March 26, 2019
 
Commonwealth Care Alliance Gives $150K to Improve Service

December 23, 2018 —Commonwealth Care Alliance, a Boston-based, nonprofit health care organization, last week announced it awarded $150,000 to three Boston-area community health centers to support innovative, consumer-driven provider improvement projects.

Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) said the funding is the first offered by its Consumer Centered Innovations in Quality Program, which is designed to promote collaborative quality improvement approaches between primary care practices and their patients.

“CCA created this program to help local provider partners test care improvement methods that have the potential to impact broader healthcare transformation,” said CCA President and CEO Christopher D. Palmieri. “In supporting these initiatives, we are supporting healthcare innovation, which is vital to our mission to provide the best possible care, tailored to meet the complex needs of the high-cost, high-needs populations we serve.”

Receiving $50,000 each were:
  • Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program in Boston, to improve health and well-being among aging homeless populations

  • Lynn Community Health Center in Lynn, to develop a consumer partnership approach to improving care and service for patients with co-occurring mental illness and diabetes

  • Upham’s Corner Health Center in Boston, to address social isolation through a cultural tailored and patient participatory quality improvement project
CCA also will provide technical assistance to the selected providers to ensure that patient and caregiver input is embedded in the projects.

“Patients with complex health and social needs are not typically asked to partner with providers to evaluate and improve care and service. While such partnerships can yield rich insights and achieve great results, new methods and tools may be required for successful engagement,” said Dr. Larry Gottlieb, chief quality officer at CCA. “We are excited to be able to draw upon our experience to assist these primary care partners as they embark on these innovative projects.”

At the conclusion of the year-long funding program, CCA plans to invite providers for a learning collaborative, where recipients will share perspectives, lessons learned, and outcomes.

“The learning collaborative is a critical component of this program,” noted Gottlieb. “The shared learnings will help participating providers to sustain and expand their initial improvement efforts past the initial funding period while also supporting wider dissemination of important lessons learned.”

Provider organizations across Massachusetts who care for large numbers of patients in CCA’s One Care or Senior Care Options health plans were invited to submit proposals focused on physical disabilities, mental illness, social determinants of health, or loneliness and social isolation. Project submissions were required to include clear metrics, milestones, and overall measurements for success.

CCA provides two health plans that cover 30,000 members who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.

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