CCA Featured Member: April 2013

Enrollment in HealthSciences Institute’s CCP Health Coach Learning and Certification Program continues to expand nationally and the organization is making inroads in Asia and the Middle East as well. HealthSciences is the largest chronic care and evidence-based health coaching training and performance improvement organization. Our fifth edition of the CCP program was released in February.

Our faculty includes NIH-funded specialists in health behavior change and engagement who have quadrupled engagement rates for employer purchasers in joint projects with Mercer, and assisted others in delivering measurable gains in patient-level outcomes by improving the proficiency of health care professionals to deliver evidence-based health behavior change solutions.

HealthSciences values the CCA partnership and continues to promote CCA membership as an avenue for a 25% reduction on the CCP Health Coach Learning and Certification Program tuition.

National Population Health Improvement Learning Collaborative

Since 2010 with the not-for-profit Partners In Improvement Alliance we have built a community of over 15,000 health care professionals from health plans, providers, federal and state units of health, among others. Each month our free learning collaborative webinar sessions are attended by 800 to 1,000 individuals. Learn more.

Health Coaching Performance Assessment (HCPA): Assessing the Proficiency of Health Coaches and the Quality of Population Health Services 

The first externally validated, standardized tool for measuring the quality of health coaching services delivered in wellness, disease management and care management programs. The HCPA is being used widely by BCBS affiliates, and other population health programs at Mayo Clinic, Marshfield Clinic, Stanford University Health System and the VA to benchmark and improve individual and program adherence to the evidence-based health coaching interventions demonstrated in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications to improve patient-level change. Learn more.

In an independently evaluated study by Ariel Linden, HealthSciences was the first to demonstrate a link between evidence-based health coaching proficiency (based on motivational interviewing health coaching) and member enrollment.

Registered Health Coach Program 

As you know, with lay people developing health coach training and certification programs, or wellness organizations WELLCOA offering theirs, we are proud to offer the only learning and certification programs in health coaching backed by outcomes and developed by specialists in behavioral medicine, motivational interviewing, medical psychology and health psychology. The Registered Health Coach credentials build on CCP, by offering proficiency-based training in MI health coaching. CCPs and RHCs are eligible for membership in the National Health Coach Registry http://registeredhealthcoach.org/.

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Guest Post: Regardless what the Supreme Court Rules: Technological Innovations Are the Future of Health Care

The Healthcare Industry waits today for the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), no doubt the single greatest change to the nation’s health care system since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid Programs in 1966. A ruling on its constitutionality, therefore, will likely have a considerable impact on the state of the healthcare industry for years to come.

While the judges argue their positions and write opinions, and opponents and supporters stake out the Court’s steps with chants and signs, there is a long term and much less conspicuous movement that has been shaping the health care industry through innovation, collaboration and adoption and adaptation of cutting edge technology.

In a recent report[i], Ernst & Young declared that health care is shifting to a new level of consumer centricity and moving to a “Third place of delivery”.

“To address the challenge of behavior change, the epicenter of health care system – how health care is produced, delivered, consumed, and paid for – will move beyond the two places in which it has traditionally been delivered, the hospital and doctor’s office,” the report says.

“The third place is wherever the patient happens to be.  It is both every place and no place.  For health care, the third place is the patient,” it concludes.

The Population Health Management industry has long understood the need for coordinating and providing care for the patient outside the traditional delivery settings.  Our members have been developing the innovative technologies, approaches, strategies and methods for reaching and engaging the individual as patient and health consumer.

I am here to extend you an invitation: Come to have a taste of what the future of patient-centered, value-driven and technology-supported health care looks like at the:

Population Health Innovations Showcase

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

11 am – 7 pm

Rayburn House Office Building – Rayburn Foyer

Washington DC

This Showcase brings an elite group of ten health care innovators to Capitol Hill for live interactive demonstration of cutting-edge health tools, services and programs.

Regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, we know that the innovations we are seeing in 2012 are the foundations of the health care delivery system of the future.  CCA staff had a hard time selecting only ten among the many potential participants and it was clear that there is a plethora of innovation and companies investing in Population Health Management.

Join us on July 11 to glance into the future of health care.

– Chris Coloian, Chair, CCA Board of Directors


[i] Ernst & Young, Progressions Global Life Science Report 2012

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.

Prevention is Not Expendable

A core component of the Affordable Care Act is the most comprehensive recognition to date of the value of prevention and health promotion. Numerous provisions in the ACA support wellness and prevention efforts in the workplace and in Medicare and Medicaid. CCA has repeatedly applauded these provisions and actively and aggressively supports their rapid implementation.

Yet, we continually face efforts by Congress and even the administration to target the ACA’s landmark Prevention and Public Health Fund as an extraneous cost – particularly now, in discussions on the fiscal 2013 federal budget. But the Prevention Fund is anything but extraneous or expendable. Rather, it provides a critical catalyst for the surge nationally in health care system innovation and care delivery improvements.

CCA strongly supports allocating monies dedicated to the Prevention Fund to fulfill its intended purpose and to power health care transformation. The Department of Health and Human Services must seize the opportunities made possible by the Prevention Fund through community collaborations and partnerships with health care industry leaders. Congress, rather than looking to the fund for easy cuts, should instead encourage its constructive use legislatively, such as through Sen. Ron Wyden’s “Medicare Better Health Rewards Program,” which would apply Prevention Fund monies toward initiatives that build on programs already established through reform.

States have a stake in the Prevention Fund’s viability, as well. The Fund materially impacts and advances individual state health care initiatives, such as behavioral health screenings, data infrastructures and wellness services. It has contributed more than $121 million toward state projects in Ohio, California, Nevada and Kentucky alone. HealthCare.gov provides a full public accounting of individual state contributions and program descriptions.

The Prevention Fund already has sustained a 10-year, 33 percent cut through February’s Middle Class Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act. Additional cuts would derail federal and state progress toward prevention and health promotion, stifle health care transformation and undermine significant industry investments in innovation.

Stakeholders are working continuously and at an unprecedented pace to drive the health system toward better care, better health and lower costs. The Prevention Fund must remain available to achieve this important goal.

Love Letter to TEDMED

Wow. That’s all I can say after three unbelievable days attending the inaugural TEDMED DC event. My head is swelling with ideas and inspiration and innovative opportunities for population health. It was unlike any “event” I’ve ever attended and it sets a new standard for education and networking.

What’s it all about? TED stands for “technology,” “entertainment,” “design.” There were performance artist poetry slams about thinking outside the box that literally took my breath away. There were personal vignettes about surviving breast cancer by the President and CEO of the Red Cross. There were discussions about the technology of food, of fitness, of wellness, of illness. So much of this conference had a population health theme that is perfectly aligned with CCA’s goals and the work of our industry leaders. It was all just presented in a way that makes you think harder and better and more collaboratively.

A common thread through nearly every presentation, I found, was the importance of personal wellbeing and responsibility. Obesity was a key theme and presented from various perspectives. A huge takeaway for me: Obesity is directly linked to one-third of all cancers. Encouraging healthful behaviors at a community and social network level was another key issue and was the top choice of TEDMED delegates in the Great Challenges of health and medicine. Kudos to Challenge Advocate Rajiv Kumar, Founder and Chief Medical Officer, ShapeUp, for promoting the “Inventing Wellness Programs that Work” Challenge. Rest assured, you got several of my votes!

Finally, let me state emphatically: TEDMED, don’t change a thing for next year in DC. I ran into a few of my DC colleagues who work in other health industry organizations this week and, in the words of one, they just “didn’t get it.” Yes, it’s different. Yes, it’s all “West Coast-y.” It is NOT your same old, same old conference with a bunch of boring policy wonks and PowerPoints. Not all of the speakers were equally enthralling (although most of the ones I saw were) but there was certainly a nugget or grain of an idea in every single one that spurred a conversation and possibly another innovation down the road. This conference is about IDEAS and PEOPLE and NEW WAYS OF THINKING. It was also a great equalizer in that the vast cross section of delegates attended to meet and explore. There was no hierarchy, just idea sharing. It was, simply, awesome.

—Tracey Moorhead, President & CEO

Federal Prevention Fund: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

When President Obama signs payroll tax cut legislation today at a White House ceremony, with him will be working Americans who represent the 160 million taxpayers the bill will benefit. Based on best estimates, a third of the men and women expected to be at Obama’s side are at risk for diabetes and have two or more risk factors for heart disease. Two-thirds will be overweight or obese and a third will have high blood pressure. In that light, the payroll tax cut extension loses much of its luster, as the bill also will cut $5 billion from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to help avert a scheduled 27 percent drop in Medicare physician reimbursements.

It’s a penny wise pound foolish approach to Medicare’s dysfunctional sustainable growth rate (SGR) that kicks the can down the road at the expense of programs to fight the very conditions that drive most health care spending. We fully support fair payment to physicians and understand the magnitude of the threat they face with the scheduled SGR adjustment. But gutting badly needed federal support for wellness and prevention isn’t a solution. It’s an exclamation point on the short-sightedness of this legislation and a disheartening step back just as the federal government appeared to be moving firmly forward toward supporting workplace and community health promotion initiatives.

We wrote recently about the “glaring disconnect” that remains between the strong evidence base for programs targeting diabetes and other chronic conditions and the broader application of those care strategies. Throttling back federal spending on wellness and prevention robs us of a promising opportunity to close that gap. Yes, we must find payment strategies that satisfy providers and promote greater quality, value and accountability in care—and there are lawmakers working toward this sensible goal, such as Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa. But until we’re there, let us not dig the spending hole deeper with stop-gap solutions that diminish our best chance to climb out: wellness, prevention and care management.

IOM Report Reflects Expanding Role of Population Health Management

Over the past couple weeks, there’s certainly been no shortage of commentary on our industry and its evolution from the early days of siloed, call center-based disease management to today’s integrated, sophisticated population health management (PHM).

Certainly, the recent CBO report was a catalyst for some of these conversations—especially as the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA) and others highlighted the outdated design of the programs detailed in that report. But another catalyst is the increasing interest in PHM strategies from public and community health organizations, as well as primary care groups.

This was reinforced in my mind this week as I read the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action. At the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arthritis Foundation, the IOM developed the report to identify public health strategies that reduce disability and improve the function of and quality of life for people with chronic conditions.

As you’d expect, the report focuses on public health and its authors almost exclusively are public health leaders. The important point here, however, is that the report gives great attention to and identifies significant opportunities for the current and likely future iterations of population health management strategies and services. Specifically, the report includes several recommendations significantly relevant to our industry, including that:

  • the CDC increase demonstration programs for chronic disease control that cut across specific diseases or multiple chronic conditions and emphasize mitigating the secondary consequences of various chronic conditions;
  • the Department of Health and Human Services and state and local government public health agencies evaluate existing, emerging and new models of chronic disease care that promote cooperation among community-based organizations, the health care delivery system, employers and other stakeholders to support living well with chronic illness; and
  • HHS supports states in developing comprehensive, collaborative, population-based strategic plans with resources that focus on the management of chronic illness, including community-based efforts.

A key takeaway from the IOM report: Ultimately, successful health care is local. Current federal and state policy priorities seek to advance this concept through community-based, primary-care led models to improve health and health care quality and to constrain costs. Yet, all stakeholders recognize that this evolution in health care delivery will require the integration and coordination of numerous care providers and services in new ways. We’re seeing this happen throughout the industry in multiple collaborative projects. The IOM cites other challenges, including a lack of incentives for care coordination and the prevalence of fee-for-service payments.

This week’s IOM report asserts the potential for community-based care and collaborative models to improve the lives of people managing chronic conditions and to mitigate the impact of chronic disease. These models will benefit from the very strategies and tools in the wheelhouse of population health management as practiced today. It’s a particularly salient point in a week when so many were overly fixated on old approaches to chronic condition care.

—Tracey Moorhead, President & CEO

Health Care Policy Perspective and Insights

Care Continuum Alliance began hosting policy briefings for its Board of Directors three years ago, with a day we called the “Capitol Caucus.” The day has been a great opportunity for our industry leaders to step outside of their day-to-day corporate areas of expertise and hear the latest on key policy issues influencing the growth and evolution of population health management. Our Board members have commented on the high value of these briefings, with one Board member telling me, “This is the most productive day I’ve ever spent in Washington, D.C.”

Well, CCA staff and Board members want to share this valuable experience with a broader swath of our members and industry leadership. This year, for the first time, we’re opening Capitol Caucus to a small group of non-Board member attendees. Capitol Caucus 2012 is shaping up to be a fabulous opportunity to hear updates and insights on a broad variety of health care policy issues, including Affordable Care Act implementation. Attendees also will hear an election-year forecast from a highly regarded campaign analyst.

We’re working hard to confirm speakers on an invitation list that includes Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the National Governors Association and other federal and state offices; you can view the tentative agenda here, as well as member and non-member registration pricing and sponsorship opportunities.

This event aligns strongly with our strategic vision for advocacy, education and research: to convene, educate and communicate on behalf of population health management and to promote PHM strategies and tools to improve the quality and value of health care. I hope you’ll be a part of that process by joining us at the Capitol Caucus.

—Tracey Moorhead, President & CEO

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