Mercy Health Network to benefit from $10.1 million CMS Health Care Innovation Award

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 DES MOINES, Iowa: Mercy Health Network (MHN) Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and their allied clinics will begin transitioning to value based care thanks to a $10.1 million CMS Health Care Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The 25 CAH facilities and 73 clinics are located in 37 counties in Iowa and Nebraska. They are affiliated with MHN members— Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines, Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa and Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City.
“This grant will have a major impact on care delivered in rural Iowa,” says Mercy Health Network President and CEO David Vellinga. “The creation of MHN in 1998 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Catholic Health East | Trinity Health began the process of integrating care in way that improved access to existing services which improved quality, safety and helped control costs. This grant will support our continued efforts to develop targeted and innovative methods of care by using information on the overall wellness, chronic conditions and health care needs in rural Iowa.”
Mercy Des Moines Senior Vice President and Chief Accountable Care Officer Dr. David Swieskowski will lead the project, which has the potential to benefit rural care in other parts of the country.
“Critical Access Hospitals are vital to their communities and the Iowa health care delivery system,” says Dr. Swieskowski. “Most CAH facilities have had no involvement with Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) which will play a major role in developing health care delivery of the future. This grant will allow us to help CAH organizations build an infrastructure that will allow them to begin gathering meaningful data on the people and communities they serve. This will position CAH facilities so they can participate in value-based care and become involved in the care redesign process. New resources will be available for coordination of care and the care of chronic disease to best meet the specific care needs of their patients. CAH facilities will also be able to benefit from shared savings generated by working with an ACO.”
More than 160,000 people could see benefits through better management of chronic conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. This project will use the in-clinic health coach model developed by Mercy Clinics in Des Moines. This model has been successful in delivering better care and controlling cost. It’s still being used successfully by Mercy ACO. Health coaches are achieving good results through education, prevention activities and encouraging better medication adherence by patients.
“Wayne County Hospital has been presented with a wonderful opportunity to help shape the way Critical Access Hospitals will deliver value-based care to their patients in the future. We hope that our early adoption of this care delivery model will benefit our patient population and ensure that our mission is sustained well into the future,” commented Wayne County Hospital and Clinic System CEO Daren Relph.

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