NBCH Recognizes Health Plans with 2010 eValue8 Innovations Awards

November 15, 2010

Group Health Cooperative, HealthPartners, Kaiser Permanente Southern California and PreferredOne awarded for efforts to improve health and well being of members and communities

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), a non-profit organization of employer-based health coalitions, honored four health plans with the 2010 eValue8 Innovations Awards today at its annual conference: Group Health Cooperative, HealthPartners, Kaiser Permanente Southern California and PreferredOne. Sponsored by Novo Nordisk Inc, the awards recognize the innovative work of plans developing and implementing programs that address critical health care issues.

“We’re recognizing and sharing these plan programs as best practices that have helped improve community health systems across the country,” said Dennis White, senior vice president of Value-Based Purchasing for NBCH. “The plans selected for these awards have demonstrated strategies and results to address some of the most difficult issues facing health delivery systems and purchasers including reducing readmissions, depression, chronic disease management, provider performance measurement, transparency and rewards.”

2010 eValue8 Innovations Award winners

- Group Health Cooperative

Group Health Cooperative was honored for efforts to reduce hospital admissions through its Managing Emergency Department and Hospital Inpatient Care (EDHI) program. The goal of the EDHI program was to reduce and sustain 30-day Medicare readmission rates to ten percent, thereby reducing inpatient costs by ten percent – saving $50 million in unnecessary hospital costs per year. Based in Seattle, Group Health is a consumer-governed, nonprofit health care system that coordinates care and coverage and serves more than 600,000 residents of Washington state and Idaho.

“Through this cross-functional improvement work across multiple hospital care settings, we’ve learned how we can be more effective in improving other clinical care processes,” said Brenda Bruns, MD, executive medical director, Health Plan Division, Group Health Cooperative. “We’ve also discovered that in some locations our patients’ perceptions of the quality of care they receive from their hospital physician have dramatically increased.”

- Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region

Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region was selected for an award for Proactive Office Encounter (POE), a program designed to provide optimal integrated care at every patient encounter (in all settings, e.g., primary and specialty care) to improve health. Utilized before, during, and after a patient-initiated visit to improve clinic outcomes, POE uses electronic medical information technology and data management systems to provide the health care team with timely and accurate member specific care gap information. The enhanced teamwork resulted in a positive impact on the lives of members in areas of cancer screening, blood pressure control, cardiac health, diabetes, asthma management, immunizations, tobacco cessation, weight management, and exercise. Early trends show decreases in emergency visits and hospitalizations in the chronic condition populations which could potentially be measured over the long term (i.e. decreased visits, readmission, and mortality).

- HealthPartners and PreferredOne

As participating eValue8 plans, both HealthPartners and PreferredOne received awards for their participation in DIAMOND (Depression Improvement Across Minnesota, Offering a New Direction), a statewide effort to improve health care for people with depression that compensates providers for extra patient education and monitoring. Led by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, DIAMOND is a unique collaboration between dozens of Minnesota medical groups, health plans and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

“As a participant in all aspects of the DIAMOND pilot – through our health plan, our clinics and our research foundation – HealthPartners saw the program as an opportunity to transform depression care,” said Babette Apland, HealthPartners senior vice president for Health and Care Management. “The model of team-based care is demonstrating effectiveness in meeting individual patient needs and the percentage of patients who enjoyed substantial improvement is very encouraging.”

Founded in 1957, HealthPartners is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation, providing care, coverage, research and education to improve the health of members, patients and the community.

PreferredOne is a health benefits administration company located in Minneapolis serving brokers, employers and members throughout Minnesota and the upper Midwest.

About the eValue8 Innovations Awards

Programs were submitted for the awards as part of information submitted on “Best Practices and Innovations” in NBCH’s 2010 eValue8 survey, an annual plan evaluation used by health care purchasers to assess and manage the quality of their health plans. The program information was reviewed by a selection committee of eValue8 reviewers. Criteria used in judging the proposals include clearly stated and realistic goals with markers for success; transportability to other populations, organizations or communities; meaningful impact on a significant percent of plan members; measurement of results in terms of return on investment or effectiveness; uniqueness; and impact on the health and well being of the community.

Twelve Finalists

The submissions were narrowed down to 12 finalists with four winners. Finalists also included Aetna, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, HealthNet, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Regence BlueCross BlueShield and UnitedHealthcare.

About the National Business Coalition on Health

NBCH is a national, non-profit, membership organization of nearly 60 business and health coalitions, representing over 7,000 employers and 25 million employees and their dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. For additional information visit: www.nbch.org.

SOURCE National Business Coalition on Health

Source: newswire

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