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BHCG in the news

As a result of the press release distributed January 14 announcing the new partnership with UnitedHealthcare effective January 1, 2016, several articles appeared in print and online.:

Update on behavioral health screening and intervention services grant

In the spring of 2014 the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health (GMBFH) awarded an 18-month grant to the Partnership for Healthcare Payment Reform. The grant’s purpose is to engage providers, payers, and purchasers in an effort to expand the availability of behavioral health screening and intervention (BSI) services into primary care settings in southeast Wisconsin.  The executive sponsors of this work include the Business Health Care Group (BHCG), The Alliance, the Wisconsin Medicaid program and the Wisconsin state employee benefits program. Subsequently, FlowOne Lean Consulting was hired to facilitate a two-part process of:

  • Examining the current state of behavioral health screening and intervention service delivery, payment models and metrics for patient treatment management and outcome measurement; and
  • Designing the future state of a sustainable behavioral health screening and intervention strategy that addresses the staffing and reimbursement challenges of providers, the cost-control and patient wellness goals of payers and the prevention and productivity goals of purchasers.

FlowOne conducted extensive outreach throughout early 2014 to observe BSI in practice, understand the goals from the project’s sponsors and engage Milwaukee area health systems to participate in this initiative. An initial informational meeting in September 2014 and three successive planning meetings have brought together leaders and champions from organizations across Wisconsin including: Bellin Health, Columbia St. Mary’s, Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, ProHealth Care, Rogers Memorial Hospital, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, Humana, UnitedHealthcare, WPS Insurance, the Wisconsin Departments of Health Services and Employee Trust Funds, the BHCG and the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association.

Providers and payers alike are being challenged to identify their current state of offering or supporting BSI services, as well as their goals for expanding availability of these important services.  Physician experts have met with the group to explore best practices.  The most recent meeting focused on sustainable payment models.  Immediate next steps include site visits to clinics to document model work flows, further work on payment model design, measurement protocol selection, and outcome evaluation criteria.

For more information about this initiative, please contact Karen Timberlake at ktimberlake1@gmail.com.

Update on advance care planning initiative, Honoring Choices Wisconsin

End-of-life conversations can be difficult to have, and we sometimes struggle to know where to start. But Honoring Choices Wisconsin (HCW) is showing that given the opportunity, people will readily engage on this important topic, known as advance care planning.

An initiative of the Wisconsin Medical Society to promote and improve advance care planning across the state, HCW now has 22 health care organizations including ProHealth Care, Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin, Community Care, Inc., Fort HealthCare, and Watertown Regional Medical Center. Each of these organizations has committed to advance care planning as a process of reflection and communication for future medical decisions, and is moving steadily toward making these conversations a routine and standard part of care.

Conversations and quality care make all the difference for patients. Instead of confusion, conflict and guilt when a decision has to be made for a loved one, families find they can make confident decisions and focus on the things that matter. Physicians and health care staff can also have the confidence they’re providing wanted and appropriate care -- instead of navigating their patients’ confusion and stress.

HCW is now moving beyond health care settings and into the places where communities gather. HCW has heard from leaders in health care, religious organizations and public health and social services that advance care planning should be a priority for the populations they serve. For example, a Milwaukee-area ambassador program is providing information and facilitation to faith organizations across the area. 

HCW partners will be hosting events statewide on the National Health Care Decisions Day on April 16. Visit www.honoringchoiceswi.org to download an advance directive and find resources to begin the conversation.

All of this local success coincides with the growth of a national conversation about medical crises and how we die. The Wisconsin-created Consider the Conversation films are reaching a national audience through public television. Wisconsin is recognized as one of the most innovative states in the country and HCW has received inquiries from 20 states asking how its work might be replicated.

HCW recently announced a new collaboration with Wisconsin Public Television to create six training and outreach videos with the goal of disseminating information about advance care planning. These two- to 10-minute videos will be used in presentations in professional and community settings. The first video can be found here: http://vimeo.com/109633109. HCW is seeking contributors for the remaining five. Please call John Maycroft at 608-442-3766 for more information. HCW appreciates the continued support from the BHCG, employers, providers and other stakeholders for Honoring Choices Wisconsin.

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