As the cost of health care in the United States continues to rise, of utmost concern are reports that medical bills are creating substantial hardships for patients and that the cost of health care is now the biggest financial concern facing American families. Healthcare debt is a leading driver of personal bankruptcy and home foreclosure. Both insured and uninsured patients are burdened by medical bills. Confounding these issues is evidence that patients avoid necessary care (prescription refills, doctors appointments) because of cost. Care avoidance will compromise diagnosis and management and potentially result in an emergency department visit or hospitalization, which are the 2 biggest contributors to burdensome health care debt.
In response to these challenges, providers across the country are reflecting on their practice to identify opportunities and implement initiatives that improve patient care quality and safety while reducing costs. To efficiently and effectively advance this work on a national scale, the High Value Practice Academic Alliance was created in 2016, and faculty leaders from > 80 partner institutions representing 25 different medical specialties & subspecialties have joined the organization. Through cross-institutional collaboration, successful value improvement work safely piloted in one academic center can be advanced nationally to lead large-scale improvements in health care value. Monthly webinars showcase successful value-based quality improvement initiatives, and the alliance directs a national high value care conference each fall.
Member centers also work together to design new value-based quality improvement initiatives and disseminate results in medical journals for broad impact. Teams of faculty and house staff are creating a compendium of peer-reviewed implementation guides, designed to assist others embarking on new value improvement initiatives within their medical center. The 1st four guides were published as Special Communications in JAMA Internal Medicine, and others are in progress.
Engaging medical students, resident physicians, and fellows is critical for longstanding improvements in practice, and this a founding principle of the organization. The HVPAA Future Leaders Program is a free year-long professional development curriculum for residents and fellows, designed to recognize up to 75 high potential house staff and advance their understanding of high value care and how to lead value-related quality improvement. The curriculum includes carefully selected didactics and direct mentoring from 7 faculty champions from academic medical centers committed to high value care.
By joining forces, academic institutions can effectively refine health care on a national scale and demonstrate to patients that their providers are accountable for the quality of health care they deliver, as well as the quality of the U.S. health care delivery system.
The 2nd annual National Conference of the High Value Practice Academic Alliance is scheduled for September 21-23, 2018 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The abstract submission site opened January 1, 2018, and abstracts are due April 1, 2018.
The annual conference is a highly informative program for anyone in the health care industry interested in safely improving health care value, including hospital leadership (CEO, CQO,CMO, CFO), medical providers (doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, house staff, medical and MPH students), performance improvement companies, regulatory leads and insurance administrators. Registration information will be available soon.
The inaugural national conference was held on October 8-9, 2017 in Baltimore, MD. The meeting featured innovative work from 50 academic medical centers, delivered through 140 podium and poster presentations describing quality improvement projects to reduce low value practice and medical school or GMEC high value educational curricula. Nearly 200 faculty, trainees, students and administrators attended from 70 medical centers across the United States and Canada. The keynote speaker was Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, former director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins and Johns Hopkins Medicine’s senior vice president for patient safety and quality, and 5 faculty leaders in health care value delivered invited lectures.
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