Dr. Regenbogen is the MVC Co-Director
Over the last 10-plus years, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Value Partnerships have grown to include, among other programs, 17 Collaborative Quality Initiatives (CQI). The clinical focus of the CQIs ranges from cardiology to spine surgery to radiation and many others. This “Michigan Model” of collaboration, pay-for-participation, and statewide, population-based quality improvement has yielded wide-ranging improvements, as reported several years ago.
Still, the regional collaboratives model has not spread widely beyond Michigan. Last month, at the inaugural summit of the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Quality Improvement, discussion focused on the challenges of securing financial support for regional collaboratives. Several other states—including Tennessee, South Carolina, Illinois, and Pennsylvania—have multi-hospital improvement initiatives around surgical care, but on a smaller scale than in Michigan. Like Michigan’s, all of these CQIs are supported by a regional Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer. In a commentary in this week’s JAMA Surgery, the leaders of the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative argue that an all-payer strategy, including investment from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is needed in order to replicate the Michigan approach to care improvement.
To date, BCBSM has been the sole third-party funding source for the CQIs. Yet, the efforts of each collaborative have been payer-naïve—the benefits accrue to all patients regardless of their insurance coverage. In the Michigan Value Collaborative, we analyze payment data for individuals insured by both BSBSM and Medicare, and will soon expand to include Medicaid beneficiaries as well. And even in states like Michigan, where BCBSM handles quite a large portion of the commercial insurance market, CMS still remains the truly dominant payer, once we consider Medicare and Medicaid in all of their various forms.
This week’s JAMA Surgery Viewpoint considers how CMS could partner with private payers in support of regional collaboratives. Such a partnership could allow Michigan to become a model for the rest of the country. Under the new requirements for MACRA, physicians may satisfy reporting requirements through Qualified Clinical Data Registries. But what if active participation in a proactive CQI became a central part of all medical care in this country, and was supported by CMS? If this degree of dissemination could be achieved, CMS could catalyze innovative care delivery improvement on a far greater scale.
Pam James, MS is the I-MPACT Program Manager
The Integrated Michigan Patient Centered Alliance in Care Transitions Collaborative (I-MPACT) is a Blue Cross Blue Shield Value Partnership collaborative quality initiative (CQI) which was established in 2015 and formally launched with an inaugural kick-off for cohort one in April 2016. This CQI has several aspects that make its approach to quality improvement unique. Hospitals and physician organizations (PO) are required to partner with each other to better coordinate care and ultimately improve patient outcomes and experiences; that partnership is called a “cluster”. Another unique feature of I-MPACT is the incorporation of patient or caregiver advisors on each cluster team. These patient advisors are an integral part of the team and, to encourage continued participation and ensure the patient’s voice is heard, the clusters have to provide information to I-MPACT how the patients are integrated into and utilized on any projects or initiatives. Lastly, each cluster is evaluated as one entity for the Pay for Performance Index (P4P) to encourage collaboration, equity and inclusion between them. The entire cluster, both hospitals and POs, can earn additional dollars based on their cluster’s score on the P4P.
The ultimate goal for I-MPACT is to help improve care transitions for patients. I-MPACT strives to accomplish this goal by focusing on three key areas:
- Increasing the frequency with which patients are seen by a provider within 7 days of discharge,
- Working on reducing readmissions,
- Working on reducing Emergency Department visits.
I-MPACT currently has 20 hospital and PO clusters which are divided into 4 groups or cohorts. Data extraction centers around key documents in the care transition process including the discharge summary, patient summary/after visit summary and the admitting history and physical. The goal is to understand more about processes and communication during the care transition and gain a better understanding of where gaps and challenges are occurring.
I-MPACT focuses on five specific patient populations which were strategically chosen to align with other collaboratives and Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiatives. The five conditions are:
- Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI),
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF),
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD),
- Patients transitioning from hospital to a skilled nursing facility (SNF).
I-MPACT helps their members understand the care transition process, especially from a patient perspective by performing an on-site observation of a patient’s discharge process and mapping the data gathered in a document called “the patient journey”.
Upon joining I-MPACT each new cluster, along with their patient advisors, attend a day long kick off where they work through mapping out a transition process, identifying gaps and challenges in their organizations’ care transitions and brain storming interventions aimed at addressing those gaps and challenges.
If you would like more information about I-MPACT check out their website at http://www.impactcqi.org/, contact Pamela James, the Project Manager at I-MPACTCC@med.umich.edu or contact the MVC Coordinating Center through Abeer Yassine (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Deb Evans (email@example.com)