Grant to Health Collaborative

Bethesda Inc. Awards $4.2 Million Grant to Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati

Grant Will Accelerate Expansion of "YourHealthMatters" Initiative -- Developing a Revolutionary New System to Report the Quality and Costs of Health Care in the Cincinnati Community

Cincinnati, OH, October 27, 2010 -- Bethesda Inc., whose mission is to support health care innovation, collaboration, education and research in Cincinnati, today said it has awarded the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati a $4.2 million grant to further develop its community-wide healthcare performance and public reporting initiative called YourHealthMatters. The ultimate goal of this program is to make the performance and costs of health care providers transparent to the Cincinnati community and available online at www.yourhealthmattersgreatercincinati.org.

The Bethesda Inc. funding enables the Health Improvement Collaborative and the Cincinnati Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) to accelerate the development of one the country's first data bases to capture and compare the treatment outcomes, patient satisfaction and costs of local health care providers. When completed, health care consumers will be armed with information about the care provided by local physicians, as well as have available actions they can take to improve their own health.

YourHealthMatters is an innovative website that helps physicians and patients work better together to improve patients' health by comparing performance of Cincinnati area physician practices and making it available to those who receive care, deliver care and pay for care. The site represents a key component of the Health Improvement Collaborative's Cincinnati Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) program, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest foundation focused exclusively on health and health care.

"Bethesda Inc.'s history is rooted in developing the best possible health care resources and innovating how care is delivered," said Jim Pearce, chairman of the board of Bethesda Inc. "This grant will help this project reach its full potential sooner, thereby enabling more patients to actively engage in their own health and ultimately allowing businesses and insurers to rate the patient satisfaction, treatment outcomes and cost of care available locally. This innovative resource has the potential to make a true difference over the long term in our community's health status and is only possible because of the commitment of Greater Cincinnati physicians to improve healthcare for their patients. We all need to thank them and support them in this effort."

Grant Will Enable Unique Service

The new funding, awarded over a three-year period, enables YourHealthMattersGreaterCincinnati.org to move beyond the current reporting of diabetic care. This includes:

  • Evolving into a more robust and sustainable community resource.
  • Addressing other chronic conditions such as heart and stroke.
  • Including overall patient satisfaction with care.
  • Increase medical participation to 450 area physicians reporting clinical outcome measures.
  • Add patient satisfaction data from the nearly 30,000 area residents undergoing treatment for diabetes.
  • Capture and begin to incorporate cost of care information, including cost efficiency and claims data for managing care.
  • Initiate steps to integrate inpatient quality data from all major regional hospital and health systems.

 

"The availability of quality health care providers and reduced costs in local communities is a growing focus of most businesses," said David Dillon, chairman and chief executive officer of The Kroger Co. and member of the Bethesda Inc. Board. "When developed, this web tool would be invaluable to businesses as they try to quantify the cost and availability of superior health care for their current and prospective employees."

The Bethesda Inc. grant also will support consumer research capabilities to determine the best way to engage patients in their own care, identify outreach activities to enhance patient involvement, and gain understanding of how consumers are using the website to make value-based healthcare purchase decisions.

"This type of additional funding accelerates the work we have led to help communities publicly report information about the quality of care provided by local physicians," said Anne Weiss, who directs programs to improve health care quality at the Robert Wood Johnson. "Cincinnati is poised to continue to be a leader, along with other U.S. communities, in providing the type of information needed for better health care outcomes, lower costs and increased patient satisfaction. We encourage other organizations in Cincinnati and around the country to join efforts to ensure that projects like this can be both successful and sustainable. "

In its initial phase, YourHealthMattersGreaterCincinnati.org is enabling local residents with Type 2 diabetes to review physician performance against five diabetes management goals clinically proven to reduce heart attacks and strokes, two common diabetes complications. The site also provides tools and information to help patients understand steps they can take to better manage their own care.

"Managing long-term chronic conditions takes a true partnership between patients and doctors," said Greg Ebel, executive director of Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati. "This grant will enhance the depth of information we provide on the quality of care for patients, physicians and health care stakeholders. If successful, it could make our community a leader in managing chronic conditions."

According to Craig Eisentrout, M.D., who practices pulmonary and critical care medicine with Montgomery-based Pulmonary Consultants Inc. and is a Bethesda Inc. trustee, "It is essential we move beyond episodic care and focus more on long-term comprehensive management; by doing so develop best practices for both patients and physicians in managing chronic conditions. YourHealthMattersGreaterCincinnati.org offers an entirely new approach."

About Bethesda Inc.
Bethesda Inc. has been a leader in developing and providing health-related services to the Greater Cincinnati community since 1896. Today, Bethesda Inc. is one of two joint sponsors of TriHealth, which is an integrated health delivery system that operates Bethesda North Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Hospice of Cincinnati, and several other physician, employer-based and ambulatory services. Bethesda Inc. also the parent corporation of The Bethesda Foundation Inc., which provides support for Bethesda North Hospital and Hospice of Cincinnati. For more information, visit www.bethesda-inc.org.

About YourHealthMatters
YourHealthMatters is a community wide effort to improve the quality of health care in Greater Cincinnati. YourHealthMattersGreaterCincinnati.org represents a key component of the Health Improvement Collaborative's Cincinnati Aligning Forces for Quality initiative, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest foundation focused exclusively on health and health care. Cincinnati is one of 17 communities hand-picked by the Foundation to improve quality of care, reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide insights for improving medical care nationwide.

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