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BETTER CARE, BETTER HEALTH AND LOWER COSTS

These are the goals of the Vermont Health Care Innovation Project (VHCIP). Vermonters both inside and outside state government are developing new technologies and processes for making health care not just less costly and more efficient, but more effective.

VHCIP coordinates policy and resources for health care reform statewide. With a $45 million dollar federal State Innovation Model (SIM) grant, VHCIP funds proposals to improve health care delivery, to build health information technology and databases, and to test new models for paying providers.  VHCIP has also drawn on input from ten stakeholders’ Work Groups in making policy recommendations at the state level. Six of those Work Groups are still in action.

Serving as a conduit between public and private actors in health care reform, VHCIP fosters collaboration among the Green Mountain Care Board, the Vermont Agency of Human Services, Medicaid, private health insurers, and health care providers in the state. From the largest medical center to the smallest private practice in Vermont, providers are invited to participate in health care reform.

The Triple Aim

The goals of VHCIP align with The Triple Aim.  As defined by the Institute for Health Improvement, The Triple Aim is “the simultaneous pursuit of improving the patient care experience, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care.” As the IHI insists, these ambitious goals can only be achieved through broad systematic changes in health care.

The Triple Aim seeks to improve the experience of patients by making health care delivery safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable.  It focuses on population health, which “cannot be realized by health care systems acting alone, nor by solely delivering high-quality care at lower costs. Improving health is a challenge that requires the engagement of partners across the community to address the broader determinants of health,” according to the IHI. And it does not aim simply to curb the growth in health care costs, but rather to reduce the amount spent per capita on health care.  The Triple Aim is designed to result in “fundamentally new systems contributing to the overall health of populations while reducing the cost to society.”

Remaining Work to Do

To build on progress in transforming health care practice and improving population health, VHCIP will:

  • Expand the Learning Collaborative to include providers beyond the Burlington, Rutland, and St. Johnsbury areas
  • Continue to sustain the projects funded by sub-grants throughout Vermont
  • Foster regional collaborations among providers
  • Conduct micro-simulation modeling of demand
  • Finalize the Population Health Plan

To continue building the health data infrastructure, VHCIP plans to:

  • Continue efforts to improve data quality and to remediate information gaps
  • Invest in telehealth pilot programs
  • Design and implement health information registry and data warehousing solutions
  • Invest in a shared care plan and/or a solution for uniform data transfer protocol
  • Launch a System Event Notification Service

To continue transformation of health payment systems, VHCIP intends to:

  • Implement the third-year stage of state supplement programs (SSP) for Medicaid and commercial health care payers
  • Analyze the feasibility of Accountable Communities for Health and the All-Payer model
  • Implement Bundled Medicaid Episodes of Care
  • Establish a Home Health Patient Positioning System (PPS)

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