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MVC Distributes New Push Report Dedicated to P4P Conditions

MVC Distributes New Push Report Dedicated to P4P Conditions

MVC launched a new push report this week dedicated to the MVC P4P conditions. Its purpose is to support hospitals in identifying areas of opportunity within past and present conditions of the MVC Component of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Pay-for-Performance (P4P) Program. The conditions currently included in P4P and in this report are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), colectomy (non-cancer), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), joint replacement (hip and knee), pneumonia, and spine surgery. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is also included in this report as a historical P4P condition. Hospitals received a page for each condition if they met a case count threshold of 11 episodes in 2019 and 2020.

This report was limited to episodes included in the P4P program with index admissions in 2019 and 2020, and thus included the following payers: BCBSM Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), BCBSM Medicare Advantage, Blue Care Network (BCN) Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), BCN Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS). To align with the P4P program, MVC excluded patients with a discharge disposition of inpatient death or transfer to hospice, episodes that started with an inpatient transfer, and episodes with a COVID-19 diagnosis on a facility claim in the inpatient setting. To fully exclude COVID-19 patients, pneumonia episodes in March 2020 were also excluded.

The reports provided data on hospital trends in episode payments, readmission rates, post-acute care utilization, and emergency department utilization for P4P patients. Data from the push report can be used in conjunction with the registry reports to inform areas of opportunity in the P4P conditions. The push reports also provided a snapshot of each hospital’s P4P patient population (see Figure 1), including race, mean age, and the average number of comorbidities.

Figure 1. Patient Population Snapshot for Blinded Hospital

For Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), the report also included index length of stay. For acute care hospitals, the report included a “reasons for readmissions” table that identified the top five reasons a P4P patient was readmitted. However, this table was removed from the report’s joint replacement page due to low readmission rates among joint replacement surgeries. In its place, acute care hospitals received their ratio of outpatient to inpatient surgeries.

As with other push reports, hospitals were compared to other members in the collaborative for select measures. For acute care hospitals, each hospital’s report includes a comparison point for all MVC episodes (“MVC All”) as well as for episodes at hospitals in the same geographic region (“Your Region”). These reference points do not include episodes that occurred at hospitals with a CAH designation. Similarly, the reports distributed to CAHs included comparison points for MVC episodes at all CAHs in the collaborative (“CAH Average”).

This report takes the place of the cardiac service line reports, which included data on CHF, AMI, and CABG. The new P4P conditions push report uses many of the same measures and figures from the cardiac service line reports, but for the complete list of P4P conditions.

For more information on the MVC Component of the P4P Program, see the MVC P4P Technical Document. Please share your feedback on the newest P4P conditions push report with the MVC Coordinating Center at michiganvaluecollaborative@gmail.com.

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MVC Shares National Action Plan with COPD Workgroup Attendees

MVC Shares National Action Plan with COPD Workgroup Attendees

The Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC) held a bi-monthly virtual workgroup recently on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that accounts for the majority of deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases and is continuously a leading cause of death in the United States. Notably, COPD is nearly two times as prevalent in rural areas as it is in urban areas; therefore, MVC members in rural areas may be dealing with significant inequities within their patient populations. The workgroup presentation and discussion focused on the COPD National Action Plan (CNAP). To the Coordinating Center’s surprise, many workgroup participants had not previously heard of the CNAP, making this event a great opportunity for practice sharing and discussion among members.

Overcoming barriers to prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, and management of COPD is necessary to improve quality of life and reduce mortality. To address these barriers, the U.S. Congress; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a town hall where they asked federal and nonfederal partners to develop an action plan. These partners were tasked with identifying the efforts needed to change the course of COPD. The result was the development of the COPD National Action Plan (CNAP), which was released in 2017 and updated in 2019. It consists of five goals, which were outlined and discussed during the workgroup (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Slide from COPD Workgroup Presentation

Goal 1 calls for promoting more public awareness and understanding of COPD, especially among patients and their caregivers. Key opportunities include patient and caregiver education that is sustainable and culturally appropriate, technological support mechanisms, and connecting patients and caregivers to local and state resources.

Goal 2 focuses on increasing the skills and education of healthcare providers so they are better equipped to provide comprehensive care. This goal is supported by the development and dissemination of patient-centric, clinical practice guidelines for care delivery, the use of technological support mechanisms, and consideration of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation programs. It’s important to note that studies have found no statistically or clinically significant differences for health-related quality of life and exercise capacity among patients who have completed home-based vs. outpatient-based pulmonary rehabilitation.

Goal 3 encourages increased data collection, analysis, and sharing to create a better understanding of disease patterns. Opportunities within this goal include supporting pharmaceutical and clinical COPD research; identifying and delivering comprehensive, evidence-based, culturally appropriate interventions; and disseminating findings to a variety of audiences (from patients to national policymakers).

Goal 4 aims to increase and sustain COPD research to improve understanding of the disease and its diagnosis and treatment. It’s vital that clinicians, researchers, and health policy experts foster research across the COPD continuum (prevention, diagnosis, treatment, management). Workgroup attendees agreed that there are opportunities to improve equity among COPD patients through more data on diagnosed and undiagnosed COPD in disadvantaged patients. Another vital component of this goal is supporting and sustaining pharmaceutical research for COPD medications since none of the existing medications for COPD have been shown to reduce the progressive decline in lung function.

Goal 5 calls for federal and nonfederal partners to collaborate to meet the objectives of the CNAP and translate its recommendations into research and action. Workgroup attendees highlighted the importance of implementing CNAP equitably among both urban and rural regions and implementing COPD strategies at all health policy levels (national, state, local). Such opportunities could improve access to cost-effective and affordable COPD support services and expand support for and access to pulmonary rehabilitation services (including home-based PR), thus reducing health inequities among COPD patients.

Each of the five CNAP goals is equally important and vital in reducing COPD health disparities. Although many of the MVC workgroup participants had not heard of the CNAP before, they were interested in sharing its goals and opportunities with others in their healthcare organization. If you would like to learn more about this patient-centered national action plan, you can read the full published report here. If your organization has addressed the CNAP goals or implemented any of the discussed opportunities, the MVC Coordinating Center would like to hear about the successes, challenges, and lessons learned. If you would like to share this information or present at an upcoming MVC workgroup, please email MVC at michiganvaluecollaborative@gmail.com.

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Reducing Admissions and Readmissions in the COPD Patient Population

Reducing Admissions and Readmissions in the COPD Patient Population

At a recent MVC chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) workgroup, representatives from McLaren Physician Partners presented on their recent quality improvement initiative involving their COPD patient population. McLaren Physician Partners worked to identify areas for improvement within this specific patient population and found some common patient struggles consisted of higher utilization of the emergency department and in-patient settings, as well as higher readmission rates, specifically among their Medicare patients (38%). Five nurse managers were tasked with doing case reviews in order to identify possible areas for improvement. Five to ten patients that had three or more encounters in the last six months were taken from each nurse managers case load. Around 83% of those patients had other significant comorbidities (e.g. Diabetes Mellitus, Congestive Heart Failure, Hypertension.) Additionally, the reason for readmission was most often related to either respiratory insufficiency or a cancer treatment side effect.

Care managers then engaged the patients and went over a questionnaire with them. Approximately 68% of these patients had a misunderstanding of their medication, 26% had environmental barriers, 14% were not compliant with medication, and less than 15% reported an inability to afford medication/devices. Readmissions related to disease progression and inappropriate medication use were the major contributing factor to higher utilization of the in-patient setting and emergency department. Additionally, all admissions and readmissions were related to some form of respiratory insufficiency or a cancer treatment side effect.

Due to the time of implementation, COVID-19 impacted the type of intervention that could be put into place. McLaren Physician Partners opted to adopt a telephonic intervention in order to address education needs and remove barriers. Specific needs related to managing medications and compliance, triggers that led to an exacerbation, and developing a plan of action at the onset of first symptom were addressed. Additionally, the intervention sought to minimize and remove barriers where possible (e.g. cost of medications, transportation issues for visits). Lastly, a consideration was made if a patient was a candidate for palliative care.

Nurse navigators looked into possible ways to engage patients differently in order to hopefully prevent an exacerbation that caused an admission or a readmission. They were aware that what they were doing wasn't working, and needed some sort of upgrade. A toolkit was developed that was sent to the patient prior to a one to two-hour phone call scheduled in order to  help the patient understand this toolkit. The kit requires active participation and helps the patient develop specific goals and actions to take when they see signs of a potential exacerbation.

After implementation of this pilot program, all navigators came together to discuss their findings. Many things were noted, including the fact that patients did not know the difference between their inhalers (long-acting vs. rescue). Additionally, patients often didn't know that by identifying certain triggers, some symptoms may have been preventable. Of the patients who received and engaged in this telephonic intervention, the readmission rate for those who had been recently discharged decreased by more than 20%. Overall, McLaren Physician Partners saw a decrease in their hospitalizations due to the implementation of this program.