• 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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  • Stormont-Vail Nurses Receive Nurse of the Year Awards

    Wednesday November 12, 2014

    Three Stormont-Vail HealthCare staff members were named winners in the 2014 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards - Greater Kansas Chapter, and eight others were honored as finalists. The awards were presented at a gala Nov. 7 in Kansas City, Mo.

    Stormont-Vail winners and the categories they received recognition in are Carrie Browning, RN, BSN, Case Management; Brooke Shumaker, RN, BSN, MSN, CNL-C, Emergency/Transport; and Libby Rosen, RN, PhD, IBCLC, School of Nursing Educator.

    "These awards are significant," said Carol Perry, RN, BSN, MSM, FACHE, vice president and chief nursing officer at Stormont-Vail. "They honor distinguished nurses at Stormont-Vail and across the region. Not only do they showcase the high quality care that the Stormont-Vail nursing staff provides to our patients and the community, they recognize the individual accomplishments of these nurses."

    The Nurse of the Year Awards event recognizes exceptional nurses from across Kansas and the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Nurses play a vital role in our society and are the unsung heroes of the health care provider community.

    Stormont-Vail finalists were Natalie Waetzig, RN, Case Management; Dianne Davis, RN, Case Management; Tiffany Horsley, RN, Infection Prevention and Control; Kathleen Payne, RN, Neonatology; Dana Jones, RN, Nursing Informatics; Robin Holthaus, RN, Oncology; Ursula Beuchat, RN, Pediatric; and Alison Wilson, RN, Public Health / Ambulatory Care.

    Earlier this year, Stormont-Vail HealthCare achieved Magnet redesignation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for nursing excellence. Stormont-Vail is one of two health care organizations in the state of Kansas to have that designation and first received it in 2009.

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  • Stormont-Vail HealthCare Physicians Remember Colleagues

    Tuesday October 14, 2014

    Three physicians at Stormont-Vail HealthCare will be available to speak with news media representatives at 2:30 p.m. today (Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014) about two of their colleagues who were among the three people killed in a small plane crash Sunday night in suburban Chicago.

    Tausif Rehman, M.D., Cotton-O’Neil neurosurgeon, and Ali A. Kanchwala, M.D., Cotton-O’Neil pulmonologist, and Dr. Kanchwala’s wife, Maria Javaid, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, were aboard a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron when it crashed in a vacant lot in a Palos Hills neighborhood.

    Available to speak today about these physicians are Dr. Kent Palmberg, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Dr. Matthew Wills, neurosurgeon, and Dr. Shawn Magee, pulmonologist.

    If you would like to attend or call in by phone, please contact Nancy Burkhardt, director of Marketing, at nburkhardt@stormontvail.org or cell phone (785) 224-6690.

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  • Stormont-Vail HealthCare Mourns Loss of Physicians in Plane Crash

    Monday October 13, 2014

    Two Stormont-Vail HealthCare physicians were among three people killed in a small plane crash Sunday night in suburban Chicago. The third person, also a physician, was the wife of one of the Stormont-Vail physicians.

    Tausif Rehman, M.D., Cotton-O’Neil neurosurgeon, and Ali A. Kanchwala, M.D., Cotton-O’Neil pulmonologist, and Dr. Kanchwala’s wife, Maria Javaid, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, were aboard a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron when it crashed in a vacant lot in a Palos Hills neighborhood. The plane was returning to Lawrence, Kan., when the crash occurred shortly after takeoff from Chicago Midway Airport.

    “Dr. Rehman and Dr. Kanchwala were extremely valued, highly skilled and beloved members of our staff,” said Randy Peterson, president and chief executive officer of Stormont-Vail HealthCare. “We are heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these individuals and the staff who worked closely with them. These physicians were deeply committed to their patients and to bringing the best of care to our community. We also extend our deepest sympathies to the Providence Medical Center staff for the loss of Dr. Javaid.”

    Dr. Rehman joined Stormont-Vail in February 2013. Dr. Rehman received his medical degree from Aga Khan University, Pakistan, in 2002.  He participated as a research assistant at Aga Khan University Department of Neurosciences following his medical degree. He completed an internship in general surgery at Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 2005. He then completed an additional year of training in general surgery at Weil Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, in 2006. In 2006, he began a residency in neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M., which he completed in 2011, along with an infolded fellowship in Neuroradiology. Dr. Rehman was a member of the Congress of Neurosurgeons and the American Association of Neurosurgeons.

     


    Dr. Kanchwala was a pulmonologist and medical intensivist and joined Stormont-Vail HealthCare in August 2010. He received his medical degree from DOW University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, in 2000. He completed his residency in internal medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, N.Y., in 2007. He completed a fellowship in pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and sleep medicine in 2010 at East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, N.C. Dr. Kanchwala was a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the American Thoracic Society.

     

     

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