on more financial accountability for the cost of care for Medicaid patients, which cover approximately 90,000 members. To achieve success in its IHP contracts, and avoid losses, Allina Health needed to reduce healthcare costs while improving patient outcomes and experience.
Allina Health has integrated several data sources, including claims and developed the infrastructure required to perform opportunity analysis. Using data and analytics for opportunity analysis has given Allina Health insight into its IHP patient population, supporting the development of interventions to decrease the total cost of care and improve outcomes.

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Advancing Health Equity – Data Driven Strategies Reduce Health Inequities

Health equity means that everyone has an equal opportunity to live the healthiest life possible – this requires removing obstacles to health. The U.S. ranks last on nearly all measures of equity, as indicated by its large, disparities in health outcomes. Illness, disability, and death in the United States are more prevalent and more severe for minority groups. Health inequities persist in Minnesota as well, which motivated Allina Health to take targeted actions to reduce inequities.
Allina Health needed actionable data to identify disparities and to reduce these inequities. This came in the form of REAL (race, ethnicity, and language) data, which Allina Health analysts used to visualize how health outcomes vary by demographic characteristics including race, ethnicity, and language.  To understand the root causes of specific disparities as well as to identify solutions within their sphere of influence as a healthcare delivery system, Allina Health consulted the literature and also consulted patients, employees and community members. Then Allina Health created appropriate interventions based on this information.
As a result, Allina Health created an awareness of the health inequities among its patient populations, as well as effective approaches to breach the barriers that were preventing these patients from getting the care they needed. While much work remains in this long journey to achieve health equity, Allina Health has taken some significant steps forward, including:

Three percent relative improvement in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates for targeted populations, exceeding national CRC screening rates by more than ten percentage points.
REAL data embedded in dashboards and workflow to easily identify and monitor disparities.

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Unleashing the Data to Sustain Spine Service Line Improvements

Research shows that despite an increase in the number of improvements in clinical, cost, and operational outcomes, there is a lack of sustained improvements. Some of the key challenges can be access to the data and analytics, and adherence to data-driven clinical standards, things the Allina Health Spine Clinical Service Line (CSL) clinical leadership team experienced.
By providing widespread access to the data and analytics, the Spine CSL at Allina Health has been able to continue its reduction in LOS and further improve its reduction in complications, all while increasing cost savings and achieving pay-for-performance incentives.
Results:

$1 million in pay-for-performance incentives received.
More than $2 million in supply chain savings, a result of data-driven clinical standardization.
31 percent of expected complications avoided.
22 percent relative reduction in surgical site infections.

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Blood Conservation Program Yields Millions of Dollars in Savings

Every three seconds, someone in the United States will need a blood transfusion, which adds up to nearly 17 million blood components transfused annually. Yet, evidence shows that up to 60 percent of red cell transfusions may not be necessary. In 2011, Allina Health, a healthcare delivery system that serves Minnesota and western Wisconsin, had a wide variation in transfusion practices throughout the system and a transfusion rate that was 25 percent above national benchmarks. In an effort to improve outcomes of high-risk transfusions, Allina Health turned to its data to develop an evidence-based blood conservation program aimed at reducing costs and saving valuable blood resources.
Results:

$3.2M decrease in annual blood product acquisition costs since 2011
30,283 units saved annually
111 units of red cells saved per 1000 inpatient admissions

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Data-Driven Approach Identifies Nearly $33 Million of Savings Annually

Today’s healthcare industry, in which a lack of insight into clinical variation has contributed to increased expenses, has significant opportunities to use data and analytics to improve outcomes and reduce costs. As part of its ongoing commitment to improve clinical value, Allina Health has employed a systemwide process to identify, measure, and improve clinical value. The health system has been able to quantify the value of clinical change work to improve outcomes, while reducing costs and increasing revenue for reinvestment in care.
Allina Health achieved the following meaningful results with this collaborative, data-driven opportunity analysis process:

Identified nearly $33 million in potential cost savings for the first three quarters of 2017.
Achieved over $10 million of confirmed savings during the first three quarters of the year.
Elevated discussions of cost concerns, leading to the development of standard processes, and significantly reducing unwarranted clinical variation.

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Capturing the Voice of the Patient: Using PROMs Improves Shared Decision Making

Healthcare suffers from an overabundance of metrics, many of which are used to determine payment in several federal healthcare programs. While these metrics are intended to improve the quality of care that patients receive across the country, they provide no insight into how disease and treatment impact patients’ daily lives.
Partners HealthCare recognized that while it had data for patient outcomes such as mortality and morbidity, and an abundance of data for process measures, it did not have data about patient symptoms, function, or quality of life. To improve care, the healthcare system needed to engage patients to understand the impact of treatment on how patient’s felt and functioned following treatment.
Partners implemented a patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) survey program to collect this data. Partners now has several years of experience collecting PROMs and is gaining insight into how to successfully collect and use the information to improve shared decision making with patients and their providers.

Patients have completed nearly 300,000 questionnaires in more than 20 specialties and over 75 clinics at most of Partners’ hospitals.
Clinicians actively use this data to facilitate shared decision-making with their patients.

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Improving Clinical Processes and Effectiveness of Care through Creation of a Disease-Specific Registry

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the central nervous system of about 400,000 people in the United States. With no known cure, current treatment for MS is to slow disease progression, manage symptoms and maintain the patient’s quality of life. Effective treatment of MS requires detailed patient information be readily available.
To better monitor disease progression and long-term patient outcomes, clinicians with OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute collaborated with researchers at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP) to build a customized database.
The customized MS flowsheet registry resulted in several benefits, including:

20.9 minute reduction (per patient) physician time spent searching for data.
2.2 minute reduction (per patient) support staff time spent searching for data.
300 percent increase in investigator initiated studies.

The success of the customized database suggests possible expansion may improve outcomes in other chronic or specialty care patient populations.

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Clinically Meaningful Quality Metrics Improve the Provider Experience

Nearly half (46 percent) of all physicians report that they suffer from burnout, citing too many bureaucratic tasks as one reason. Providers want to find meaning in their work, and improvement on many current quality metrics do not predict better patient outcomes or experience of care. They are looking for tools to reduce their workload and improve their ability to provide excellent care, including having metrics and registries that are meaningful and informative.
Faced with the challenge of making quality measures meaningful, Partners HealthCare worked to redefine measures to be more relevant, create point-of-care registries to manage an all-payer population, created teams of Population Health Coordinators to support front-line teams in managing the registries, and used its analytics platform to monitor change and explore provider variation in order to improve quality. This resulted in:

85 percent of clinicians surveyed felt that the new metrics helped them take better care of their patients.
Quality improved at an unprecedented rate on an all-payer population five times bigger than the standard pay-for-performance population.
Near real-time measurement using clinical data eliminated months-long delays, while run charts and provider and clinic-comparison views turbo charged quality improvement.
125 percent increase in user adoption of the analytic tool (99 unique users, 674 unique sessions, and rising).

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Clinical Data Abstraction as a Service Improves Accuracy and Efficiency

Allina Health needed to ensure the data it reported to regulatory agencies was timely and accurate. The integrated health system sees 100,000 inpatient hospital admissions annually, 340,000 emergency care visits, and 6,000 physicians and 1,600 nurses providing and documenting care. Due to the sheer volume of patients and employees, clinical data abstraction at Allina Health is not a small undertaking.
Looking to stay compliant while reducing resource utilization, Allina Health sought to change its workflow procedures for faster, more accurate clinical data abstraction. A large amount of clinical data required for compliance with CMS performance measures and Joint Commission Core Measure resides in unstructured data, such as narrative notes, which require manual data abstraction. With the help of data analytics, Allina Health was able to develop evidence-based standardized processes for clinical reporting and automate some clinical data abstraction.
Results:

76 percent relative improvement in time to data availability at each site. Data is typically available within 14 days of discharge, far exceeding the 30-day target.
95.5 percent accuracy for CMS validation.

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How Allina Engaged Clinicians and Analytics to Improve Influenza Vaccination Rate

Influenza, a contagious respiratory illness spread by droplets, can lead to hospitalization and even death. Millions of people get influenza each year, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands to tens of thousands die from influenza related causes each year. The key to preventing a devastating outbreak is vaccinating enough people that an outbreak is unlikely.
When Allina Health identified that its own rates for influenza vaccination were lower than desired, the health system studied data gleaned from its EHR and an Analytics Platform from Health Catalyst, which includes a Late-Binding™ Enterprise Data Warehouse and broad suite of analytics applications, to understand its true current vaccination performance. The data revealed that changes were in order, which Allina put in place through clinician feedback, engagement, and education.
Results:

4.8 percentage point improvement in influenza vaccination rate, exceeding the Healthy People 2020 goals for vaccination.

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Combatting Opioid Abuse with Data-Driven Prescription Reduction

Each day, 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose. Historically, illegal opioids, such as heroin, were the primary contributing factor to overdoses. Today, it is well understood that a driving force for opioid abuse is prescriptions, which contribute significantly to the overdose epidemic.
Following a series of adverse outcomes related to opioid misuse within the community, Allina Health sought to evaluate how it managed acute non-cancer pain in the outpatient setting, particularly among opioid-naïve patients. By leveraging the Health Catalyst Analytics Platform, including the Late-Binding™ Data Warehouse and broad suite of analytics applications, Allina Health obtained data on prescribing patterns and identified several opportunities to reduce the number of opioids prescribed.
Results:

980,527 fewer opioid pills prescribed in the outpatient setting in 2016, a 12 percent relative reduction.
1,079 fewer patients (with acute or chronic pain) receiving eight or more opioid pill prescriptions over 12 months, a 10.3 percent relative reduction.
13,391 fewer patients receiving opioid prescriptions for more than 20 pills, a 13 percent relative reduction.

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Enhancing Mental Health Care Transitions Reduces Unnecessary Costly Readmissions

Nationally, hospitalization for persons with mental health disorders has increased faster than hospitalization for any other condition. Of concern is the lack of bed space to intake these patients on a timely basis. In Minnesota, for example, more than 50 percent of available state psychiatric beds were closed between 2005 and 2010. Furthermore, readmission rates for patients with mood disorders is higher than any other mental health condition, with 15 percent readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge and up to 22.4 percent of patients with schizophrenia being readmitted. While the average cost of a readmission in the U.S. is approximately $7,200, of greater concern is hospital readmission represents poor patient outcomes related to lack of adequate access to community mental health resources and challenges with adherence to care plans needed to prevent chronic relapse.
In response to these challenges, Allina Health put a new care transition process in place, redesigned workflow, and added key patient support roles. To measure the effectiveness of new interventions, Allina relied on the Health Catalyst Analytics Platform, which includes the Late-Binding™ Enterprise Data Warehouse and a broad suite of analytics applications.
Results:

27 percent relative reduction in potentially preventable readmission rate.
80 percent patient retention rate in established outpatient mental health services.

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Driving Strategic Advantage Through Widespread Analytics Adoption

With the current state of uncertainty facing healthcare organizations, survival requires unprecedented agility when it comes to acquiring and responding to meaningful, strategic information. After adopting the Health Catalyst Analytics Platform, including the Late-Binding™ Data Warehouse and broad suite of analytics applications, Partners HealthCare promoted a philosophy of expanded access to the enterprise data warehouse (EDW) to increase adoption and self-service analytics to improve patient care and outcomes.
Partners needed widespread adoption of the EDW so that information could be meaningfully incorporated into strategic, clinical and operational decision making to support patient care. This meant that users who had a legitimate need to access data to support their job function were encouraged to seek access to the EDW. The organization continues to focus on further increasing the effectiveness of this strategy by ensuring that users have the means to acquire the skills, knowledge, and support they need to effectively use data stored in the EDW.
Results:

243 percent increase in user base—achieved over a two-year period (700+ unique users).
More data available to a broader audience than ever before.
Physician time to access data reduced from weeks to clicks.
87 percent of user community satisfied with the effectiveness of communication provided to support their use of the EDW.

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Data-Driven Process Improvement Raises Patient Safety for Highest-Risk Medication

Intravenous (IV) heparin is widely used to prevent thrombosis in a variety of clinical settings, yet it is considered one of the highest-risk medications used in the inpatient setting because of the potential for dosing errors. Allina Health identified multiple IV heparin protocols among its hospitals, a variation that increased the risk of errors. Standard practices that addressed patients’ clinical needs in a disease-specific way were lacking. Over the course of 1.5 years, more than 9,000 patients at Allina Health had an IV heparin protocol ordered, so IV heparin safety was of utmost concern.
To address this quality issue and improve clinical value, Allina Health created a systemwide interdisciplinary team to standardize IV heparin therapeutic guidelines and monitor the impact of the standard guideline on patient outcomes. Allina Health engaged multiple physician stakeholder groups to review proposed protocols and provide critical feedback to help ensure the best possible patient care and safety. To effectively monitor IV heparin outcomes, patient safety, and the impact of the new, standard guidelines and protocols, Allina Health developed an anticoagulation safety analytics application, using the Health Catalyst Analytics Platform, including the Late-Binding™ Data Warehouse and broad suite of analytics applications. These outcomes improvement efforts resulted in:

A seven percent relative improvement in the percentage of patients therapeutic within 24 hours of protocol initiation.
Paring 20+ site-based documents (e.g., policies, protocols, and order sets) to one systemwide guideline and four systemwide protocols.

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How Allina and Minnesota Perinatal Physicians Lowered Stress and Raised Satisfaction for High Risk Maternal Patients

Assuring patient satisfaction can be challenging, particularly when providing care to pregnant women with high-risk pregnancy conditions. As one of the foremost perinatal practices in the country, Minnesota Perinatal Physicians (MPP) acted swiftly to end a significant delay in scheduling ultrasound appointments, and reduced wait times for other visits.
With an aim to improve patient care and experience, the maternal fetal medicine (MFM) specialists at MPP, employees of Allina Health, leveraged Allina’s “Improving Clinical Value” Program—an initiative that has elevated the patient care experience for numerous other patient populations while simultaneously lowering the per capita cost of care for each one.
Results:

$210,000 in increased revenue because of improved access, projected to be $280,000 within 12 months.
20.8 percent relative improvement in no-show rate.
20 percent increase in available ultrasound appointments and an 18.2 percent increase in utilization.

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Data-Driven Clinical Documentation Improvement Program Increases Revenue and Improves Accuracy of Risk Adjusted Quality Metrics

Allina Health, an integrated delivery system throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin, has long understood the value of clinical documentation improvement (CDI), and its growing importance in recent years. With the implementation of ICD-10, the specificity needed for accurate coding has increased, and reimbursement shifts have occurred as well, creating sizeable payment disparity for some clinical conditions. Leaders at Allina wanted to understand where their CDI program would have the greatest return on investment. However, data from the EHR was not sufficient to inform their strategy. CDI specialists still lacked the ability to perform a comprehensive assessment of the accuracy of clinical documentation, and were unable to confidently target improvement efforts in areas that would generate the greatest return on investment. To take a more data-driven approach, team members leveraged the Health Catalyst Analytics Platform, including their Late-Binding™ Data Warehouse and broad suite of analytics applications to develop a CDI analytics application. With the application, the team identified opportunities and thoroughly vetted them, before collaborating with physicians and service line leaders to educate providers on documentation improvements.
They achieved the following results:

12.1 percent improvement in CV surgical cardiology CC/MCC capture rate.
6.3 percent increase in medical cardiology CC/MCC capture rate.
Increased accuracy in publically reported risk adjusted quality metrics
Revenue capture improvement across the system – resulting in millions of dollars of additional reimbursements.

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Integrated Care Management—Improves Care and Population Health While Reducing Costs

One hundred thirty-three million Americans, 45 percent of the population, have at least one chronic disease. Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year, killing more than 1.7 million Americans annually. Moreover, chronic disease accounts for 86 percent of our nation’s healthcare costs.
An integrated delivery system and an accountable care organization with two large academic medical centers and six community hospitals, Partners HealthCare is increasingly compensated for outcomes of care. Recognizing the need to more effectively manage its chronically ill patients, Partners implemented an integrated care management program (iCMP) to improve the outcomes of rising-risk patients and better manage treatment costs. The iCMP is a primary-care embedded, longitudinal care management program led by a nurse care manager working collaboratively with the primary care provider and care team.
The iCMP is contributing to Partners effective management of patients and financial success in at-risk contracts. In its Pilot Phase as a Medicare Demonstration Project, the program achieved the following results:

20 percent lower hospitalization rate per 1,000 patients.
13 percent lower rates of emergency department (ED) utilization.
25 percent relative difference in mortality.

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Care Management: A Critical Component of Effective Population Health Management

Unprecedented changes in the healthcare payment system have resulted in health organizations across the country investing in the pursuit of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI’s) Triple Aim to improve population health, improve patient experience and outcomes, and reduce costs per capita. Health organizations must develop effective population health management strategies, and they need the right data and analytics to inform their initiatives.
Once armed with the information to make data-driven decisions, leading healthcare providers are implementing care management programs, which have proven to be helpful mechanisms for achieving the Triple Aim. Many healthcare organizations have identified specific patient cohorts to monitor the impact of care management interventions on individual and population health outcomes.
Data-driven care management programs that target high-risk and rising-risk patients can achieve impressive results, including:

Up to 20 percent lower rates of hospitalization in mature care management programs.
Lower rates of emergency department utilization.
Decreased costs.

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ICU Avoidance: Lowering Costs, Patient Risk, and LOS

A stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) is both costly and risky. In a sobering example of the latter, nearly one third of patients admitted to the ICU experience delirium, a state of cognitive impairment that can increase risk of death in the hospital. Still, many cardiovascular patients need intensive care that can only be provided safely in an intensive care unit, requiring hospitals to assure enough beds and skilled ICU staff for these patients—while quickly identifying which patients can receive care as good or better in another unit.
Allina Health has achieved this dual objective with a concerted ICU avoidance strategy for specific complex sub-populations of cardiovascular (CV) patients. The foundation of this strategy is risk-informed decisions about which patients can avoid the ICU; clinical staff education; and an analytics platform and enterprise data warehouse (EDW) from Health Catalyst that enables CV care leaders to monitor safety metrics for those patients who avoid a stay in the ICU. So far, Allina Health’s efforts have resulted in the following achievements:

636 additional ICU days made available for more critically ill patients by employing ICU avoidance strategies
One-day reduction length of stay (LOS) for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) patients
$589,000 cumulative cost savings

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Nurse-Driven Protocol Optimizes Management of Post Op Afib While Reducing LOS and Costs

Post Operative Atrial Fibrillation occurs in up to 30 percent of all patients after cardiac surgery. This serious complication increases the length of the patient’s hospital stay, and is associated with a twofold increase in the incidence of cerebral infarction and an increased risk of 30-day mortality. Timely and consistent management of Post Op Afib can prevent significant complications and help prevent death. To standardize such an approach to managing Post Op Afib, Allina Health’s Minneapolis Heart Institute created a physician committee to raise consensus on and develop a protocol for Post Op Afib management.
The committee ultimately created a nurse-driven protocol and decision support algorithm linked to the health system’s electronic health record (EHR). Additionally, it uses analytics, supported by Health Catalyst’s Late-Binding™ Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW), to track physician ordering rate, patient outcomes, and cost. This combination of people, processes, and analytics tools has made a significant difference for Allina and its patients.

Two-day reduction in ICU LOS.
5.9 percentage point reduction in ICU readmission rate.
$1.5 million savings.

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