Hamilton, NJ, April 7, 2009 - The Center for Health Care Strategies today announced that it has received a $2.5 million grant from Kaiser Permanente to support the Rethinking Care Program, a national initiative to design and rigorously test better approaches to care for Medicaid's highest-need, highest-cost beneficiaries.
"Particularly now with national policymakers focusing on prevention and controlling health care costs, we are delighted to help Medicaid promote and benefit from innovative ideas and practices to reform health care delivery," said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy, Kaiser Permanente. "Ultimately, the lessons from this work can help other purchasers, especially Medicare, the Veterans Administration, and employers with aging workforces, in their efforts to improve care and control spending for high-need, high-cost patients."
"Kaiser Permanente is widely recognized as a national leader in improving health care delivery," said Stephen A. Somers, PhD, president, Center for Health Care Strategies. "So it is particularly gratifying for us to see it making a major investment of its Community Benefit resources in this national effort to improve quality in Medicaid."
Under the four-year Rethinking Care Program, CHCS is working with state-led pilots to test new care management approaches for their highest-need, highest-cost beneficiaries. The goal is to promote strategies to better care for the top 5 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries who drive 50 percent of total program spending. More than 80 percent of these high-cost beneficiaries have three or more chronic conditions, and up to 60 percent have five or more. Yet, the majority of these patients remain in the fragmented fee-for-service system.
Kaiser Permanente's grant will support a national learning network comprised of policymakers, health services researchers, clinicians, and financing experts. This national group will assess current practices, vet lessons from state pilot efforts, and establish a research agenda for building the evidence base of interventions on cost-effective solutions for serving people with multiple chronic conditions. A series of policy briefs, operational tools, webinars, and an online toolkit will be developed and disseminated over the course of Kaiser's four-year grant.
Currently four Rethinking Care Program pilots are underway in Colorado, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, and four additional pilots are slated to begin in the next year. In addition to funding from Kaiser Permanente, the initiative is supported by the Aetna Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation, New York State Health Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
For more information, visit www.chcs.org/rethinkingcare.
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The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit health policy resource center dedicated to improving health care quality for low-income children and adults, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, frail elders, and racially and ethnically diverse populations experiencing disparities in care. CHCS works with state and federal agencies, health plans, and providers to develop innovative programs that better serve Medicaid beneficiaries. For more information, visit www.chcs.org.
Kaiser Permanente is shaping the future of health care. We are America's leading health care provider and not-for-profit health plan. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. In 2008, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed approximately $1.17 billion to support community benefit programs and services through research, community-based health partnerships, and direct health coverage for low-income families and collaboration with community clinics, health departments and public hospitals. For more information, go to www.kp.org/newscenter.