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Nearly $700 Million Will Be Invested in Wellness Care

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Author: Shernide Delva

Last month, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced an initiative to provide $685 million in awards to 39 national and regional healthcare networks and supporting organizations.  Have you ever been in a hospital where you felt more like a number than a patient? This initiative wants to address those issues that are affecting our hospitals and health care facilities nationwide. The initiative called the Transforming Clinical Practice works as a part of the Affordable Care Act.

The goal is to equip more than 140,000 clinicians with tools and support needed to mainly:

  • Improve Quality of Care
  • Increase Patients’ Access to Information
  • Reduce Costs

The $685 million will be one of the largest federal investments given to support clinicians and will impact all 50 states through collaborative and peer-based learning networks. Secretary Burwell, elaborated by saying:

“These awards will give patients more of the information they need to make informed decisions about their care and give clinicians access to information and support to improve care coordination and quality outcomes.”

Overall, the goal is to move toward a wellness-based approach to managing care. For example, The American Board of Family Medicine will work with more than 25,000 family physicians serving 50 million or more patients to help clinicians and patients navigate the changing healthcare system and reduce disparities in healthcare.

The efforts of the initiative will accomplish the following and more:

  • Help providers give patients better tools for communication
  • Provide dedicated coaches to better manage chronic disease and offer preventive care
  • Offer real-time notification alerts for clinicians caring for high-risk patients
  • Improve screening and treatment of mental health and substance abuse across multiple care settings
  • Centralize data reporting with technical assistance
  • Promote patient, provider and community engagement

In the past, patients felt like nothing more than a number. The care in hospitals was becoming less personal and more data-based. As a result, this initiative hopes to accomplish fostering new levels of coordination, continuity and integration of care. The ultimate goal is to transition from volume-driven system to value-based, patient centered healthcare services.

Secretary Burwell released the awards in conjunction with a round-table discussion with Members of Congress and health care leaders. They discussed ways to transform our nation’s health care system into a system that rewards value over volume.

During the conference, it was announced that part of the funds would support 29 medical group practices, regional health care systems, and regional extension centers in offering peer-to-peer support to primary and specialty physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical pharmacists, and their practices.

In addition, $27 million would be given to 10 national organizations and health care professional associations in order to:

  • Align clinical practice guidelines across multiple medical specialties so there is uniformity.
  • Offer Continuing Medical Education credit to clinicians to support transformation efforts
  • Share best practices and provide technical assistance and coaching to their members; discuss alternative payment methods.
  • Provide educational materials and access to registry data information and training on how to use the data to improve care.

These awards come as part of a comprehensive strategy advanced by the Affordable Care Act to build upon successful models and programs such as the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Organization Program, Partnership for Patients with Hospital Engagement Networks, and Accountable Care Organizations.

Americans need a health care system that delivers the right care, at the right time, and at a cost that is reasonable and easy to understand. Now patients will be able to reply on their doctors and health care team to provide them the quality of care they need.  Such a system will result in fewer unnecessary hospital admissions and readmission, fewer healthcare-associated infections, and reduced patient harm, and will show continuous improvement in quality outcomes and cost efficiency.

The more efficient our health care system the better chance more people will be taken care of properly. As more and more people suffer from addiction, improving access to medical facilities becomes a more important issue. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-561-221-1125.

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