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AJMCs ACO Coalition Explores the New Rules of Patient Engagement

SAN DIEGO, California (PRWEB) May 04, 2015

Getting patients to work with physicians, employers, and health plans to manage their health is critical to achieving the “triple aim” of better population health, improved patient satisfaction and reducing costs, but this will require a shift in thinking from stakeholders across the healthcare spectrum. This change also demands that health systems move beyond their traditional boundaries to reach hard-to-treat populations, according to speakers who took part in the third live meeting of the ACO and Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition.

Improving patient engagement, and the consequences of failing to do so, were themes of the meeting that took place April 30-May 1, 2015, at the historic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California. The Coalition is an initiative of The American Journal of Managed Care.

“How do we engage people in their own healthcare?” asked Coalition Chair Anthony Slonim, MD, DrPH, as he opened the meeting. Dr. Slonim, president and CEO of Renown Health in Reno, Nevada, set the tone for the speakers, panel discussions, and small-group workshops; and for networking time with fellow members.

Both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and goals set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) connect payment with healthcare quality. For providers who are part of ACOs, financial success—even practice survival—now means looking beyond what happens during the office visit or trip to the hospital to all the factors that contribute to population health. Important takeaways included:

“Ninety-nine percent of health outcomes are not related to healthcare,” said Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP, vice president of Integrated Health Services for IBM Corporation. Factors such as diet, exercise, the environment, and socioeconomic status all contribute to health outcomes—and always have—but the rise of ACOs has brought them under the purview of healthcare systems.
For years, Dr. Rhee said, rising healthcare costs have limited hiring and the size of raises. This has forced employers to become more engaged in the health of workers. Now that the ACA has defined what employers must pay, more costs are being shifted to workers.
Many speakers discussed how reaching high cost, hard-to-treat patients requires partnerships with social service organizations and a willingness to meet basic needs. Howard C. Springer, administrative director of strategy for accountable care services for Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, offered an example: Efforts to get a mentally ill woman to exercise failed until her health team learned she wouldn’t go to swim class for lack of a bathing suit. So they bought her one.
Technology offers many tools for patient engagement, including add-ons for electronic health records, apps for smart phones, and wearable technology. But use of technology must be folded into the normal workflow or it will fail, said Ira Klein, MD, MBA, FACP, senior medical director, National Accounts, Clinical Sales and Strategy at Aetna.
Failure to engage patients, or to have provider contracts that address differences in patient populations, will lead to more disputes within ACOs. Mediation can offer a better way to resolve disputes between providers and the ACO. Patient engagement is so important that it could be the fourth part of a “quadruple aim,” said Leonard Fromer, MD, executive medical director, group practice forum and assistant clinical professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of California.
All agree that ACOs must address social and environmental factors that affect health, Coalition participants said quality metrics and reimbursement models have not caught up with this fact. After Springer presented a model for integrating behavioral health into primary care, Jennifer Lenz, assistant vice president, Quality Solutions Group, California, National Committee for Quality Assurance, acknowledged that getting quality metrics and CMS’ own reimbursement standards into alignment can be very difficult, and this lack of consistency can limit innovation.

Despite these challenges, ACOs are driving change, although it’s too early to declare any single new payment model superior to all others, said Suzanne F. Delbanco, PhD, executive director of Catalyst for Payment Reform. Things have come a long way since 1999, when the Institute of Medicine issued the groundbreaking report on the hospital safety crisis, To Err is Human. “No one wanted to believe it,” Dr. Delbanco said.

“It’s much more accepted today that quality does vary,” she said. “We know when we buy healthcare, we’re not getting the same healthcare every time we write a check.”

Unlike past attempts to overhaul healthcare, leaders in today’s payment reform movement seek improved health outcomes alongside efforts to rein in spending. For CPR, quality is an essential element. “Payment reform must have attention to quality, otherwise it’s just shifting costs around,” she said.

Upcoming events for the ACO Coalition, which now has 190 members, include web-based sessions on June 25, 2015, and September 24, 2015. The fall live meeting will be October 15-16, 2015, at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida.

About the ACO Coalition

As ACOs and other emerging delivery and payment models evolve and move away from traditional fee-for-service system models toward cost-effective and value-based care, the need to understand how these models will evolve is critical to building long-term strategic solutions. The mission of the ACO Coalition is to bring together a diverse group of key stakeholders, including ACO providers and leaders, payers, IDNs, retail and specialty pharmacy, academia, national quality organizations, patient advocacy, employers and pharmaceutical manufacturers to work collaboratively to build value and improve the quality and overall outcomes of patient care. Coalition members share ideas and best practices through live meetings, Web-based interactive sessions and conference calls. Distinguishing features are the Coalition’s access to leading experts and its small workshops that allow creative problem-solving. To learn more, click here.

CONTACT: Nicole Beagin

(609) 716-7777 x 131


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Berkeley, CA Periodontist, Dr. Keith Chertok Launches Re-Designed Patient Website

Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) February 27, 2015

Leading Berkeley, CA periodontist, Dr. Keith Chertok, is pleased to announce the launch of his newly re-designed patient website. The site has been redone to ensure that patients have easy access to information regarding dental procedures, such as laser dentistry, that Dr. Chertok offers as well as common dental problems that they may experience. Now, with just a few simple clicks, patients can access information and educate themselves about dental procedures so they can make an informed decision about their treatment options.

Patients can discuss their dental needs with Dr. Chertok any time, but to gain an in depth understanding of procedures, patients can turn to his website for detailed information. Dr. Chertok offers many services, including some of the most advanced procedures currently used in the field of periodontics. Dr. Chertok is one of the few dental professionals in the nation who offers the LANAP® protocol for the treatment of gum disease. This laser gum surgery alternative uses a specialized laser that targets and treats gum disease. Other services offered include the Pinhole Surgical Technique™, the leading treatment for gum recession, and dental implants.

In addition to information on treatment options, patients can now use the website for much more. Its user-friendly interface makes it possible for patients to request appointments online and to contact office staff with any questions. Additionally, patient forms are now available on the site, so patients can fill out their required paperwork prior to their office visit, which can help keep wait times at the office to a minimum.

Berkeley, CA residents in need of a periodontist for laser dentistry or other treatments are invited to visit Dr. Chertok’s new website to view the educational information and utilize the patient resources it contains.

About the Doctor

Keith Chertok, DDS is a periodontist offering personalized dental care for Berkeley, CA gum disease patients. Dr. Chertok graduated in the top five percent of his class from the New York University College of Dentistry and was elected to the honor society Omicron Kappa Upsilon. He received the Quintessence Award for excellence in Periodontics and went on to complete a Hospital Residency program at the New York VA hospital. Dr. Chertok arrived in California to study Periodontics and Implantology at UCSF. He taught at the Dugoni School of Dentistry and UCSF dental school and continues to teach education courses to dentists and dental hygienists. Dr. Chertok is the attending periodontist in charge of periodontal education for the dental residents at the Veterans Hospital Healthcare System of Northern California at Mare Island. He is part of one percent of dental professionals providing the LANAP FDA cleared laser procedure for gum disease and periodontal treatment. To learn more about Dr. Keith Chertok and his dental services, visit his website at and call 510-423-0748.

StayWell partners with Rutland Regional Medical Center to improve Osteoporosis Education and Patient Outcomes

Yardley, Penn. (PRWEB) January 27, 2015

The StayWell Company, LLC (StayWell), a leading provider of health education and engagement solutions, announced today that Rutland Regional Medical Center will provide their clinicians with access to StayWell’s custom-created Osteoporosis FastGuide, part of the Krames Patient Education suite of products. Rutland treats an estimated 1,200 osteoporosis patients each year and will use StayWell’s FastGuide to educate patients and improve compliance with osteoporosis treatment plans.

“Our vision is to be the best community healthcare system in New England, and our access to StayWell’s health education resources gets us closer to that goal by standardizing our educational materials for patients with osteoporosis,” said Jill Jesso-White, manager, marketing and public relations, Rutland Regional Medical Center. “Standardized messages are more consistent and increase patient understanding of osteoporosis: from symptoms and diagnosis, to common treatments and patient self-care. This knowledge can produce better outcomes, better quality of life for patients, and increased patient satisfaction for the Rutland care system.”

Krames Patient Education, a product of StayWell, is designed to educate patients to help them better manage their condition, improving health outcomes, quality and patient satisfaction. Content is developed with strict attention to clinical guidelines and adherence to the principles of health literacy design. StayWell content undergoes thorough evaluation and assessment that involves a highly qualified team of research librarians, medical writers, medical illustrators, expert subject matter consultants and production specialists. On average, each piece of content is reviewed twice by a team of 12 to 15 consultants during development to make certain content is evidence-based and clinically accurate.

“We know accurate information is the first step in maintaining your health — information that’s up-to-date, easy to understand, engaging and provides clear action steps to better health,” said David Gregg, M.D., chief medical officer for StayWell. “The Osteoporosis FastGuide focuses on a very common concern for both women and men, as they age: how to maintain good bone health and avoid unnecessary fractures of the spine and hip. With the FastGuide, patients will learn how to prevent osteoporosis through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes; how to screen for osteoporosis; and how to work with their physician to manage osteoporosis.”

To learn more about StayWell, visit To learn more about the company’s Krames Patient Education print products, visit

About StayWell

StayWell is a health engagement company that helps its clients engage and educate people to improve health and business results. StayWell brings decades of experience working across the health care industry to design solutions that address its clients’ evolving needs. We fuse expertise in health engagement and the science of behavior change with an integrated portfolio of solutions and robust content assets to effectively engage people to make positive health care decisions. StayWell programs have received numerous top industry honors, including the C. Everett Koop National Health Award and the Web Health Award for health engagement programs. StayWell also has received URAC and NCQA accreditation for several of its programs. StayWell is headquartered in Yardley, Pennsylvania, and also has major locations in Salt Lake City, Utah, and St. Paul., Minnesota. To learn more, visit

About Rutland Regional Medical Center

Established in 1896, Rutland Regional is the second largest hospital in Vermont. Their commitment to quality patient care led to Rutland Regional becoming the first hospital in Vermont to receive both the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence and Magnet Recognition® for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovation. To learn more, visit

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