• Stormont-Vail Receives Excellence Award

    Tuesday May 19, 2015

    Award recognizes exceptionally high performance in clinical effectiveness

    Stormont-Vail HealthCare has received the Excellence Award for Clinical Effectiveness from VHA, Inc., for achieving exceptionally high levels of performance in clinical effectiveness when compared to national benchmarks.

    Stormont-Vail was one of six VHA-member hospitals in the nation to receive the Excellence Award for Clinical Effectiveness. VHA, Inc. is the largest member-owned health care company in the country, serving 5,000 health system members and representing more than a quarter of the nation’s hospitals. The award was presented May 14 at a VHA conference in Las Vegas.

    “This award demonstrates the high standards of our physicians, staff and organization in providing quality care for our community,” said Randy Peterson, president and chief executive officer of Stormont-Vail HealthCare. “We are evolving into a system that is based on value instead of volume. Value emphasizes quality, service and wellness. This award is an indicator that we are successful in that effort while continuing to provide excellence in care.”

    To determine the winners of the Clinical Effectiveness Award, VHA evaluated all qualifying member hospitals that achieved exceptionally high scores on several key national pay-for-performance measures as well as a high level of engagement in VHA improvement programs.

    “Hospitals across the country are focused on making the transition to a value based model for care delivery while also working to ensure they are meeting new performance measures for clinical effectiveness,” said Byron Jobe, VHA executive vice president, service and delivery. “VHA’s Clinical Effectiveness Award recognizes and celebrates those member organizations that have been most successful in making this critical transition while continuing to deliver high quality care in the communities they serve.” 

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  • Stormont-Vail HealthCare Celebrates One Year Anniversary as Mayo Clinic Care Network Member

    Thursday April 9, 2015

    Stormont-Vail HealthCare joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network one year ago this month. In a news conference today, Stormont-Vail and Mayo Clinic officials commemorated the anniversary by providing an update to a group of board members, staff and community leaders.

    Stormont-Vail President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Peterson cited collaboration between Stormont-Vail and Mayo Clinic physicians and leadership as the foremost accomplishment of the membership in the first year. “I am pleased to report that our physicians completed 163 eConsults for patients in the past 12 months. That means 163 times our physicians were able to consult with Mayo specialists as they work to ensure the best diagnosis and treatment options are found for our patients,” said Peterson.

    Lambert Wu, M.D., Cotton-O’Neil cardiologist, is Stormont-Vail’s physician champion for the network relationship. “I am pleased with the Mayo Clinic Care Network collaboration,” said Dr. Wu. “Many of our physicians have embraced the collaboration and are now providing our patients with access to Mayo Clinic expertise, while keeping their care right here at home.”

    Cotton-O’Neil Oncologist Mehmood Hashmi, M.D., has used eConsult 15 times in the past 12 months. “The eConsult service is an excellent resource for Stormont-Vail physicians and patients,” said Dr. Hashmi. “I have used it in complex cases and it has helped me to provide the best possible solution for patients.” 

    Jakica Tancabelic, M.D, Cotton-O’Neil Pediatric Hematologist and Oncologist, said the eConsult service is a great opportunity to discuss complicated cases with experts in the field and to confirm that the treatment provided here at Stormont-Vail is on target.

    In addition to the eConsult service, Stormont-Vail also has taken advantage of networking opportunities with other Mayo Clinic Care Network members. Stormont-Vail sent staff to the network’s Leadership summit and the health care symposium this past year. “Both of these meetings allowed us to meet and interact with other network members, assist in investigating and developing new services for members and share best practices on key strategic issues like population health, cybersecurity and managed care strategies,” said Peterson. Peterson also served on a panel of network CEOs that met to discuss strategies around population health.

    During the past year, Stormont-Vail staff has also consulted with Mayo Clinic experts on several specific patient care issues, including nurse retention strategies, palliative care resources for patients and families, and during the Ebola crisis Mayo Clinic resources were consulted to develop site-specific protocols for identifying and treating Ebola virus.

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  • 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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