Partners’ Performance in the Pioneer ACO

Since 2012, Partners HealthCare has been one of the participants in the U.S. government’s Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) pilot program. In both 2012 and 2013, previous reporting showed that Partners had decreased the rate of growth of health care costs.

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) released an evaluation of Pioneer ACO results for the first two years of the program, as The Boston Globe reported. This evaluation used a different methodology than the one we are held accountable to in our Pioneer ACO contract.

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Tags: affordability, industry interactions

Working Together to Improve Care and Lower Costs

Cori Loescher RN Faulkner 21 Program

With the recent publication of our annual report, we took an opportunity to look back over the past year at advances and achievements throughout the Partners HealthCare system. Through strong partnerships and system-wide efforts, we’ve continued to improve the quality of health care – and equally important, make it more affordable. Here are a few of the stories shared by hospitals around our network.

Increasing Access to Affordable Patient Care

A unique collaboration between two Partners hospitals, MassGeneral Hospital for Children at Newton-Wellesley Hospital made lower-cost pediatric care accessible to more than 9,000 pediatric patients in 2014.

And a close relationship between Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) is the foundation for the Faulkner21 patient transfer program. Faulkner21 has a goal of transferring 21 patients per week from the BWH Emergency Department to a General Medicine bed at the Faulkner – allowing patients to receive high-quality care in a lower-cost setting.

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Tags: industry interactions, uniform high quality

Higher-Quality Care: Improving Clinical Processes Through System-Wide Learning

At Partners HealthCare, we are always looking for ways to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care while lowering health care costs. One of the benefits of our integrated health care system is the ability to implement change on a large scale. As a part of that effort, the Partners Healthcare Clinical Process Improvement Leadership Program (CPIP) was launched in 2010 to engage clinical teams in quality improvement as a way to reduce variation in care from patient to patient — and ultimately, to improve patient health. The CPIP course is led by co-directors Sandhya Rao, M.D. and Joe Jacobson, M.D., along with associate course director Brian Cummings, M.D.

CPIP is a four-month program that includes classes, expert advice, studies of past cases and group exercises. Participants learn to use proven, scientific quality improvement tools to improve health care processes. Projects allow participants to translate theory into action and help create measurable quality improvement in our system. Over 400 CPIP graduates have completed more than 200 projects, and two-thirds of graduates continue to work on their projects after finishing the program.

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Tags: uniform high quality

How Can We Improve Health Outcomes with Personal Health Trackers?

Runner tying sneaker

The idea of helping individuals use activity trackers to improve their health and wellness is something we are passionate about at Partners HealthCare Connected Health.

It’s been well documented that activity trackers are widely available and proven to increase physical activity. Yet they are not broadly used – and those who do use them often discontinue use after a short period. Encouraging consumers to incorporate activity trackers in their day-to-day lives could help improve the health of a large segment of the population.

For that reason, we launched Wellocracy, an online resource to educate and empower individuals to use activity trackers, wearable sensors and mobile apps to improve their health and wellness.

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Tags: technology

Training American Workers for More Highly-Skilled Jobs

“To make sure folks keep earning higher wages down the road, we have to do more to help Americans upgrade their skills,” President Obama said in his State of the Union address earlier this year. In response, the White House launched the Upskill Initiative to help prepare workers of all ages for higher-paying jobs, whether or not they have a college degree.

Last week, our Vice President for Community Health, Matt Fishman, traveled to Washington, DC, to take part in the White House Upskill Summit, an event at which 100 employers made a commitment to help front-line workers get ahead through on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities.

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Tags: creating jobs

Bringing Sustainability to Our Somerville Campus and Beyond

Assembly Row Campus

Nationwide, healthcare organizations spend $6.5 billion on energy each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. At Partners HealthCare, we’re committed to reducing our environmental footprint. To celebrate Earth Day this week, here are a few ways we’re working toward that goal.

Sustainable Initiatives Across Our Network

Our Sustainable Initiatives program gets hospitals and employees throughout the Partners system involved in a number of activities, from reducing energy consumption to increasing recycling and diverting waste from landfills, purchasing products without harmful chemicals and switching to antibiotic-free meats in our cafeterias.

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Tags: community

Volunteers Celebrate One Boston Day at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

One Boston Day at Spaulding

Two years ago, our hospitals treated nearly a hundred patients who were injured in the bombings at the Boston Marathon. On April 15th we marked the second anniversary of the attack by taking part in a new tradition: One Boston Day. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh designated One Boston Day as a time to give back to the local community and celebrate its resiliency.

At Partners HealthCare, we marked One Boston Day at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

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Tags: community

Spotlighting Innovation at Our Inaugural Forum

WMIF logo

Throughout the United States, every phase of healthcare is being fundamentally restructured. As these changes take place, the need for disruptive research and applied innovation will remain an enduring priority. Partners HealthCare, as the largest single academic research entity, is convening leaders from around the globe to consider the future of collaborative innovation as part of the inaugural World Medical Innovation Forum.

The event, an international gathering of more than 1,000 senior decision-makers from the life sciences, investment, clinical, entrepreneurial and academic communities, will be taking place in Boston from April 27-29, 2015. The Forum is rooted in the belief that no matter how greatly the health care industry transforms, health care providers remain committed to working together to improve patient lives through innovation.

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Tags: industry interactions, research and discovery

Affordable Degrees for Partners Employees with College for America

Earning a degree can be the difference between holding a steady job and pursuing a successful career. At Partners HealthCare we’re committed to creating opportunities for employees to go farther in their careers through workforce development and tuition reimbursement programs. One such program is our unique partnership with College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, which The Boston Globe reported on today.

The online programs offered through our partnership with College for America help us give more employees access to earning a degree. The flat, $2,500-a-year rate that College for America offers makes the program very affordable for Partners employees, many of whom can already take advantage of the $2,000 tuition reimbursement we provide full-time employees each year. In the end, earning a degree can cost as little as $0 to $500 per year, or at the most, $2,500.

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Tags: creating jobs

Our New Partnership with Harbor Medical Associates

Partners HealthCare began a new partnership with physician group Harbor Medical Associates on the South Shore on Wednesday.

The Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization has a long-standing, close clinical relationship with Harbor Medical Associates. By merging, we will be able to offer more coordinated care for our mutual patients and their families that will improve health outcomes and help bend the cost curve.

Over the past three years, Partners has reduced its community physician cohort by more than 500 doctors in order to begin right-sizing our network and to ensure that our geographic coverage is consistent with our population management strategy. As a result, Harbor’s 70 physicians represent a return of about 3 percent more physicians to our community network, which is already 20 percent smaller than in 2012.

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Tags: industry interactions

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