HEALTH March 23, 2015

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22 HEALTH • Spring 2015 Building models for better care W e are all patients at different times in our lives. And as patients, we want the same things: the right care, at the right place, at the right time and at the right price. This requires that the health care system provide effective care that's focused on the whole person, coordinated across all settings, accessi- ble and offered at a price that patients, employers and the state can afford. While we have made incredible strides in medical treatment, health care delivery has become fragmented, and can at times make us feel as if we're only a knee, a cough, or an anxi- ety attack. But health care reform — in Massachusetts and across the coun- try — is aiming to change that. New laws require health care pro- viders and insurers to shift toward comprehensive, integrated care that can meet each patient's needs, improve outcomes and reduce costs. That demands better coordination and communication among all teams providing care, and with the patient. The University of Massachusetts Medical School, through its Commonwealth Medicine public ser- vice consulting and operations divi- sion, is helping make this a reality. Consistent with our public mission, Commonwealth Medicine's goal is to partner with state agencies, public officials, private businesses and non- profit organizations to increase the effectiveness of health and human ser- vices programs. We also lend our expertise to the design and drafting of groundbreaking legislation, including Massachusetts' health care cost con- tainment and quality improvement law, enacted in 2012. It makes perfect sense, then, for us to work toward the improvement of health care delivery in Massachusetts. We're involved in two innovative programs that will help make health care what we all want it to be: accessible, coordinat- ed, understandable and inclusive. We have launched a program to enhance health plans' Star Ratings, which were created by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to measure performance. We work with health plans to ensure they excel in areas that matter to consum- ers: satisfaction, health care access and understanding what medications to take and when to take them. We want health plans to succeed in these areas so that patients' health is maximized, thereby boosting health plans' ratings. Our call center representatives work with clinical pharmacists, providing outreach to patients and prescribers on prevention and wellness strategies. Our efforts also include implement- ing the patient-centered medical home model in primary care practices. We're connecting with primary care clini- cians, their office staff and affiliated health care systems to transform the way health care is delivered to ensure it considers the whole patient and is coordinated and communicated effec- tively among the providers involved. Patient-centered medical home experts at Commonwealth Medicine teamed up with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services on this multidisci- plinary team-based approach to care. And we're assisting MassHealth with the implementation of primary care payment reform, which strives to improve patients' access to health care and overall experience through better care management and the integration of behavioral health needs. We educate primary care physicians and their patient care teams about what this change means, how they can make it happen in their practices, and why it's a move forward for them and their patients. In addition, we help practices and systems take the steps to become recognized as official patient- centered medical homes. These two programs have separate aims, but share a common goal: to ensure that health care quality improves in a way that boosts patients' health and well-being. Joyce A. Murphy is executive vice chancellor of Commonwealth Medicine, the health care consulting and opera- tions division of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She pro- vides leadership and direction for all Commonwealth Medicine centers, pro- grams and departments. Murphy holds a master's degree in public administra- tion from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. BENEFITS AMINISTRATION By Joyce A. Murphy At the Forefront of Senior Care Seven Hills Foundation answers the needs of seniors and their loved ones by providing integrated care with compassion through: n Adult Day Health — a therapeutic program for seniors who have nursing and activities of daily living needs, offering a flexible day alternative to long-term care. n Adult Family Care — qualified family members or non-relatives provide full-time care for seniors in their homes. n Shared Living — qualified providers offer full-time care in their homes for seniors with developmental disabilities. Our person-centered supports are coordinated and managed by Seven Hills' trained professionals. Call 508.755.2340 or visit, today! "An Integrated Health & Human Services Network" Total Local Care Is Also TOP Local Care Harrington Named One of Nation's Top Hospitals for the Second Year in a Row! The dedicated staff at Harrington is proud to make patients, quality, and safety our top priority.

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