• Stormont-Vail and Geary Community Hospital Announce Affiliation Plans

    Wednesday March 25, 2015

    Stormont-Vail HealthCare of Topeka and Geary Community Hospital of Junction City have announced an affiliation arrangement between the entities. Their respective Boards of Trustees each approved the agreement during their regular March board meetings.

    Health care systems throughout the country have faced increased financial and quality pressures in recent years. “While we may not know exactly what the future holds for health care, we do know this – we must change the way we deliver care. We must improve quality and decrease costs,” stated Randy Peterson, Stormont-Vail HealthCare President and Chief Executive Officer. “We must provide a more patient-centered experience than ever before. Creating collaborative relationships with like-minded partners like Geary Community Hospital is a step in the right direction for Stormont-Vail.”

    As affiliates, the organizations will join forces to purchase supplies at a lower cost. They will also collaborate on such things as better integration of clinic services and the sharing of best practices in non-clinical activities. “We look forward to working together to share knowledge and expertise and to develop and strengthen health care in our region,” said Peterson.

    “This is not a buyout, a merger, or a management agreement with Stormont,” said Geary Community Hospital Chief Executive Officer Joe Stratton. Each organization maintains its independence, management and structure. “We are talking about a committed strategic collaboration that will focus on improving our quality of care, decreasing our costs, and ultimately enhancing positive patient experiences at both GCH and Stormont-Vail.”

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  • Stormont-Vail Breaks Ground for New Primary Care Clinic

    Wednesday March 25, 2015

    Stormont-Vail HealthCare has officially broken ground for a new primary care clinic with an ExpressCare clinic on the lower level. The building will be located at 4505 N.W. Fielding Road, just north of Topeka. The new building will be home to Family Practice physicians Timothy Borchers, M.D., Melissa Herrman, M.D., and Patrick Raney, M.D., on the main level. The lower level will be home to an ExpressCare clinic. For information about Cotton-O’Neil physicians who are accepting new patients, call Stormont-Vail’s Health Connections at (785) 354-5225. Anyone will be able to receive care at ExpressCare, regardless of who their primary care physician is.

    The building will be 39,302 square feet. This is a prototype for a patient-centered medical home. A patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is a team approach to health care that focuses on the relationship between patients and their health care professionals. There is space for four physicians and eight advanced practice providers on the main floor. For patient convenience, lab and X-ray services will be available.

    The new building is scheduled to be completed in early 2016. Architectural design was provided by HMN Architects. The general contractor is Murray Company. 

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  • Stormont-Vail HealthCare Named One of the Nation's 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics

    Wednesday March 11, 2015

    Stormont-Vail HealthCare has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics,TM  a leading provider of data-driven analytics and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care.

    The Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® study identifies hospitals and leadership teams that provide the highest level of value to their communities, based on a national balanced scorecard. The 100 Top Hospitals balanced scorecard measures overall organizational performance across 11 key analytic measures including patient care, operational efficiency and financial stability. The study has been conducted annually since 1993. This is the first year Stormont-Vail has been recognized with the 100 Top Hospitals award.

    “Having Stormont-Vail receive this honor, ranking us among the best hospitals in the country on overall performance, is tremendous,” said Randy Peterson, president and chief executive officer of Stormont-Vail HealthCare. “Being identified as a 100 Top Hospitals award winner establishes us as high performing health care organization providing exceptional value to our community, and positions us as a national leader. Our medical staff, employees and leadership have worked hard to achieve these national benchmarks and should be very proud.”

    To conduct the 100 Top Hospitals study, Truven Health researchers evaluated close to 3,000 short-term, acute-care, nonfederal hospitals. Risk-adjusted methodologies were used to analyze public information – Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare reports. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay to market this honor.

    The winning hospitals were announced in the March 2, 2015, edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.

    “This year’s 100 Top Hospitals represent the highest national standards in hospital care and management today. They set the benchmarks for peers around the country to follow – consistently delivering outstanding quality of care, satisfaction and community value at a reasonable cost,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and the 100 Top Hospitals program at Truven Health Analytics. “The majority of the 2015 award winners have produced year-to-year performance improvement, as well. This speaks to the consistent focus on excellence by the entire organization and the men and women who serve patients.”

    The study shows that if all hospitals in the U.S. performed at the level of this year's winners:

    • 126,471 additional lives could be saved
    • 108,926 additional patients could  be complication-free
    • $1.8 billion in inpatient costs could be saved
    • The average patient stay would decrease by half a day
    • Episode-of-illness expense would be 2 percent lower than the peer average

    More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at 100tophospitals.com

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  • Stormont-Vail HealthCare Sponsoring Free Skin Cancer Screening April 25

    Thursday March 5, 2015

    Appointments Can Now Be Made by Calling Health Connections

    A free community skin cancer screening will be provided by Stormont-Vail HealthCare in an effort to improve the health of our community. This is an opportunity to have suspicious moles and other spots checked for signs of cancer, and to determine if further analysis is necessary.

    Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers and accounts for half of all cancers in the United States.

    The free skin screening clinic will be 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 25, at the Stormont-Vail Cancer Center, 1414 S.W. 8th Ave., Topeka. 

    An appointment is required. To make an appointment, call Health Connections at (785) 354-5225.

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  • ACOs Moving Ahead – 89 New Accountable Care Organizations Join Program to Improve Care for Medicare Beneficiaries

    Tuesday December 23, 2014

    Cotton-O’Neil ACO has been selected as one of 89 new Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), providing approximately 1.6 million additional Medicare beneficiaries with access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today. That brings the total to 405 Shared Savings Program ACOs serving over 7.2 million beneficiaries.      

    Doctors, hospitals and health care providers establish ACOs in order to work together to provide higher-quality coordinated care to their patients, while helping to slow health care cost growth. Cotton-O’Neil ACO will be one of 405 ACOs participating in the Shared Savings Program as of this January 1st.  Beneficiaries seeing health care providers in ACOs always have the freedom to choose doctors inside or outside of the ACO.

    ACOs share with Medicare savings generated from lowering the growth in health care costs when they meet standards for high quality care. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that work together to give Medicare beneficiaries in Original Medicare (fee-for-service) high quality, coordinated care. ACOs can share in any savings they generate for Medicare, if they meet specified quality targets. 

    “Cotton-O’Neil ACO will be joining a program that is one part of this Administration’s vision for improving the coordination and integration of care received by Medicare beneficiaries”, said Sean Cavanaugh, Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicare. “We look forward to continuing this partnership with Cotton-O’Neil ACO in increasing value and care coordination across the health system.”

    Since ACOs first began participating in the program in early 2012, thousands of health care providers have signed on to participate in the program, working together to provide better care to Medicare’s seniors and people with disabilities. The 89 new ACOs will bring approximately 23,000 additional physicians and other providers into the ACO program starting January 1.

    ACOs are starting to see promising results. This fall, CMS released the early findings from the ACOs who started the program in 2012. ACOs improved on 30 of the 33 quality measures in the first 2 years, including patients’ ratings of clinicians’ communication, beneficiaries’ rating of their doctors, and screening for high blood pressure. ACOs also outperformed group practices reporting quality on 17 out of 22 measures.  ACOs are also demonstrating promising results on cost savings with combined total program savings of $417 million for the Shared Savings Program and the Pioneer ACO Model. 

     While CMS is encouraged by what they have seen so far, they also understand there are opportunities to improve the program to make it stronger. Earlier this month, they published a proposed rule to update the guidelines for the program. CMS is looking forward to receiving comments from ACOs, beneficiaries, and their advocates, providers, and other stakeholders interested in seeing the ACOs succeed long-term.

    ACOs are also just one way that CMS is working to reduce the rate of growth in Medicare spending while improving care. Medicare spending per beneficiary was essentially flat in nominal dollars in fiscal year 2014, and from 2010 to 2014, Medicare spending per beneficiary grew at a rate that was 2 percentage points per year less than growth in GDP per capita. While the recent slow cost growth has multiple causes, our reforms in the Medicare and Medicaid programs are meaningful contributors to these gains and are improving quality as well.  Preliminary data for 2013, for example, indicates improvements in patient safety has resulted in 50,000 fewer deaths, 1.3 million fewer patient harms, and $12 billion in avoided health care spending.  Recent research implies that many of these reforms may be generating savings in the private sector as well. 

    Ultimately, today’s announcement is about delivering better care, spending dollars more wisely, and having healthier people and communities. ACOs drive progress in the way care is provided by improving the coordination and integration of health care, and improving the health of patients with a priority placed on prevention and wellness.

    More information about the Shared Savings Program is available at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/index.html?redirect=/sharedsavingsprogram/

    For a list of the 89 new ACOs announced today, visit: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/News.html

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  • Stormont-Vail Foundation Receives Recognition Grant from Kansas Health Foundation for Care Line Patient Assistance

    Thursday December 4, 2014

    The Stormont-Vail Foundation has been awarded a recognition grant of $25,000 from the Kansas Health Foundation to fund the Care Line Family Service program. The program provides assistance to families while their children are receiving medical treatment or hospitalization. Assistance may be in the form of temporary lodging, transportation assistance or meal vouchers.

    The Kansas Health Foundation is a private philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of all Kansans. For more information about the Kansas Health Foundation, visit www.kansashealth.org.

    The Care Line support often enables family members to stay with or travel between home or work and the hospital while their child is receiving treatment. Care Line support in the Families Services category is expected to see increases in the coming year. This is due to the continued growth of pediatric services at Stormont-Vail HealthCare. Stormont-Vail operates the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care in the region and has expanded its pediatric specialty areas in hematology/oncology, endocrinology and cardiology, as well as a Maternal Fetal Medicine program. Stormont-Vail has a pediatrics intensive care unit in addition to the pediatrics unit and a young adult unit for patients needing hospitalization.

    Additionally, Stormont-Vail is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, which provides the expertise of Mayo Clinic doctors through consultations with Stormont-Vail physicians - minimizing disruptions in school, activities, work, and family life when a child needs care.

    The focus on pediatrics at Stormont-Vail means Kansas children and families can stay closer to home for medical care, increasing the need for Care Line resources.

    For more information or to learn how you can make a donation to the
    Stormont-Vail Foundation or volunteer, please visit stormontvail.org or call (785) 354-6851.

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  • Stormont-Vail HealthCare Earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®’ Recognition from The Joint Commission

    Tuesday November 25, 2014

    Stormont-Vail HealthCare has been recognized as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. Stormont-Vail was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. Stormont-Vail is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction.

    The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. This is the second year Stormont-Vail has been recognized as a Top Performer for its performance on accountability measure data for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. It is one of only of 712 hospitals to achieve the Top Performer distinction for the past two consecutive years.

    To be a 2013 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2013 accountability measure data, including:

    • Achieving cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
    • Achieving performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there were at least 30 denominator cases; and
    • Having at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and within each measure set, all applicable individual accountability measures had a performance rate of 95 percent or above. 

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