Improving Population Health: Creating Healthier Communities to Make Healthcare Better

Brenda Schmidt, MS, MBA, President and CEO of Viridian Health Management

A few weeks ago, I attended the 2013 CCA Forum in Scottsdale, Arizona. I am proud that Viridian Health Management was a CCA Forum contributor sponsorSolution Zone exhibitor and symposium speaker, as this conference is the largest gathering of healthcare professionals in prevention, wellness and chronic care management.

The days started early with the breakfast symposiums and were followed by sessions led by well-known organizations as Accenture, Aetna, Alere, Apixio, Banner Health, Optum, Mayo Clinic, Qualcomm, stickK, Walgreens, Weight Watchers, Zamzee, and many more. The days ended with great networking events in the evening. Despite the long days, I was completely energized and refreshed. Spending three days with over 1,000 innovative thinkers can certainly have that effect. I was fortunate to talk with many of these innovators throughout the duration of the CCA Forum and the common thread was that they all wanted to improve healthcare delivery, positively impact health outcomes, increase quality of care, and make sustainable improvements in healthcare for the future.

Looking back at the many CCA Forum speakers, they all were very aligned to this year’s theme of “The Value of Population Health: Implementation Matters.” Here are a few of those examples that really resonated:

  • Michael Taylor of Accenture: “Maintaining a ‘human touch’ in your engagement methodology is a key component of a successful wellness program. Sustainable engagement is necessary to drive value in population Health.”
  • Nilay Shah of Mayo Clinic: “Big data gives the opportunity to collaborate, to prototype, test new findings and speed adoption.”
  • William Crown of Optum Health: “Creating the right cadence for population health management is the key to success over a shotgun approach.”
  • Dee Edington of Edington Associates: “There is plenty of evidence to show health improvement and improved productivity as a result of a culture of health.”
  • Thomas Parry of Integrated Benefits Institute: “If ROI is your only driver for worksite wellness initiatives, then you’re missing out.”
  • Sean Sullivan of the Institute for Health & Productivity Management: “It’s about a consistent message from the top to create a culture of health at your organization.”
  • Robert Stone of Healthways:  “The things that can be measured the most, oftentimes are not the most important.”
  • Ron Weinert of Walgreens: “It’s not a complicated idea…provide patient care in a community setting. We’re bridging the gap…coordinating care through innovative pharmacy programs.”

It was also an honor to co-present with Marissa Hudson, Viridian’s EVP of Public/Private Partnerships at CCA Forum 2013 to discuss Viridian’s role as a strategic partner of the CDC to deliver the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP); Viridian’s proprietary My Weigh 2 Prevent Diabetes™, a cloud-based technology developed exclusively for the National DPP; our diabetes lifestyle coach training; andMAESTRO™, Viridian‘s proprietary model for the identification, outreach and administration of diabetes prevention.

In addition, I am honored and privileged to accept my appointment as a member of CCA’s board of directors. As one of 10 new members of CCA’s board of directors, I look forward to collaborating with other leaders of the healthcare industry to focus on the implementation of effective population health models and strategies from development to delivery.

It’s not a complicated idea: creating healthier communities to make healthcare better and sustainable for the future. As a value-driven health management company, Viridian powers performance in population health, inspires healthy living and lowers healthcare costs. Our philosophy of integrative health management is an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes a synergy between health protection and health promotion. This approach extends not only to individuals, but also to caregivers, providers and the larger healthcare system.

CCA Forum 2013 clearly chose a very relevant and timely theme. Without a doubt, there is tremendous value of improving population health…it really does matter.

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About the Author

Brenda Schmidt is the president and CEO of Viridian Health Management. As the architect of numerous successful health and wellness programs, Schmidt is widely recognized as an authority on developing best-in-class programs that engage diverse populations. In founding Viridian, Schmidt works in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the National Healthy Worksite Program. This national initiative brings a new level of health to the American workplace to improve the lives of employees while lowering employer healthcare costs. In addition, Schmidt also serves a leadership role in the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Think Tank, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), NIOSH Total Worker Health™ and frequently speaks nationally on integrated health management and worksite health.

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Guest Blog Post Disclaimer CCA invites guest bloggers to post on Voice on Population Health Blog as a benefit for our members and the industry and to allow for exchange of ideas and information regarding population health. The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and/or of the company the author represents and do not represent those of the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA), its members, or the industry as a whole. CCA is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this guest post article. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author(s) and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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CCA and National Coalition on Health Care Joint Letter on CMS “Two Midnights” Requirement

October 31, 2013
Jonathan Blum
Deputy Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20201

RE: FY2014 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Final Rule – Anticipated CMS Guidance on “Two Midnights”

Dear Deputy Administrator Blum:

On September 26th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Special Open Door Forum during which CMS stated that the Agency was planning to issue detailed subregulatory guidance to clarify the FY2014 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Final Rule’s “Two Midnights” requirement. CMS specifically stated that such guidance would address that hospital utilization review programs and conditions of participation are not changing with implementation of the Final Rule. CMS also confirmed that the IPPS Final Rule, “should not be used as a reason for hospitals to abandon their use of critical medical necessity and coverage assessments,” in public statements made by the CMS Philadelphia Regional Office. We agree that the “Two Midnights” requirement should not be interpreted as a substitute for sound clinical judgment based on objective, evidence-based medicine.

To assist CMS in issuing needed clarifying language, attached please find proposed language for inclusion in the forthcoming subregulatory guidance that CMS is currently preparing. We appreciate your continued efforts to clarify these important details regarding “Two Midnights” in order to minimize confusion and ensure beneficiaries are receiving appropriate care at the appropriate time. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John Rother, President & CEO, National Coalition on Health Care

Frederic S. Goldstein, Executive Director, Care Continuum Alliance

Read the Letter

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