"I love it when patients come in and they bring their list of questions, or they ask me ‘Should I have this test?’ or ‘Why are we doing this?’ That makes the relationship, that makes managing this chronic problem together, a lot better."

‒ Dr. E. Harry Walker
MetroHealth Center for Community Health

Did You Know?

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of unsaturated or "healthy" fats. So enjoy roasting them after you carve the pumpkin and throw a tablespoon onto a salad for extra flavor and nutrients.

In the News

Primary care gains reduce hospitalizations, cut costs in Cleveland study

Kyle Cheney

Politico - January 30, 2013

Stepped-up access to primary care doctors staved off nearly 3,000 hospitalizations in northeast Ohio, according to a new analysis, which found the region saved 20.1 million from 2009 to 2011 by preventing unnecessary hospitalizations for common heart conditions.

Read article on Politico (subscription required).

Rolling Out the Red Carpet for ED "Super-Utilizers"? Taking a Patient-Centered Approach

Sabrina Rodak

Becker's Hospital Review - December 18, 2012

"Super-utilizers" -- people who go to the emergency department frequently and often unnecessarily -- are often looked down upon, as they constitute a small percent of overall ED patients but account for the majority of costs. Some healthcare providers and the population at large perceive these "super-utlilizers" as nuisances -- people who make the ED crowded and contribute to long wait times and high costs. However, some healthcare organizations are taking a more patient-centered approach.....

Click here to read more about Better Health Greater Cleveland's Red Carpet Care program, funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, that is underway at MetroHealth and two of its health plan partners, Medical Mutual of Ohio and Buckeye Health Plan. 

Publicly Reporting Quality Data to Identify "Bright Spots," Motivate Improvement

Sabrina Rodak

Becker's Hospital Review - October 25, 2012

In 2007, a group of healthcare providers and payors established Better Health Greater Cleveland, a quality improvement organization under Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality initiative. The organization started in the outpatient setting with physician practices, but has recently expanded to include hospitals.

Read the article, featuring Better Health's use of EHR data to identify "Bright Spots" in health care quality.

Regional Healthcare Improvement Collaboratives Needed Now More Than Ever: Program Directors' Perspectives

Randall D. Cebul, MD; Susanne E. Dade, MPA; Lisa M. Letourneau, MD, MPH; and Alan Glaseroff, MD, ABF

The American Journal of Managed Care - September 2012

"If a national vision of value-driven, patient-centered care is to become a reality—one that results in better care, better health of populations, and lower costs—Regional Healthcare Improvement Collaboratives, such as those embodied by the RWJF’s AF4Q initiative, are a necessary part of the solution. Each collaborative represents a neutral common table for all stakeholders to discuss their unique concerns while recognizing their shared interests."

Read the article.

Local Solutions Spark Readmission Reductions

Larry Beresford

The Hospitalist - August 29, 2012

With the Oct. 1 start of penalties for excessive readmissions looming, The Hospital published a cover story featuring innovation solutions to reducing readmissions -- and featured Better Health Greater Cleveland, Aligning Forces for Quality, and William C. Cook, DO, a Kaiser Permanente hospitalist who co-chairs Better Health's Steering Committee for care transions.

om the hospitalist perspective, our role is to make care transitions safe and predictable," Dr. Cook told the magazine. "The way I can contribute most to these transitions is by thinking ahead about what's going to happen next—and how do I prepare the patient and the next provider."  

Read the article.

Better Health Greater Cleveland joins County Health Alliance

Better Health Announcement - April 30, 2012

Better Health Greater Cleveland this week joined the Cuyahoga County Health Alliance, a coalition created by County Executive Ed FitzGerald to address improved health for the region, a critical component in the county’s plans for economic development, quality of life and neighborhood revitalization. Mr. Fitzgerald announced the Alliance's new partners April 30, 2012, at a media event in county offices.

Opportunities to improve health in the region are plentiful:

·         The county ranked 65th out of Ohio’s 88 counties in health status, in the 2012 County Health Rankings.

·        One in five adults in Cuyahoga County smoke, the leading preventable cause of death in Ohio.

·         More than one in three adults in the county have high cholesterol

·         One of four adults is obese – a trigger for a long list of serious chronic disease.

Better Health is one of 18 organizations and 21 municipalities that do date have responded to Mr. FitzGerald’s  “Call to Action”  to work together  to bring measurable improvement to the health and well-being of Cuyahoga County residents. The Alliance targets public and private policies, education, work-site and community programs and resources to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic disease.

 In its role as a partner, Better Health committed to providing community presentations, sharing its clinical expertise and supporting evidence-based programs, policies and benchmarks.

My Health Manager from Kaiser Permanente

- March 5, 2012

Patients of Kaiser Permanente nationwide used a new My Health Manager mobile app more than 1 million times in the first month since its release. The new app and other innovations with its electronic health record system earned Kaiser the Health Information Management Society's 2011 Organizational Davies Award, which recognizes  excellence in the implementation and value derived from health information technology.
Nearly 9 million Kaiser Permanente members can access their medical information anywhere in the world on mobile devices through the new app, and many are using it to engage their care teams and become actively involved in their health care. Its features include online appointment scheduling and prescription refills, lab test results, eligibility and benefits information, even children’s immunization records.

Better Health-Coached Primary Care Practices Receive NCQA Recognition

- March 5, 2012

Better Health practice coaches congratulate the latest primary care practices in our region to receive NCQA recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home: 
  • South Russell Family Practice, Inc.
Ten MetroHealth practice sites were newly recognized, joining its Lee-Harvard and the Comprehensive Care practices:
  • Asia Plaza
  • Broadway
  • Brooklyn
  • Buckeye
  • J Glen Smith
  • Main Campus Internal Medicine
  • Main Campus Family Medicine
  • McCafferty
  • Strongsville
  • West Park
Well done!

Greater Cleveland should grab the chance to shift to medical homes: editorial

The Plain Dealer Editorial Board

The Plain Dealer - December 11, 2011

What if health insurers, employers and health care providers banded together to help consumers buy smarter medicine? Don't rule it out. The idea -- the "patient-centered medical homes" model of care -- is beginning to take hold. The next step is to get it off the drawing board and into examining rooms, human resource departments and benefits managers' offices in a much bigger way.
In Northeast Ohio, a group called Better Health Greater Cleveland has been at the task for several years now, advocating among the various stakeholders in both medical care and payment for a shift to medical homes supported by electronic health records. Read more.

Tech That Powers Quality Standards

Gienna Shaw

Health Leaders Media - September 6, 2011

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is among the first to put hard numbers on the benefits of electronic health records.Researchers looked at four national quality standards, including: 1) Eye exams, 2) pneumonia vaccinations, 3) outcome measures such as blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol control, and 4) patient-driven issues such as obesity and smoking
Nearly 51% of patients in EHR practices received care that met all four quality standards, compared to just 7% of patients at paper-based practices. Nearly 44% of patients in EHR practices met at least four of five outcome standards, compared to about 16% of patients at paper-based practices.

The study is among the first to put hard numbers on the benefits of electronic health records. But as the study's lead author, Randall Cebul, MD, said in an interview this week, "51% is 49% short of ideal."

So what are the next steps? And how can health information technology get us there?
Read more.

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