Danbury Hospital Awarded $4.5 Million Grant to Address Social and Health Care Needs

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-CT Coalition to Align Systems and Connect People with Services Program to Improve Care-

This impressive level of funding will support thoughtful gap analysis, enhanced navigation, and continuous quality improvement, said John M. Murphy, MD, President and CEO of WCHN

Danbury Hospital, in conjunction with the Value Care Alliance hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), behavioral health and community organizations, has been chosen as one of 32 health systems in the nation to serve as a model for advanced integrated health services for Medicare and Medicaid patients. Danbury Hospital partnered with Norwalk, Griffin, Middlesex, and St. Vincent’s hospitals in developing this proposal, and will further collaborate in expanding this innovative model throughout their respective service areas across the state.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded Danbury Hospital a five year, $4.5 million grant to establish the CMS Accountable Health Communities Model, which aims to address health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. They were the only CT-based group to receive the prestigious, Track 3 “Alignment” designation.

Danbury Hospital, part of the Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) which includes New Milford and Norwalk Hospitals, will serve as the bridge organization for this collaboration. The Value Care Alliance hospitals and a broad consortium of health and community service providers created the Connecticut Coalition to Align Systems and Connect People with Services (CT CAPS) Program to expand existing interdisciplinary collaborations and to improve alignment between clinical and community service providers.

WCHN, Griffin, St. Vincent’s, and Middlesex hospitals are partners in the Value Care Alliance, the largest collaboration of independent healthcare providers in Connecticut serving approximately 1.3 million patients in their combined communities.

“We are thrilled to receive this award and partner with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in addressing a critical gap between clinical care and community services in the current health care delivery system,” said John M. Murphy, MD, president and CEO of WCHN. “This impressive level of funding will support thoughtful gap analysis, enhanced navigation, and continuous quality improvement. CT CAPS will demonstrate the ability to form a sustainable and meaningful model to address the social determinants of health in our communities.”

Specifically, CT CAPS will screen 75,000 Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and direct them to appropriate services based on needs such as transportation, housing, food insecurity, access to utilities and domestic violence. The CT CAPS service area includes a diverse cross-section of demographic and socioeconomic groupings, including elderly, immigrant and low income.

Robert J. Carr, M.D., WCHN’s Vice-President for Clinical Transformation, will lead the effort in close collaboration with site directors at the partnering organizations. Dr. Carr shared that, “Health-related social needs, including hunger, homelessness, and poverty increase patients’ risk of developing chronic health conditions and limit their ability to adequately manage these conditions.” Despite the known health impact of unmet social needs, traditional reimbursement formulas, which focus on volume of services provided rather than on clinical outcomes, offer little incentive for change.

“CT CAPS presents a rare opportunity to align care, change payment models, and most importantly address patients’ social and health care needs to affect the type of sustainable change that is at the heart of the Accountable Health Communities initiative,” said Dr. Carr.

About Western Connecticut Health Network
Western Connecticut Health Network is the region's premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. With this recent affiliation, the organization is now anchored by three nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the three hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes numerous medical practices and sub-specialties across the region, home health care services, a nationally renowned biomedical research institute, the Danbury Hospital & New Milford Hospital Foundation, the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and other affiliates. For more information, visit TheNewWCHN.org. Share your comments with us at Facebook.com/DanburyHospital; Facebook.com/NewMilfordHospita l and/or Facebook.com/NorwalkHospital.

About Value Care Alliance
The Value Care Alliance (VCA) is a collaboration among high-quality, low-cost Connecticut healthcare systems. This includes six member hospitals and their affiliated physicians working together to enhance efficient, coordinated care and promote local governance with shared leadership in healthcare decision making. The Alliance provides opportunities to exchange best practices among its members with the goal of reducing healthcare expense and improving quality. Additionally, the Alliance delivers data and analytical capabilities to enable efficient and effective care management and optimize the coordination of care across multiple settings. The Alliance is the largest collaboration of independent health care providers in the state. Hospital and physician leaders are working together to set the direction for the Alliance and to enhance the delivery of clinically integrated care, as it helps its members and their patients respond to the changing healthcare environment. For more information, see http://www.valuecarealliance.com.

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Andrea Rynn
Danbury Hospital
since: 02/2009
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