December 2021 Edition
Our Spring Innovation Thought-Leadership Summit to Take on Key, Timely Topics
In-Person and Virtual Leadership Hybrid Event Scheduled for April 12-13 in DC
On April 12-13 in Washington, DC, key senior executives from across the health care spectrum will gather for our 2022 Innovation Summit & Capitol Caucus at the Top of the Hill Banquet & Conference Center. This two-day thought-leadership event, “Innovation in Resource Allocation: Population Health Management Strategies to Recover Losses and Accelerate Gains,” will feature a slate of compelling speakers and presentations, taking on pertinent topics of the day—such as Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).
SDOH is a top priority for PHA, as PHA has long recognized how health equity and SDOH significantly impacts both the rising costs of health care, and more importantly, the overall health of Americans. During this session slated for Day #2, four expert panelists will candidly discuss the economic and social conditions that influence and impact health status. The panelists are:
  • Josette Gbemudu, Executive Director, Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health, Merck
  • Seth Serxner, PhD, MPH, Chief Health Officer & Senior Vice President of Population Health, Optum
  • Jamo Rubin, MD, Co-founder and Executive Chair, RightSite Health
  • Matt Salo, Executive Director, National Association of Medicaid Directors

But this is just one of the sessions. To learn more about our program, click here.
We also encourage you to register before year-end to secure early-bird rates.

PHA Releases First in a Series of Social Determinants of Health Issue Briefs
Last week, PHA unveiled its first in a series of issue briefs exploring social determinants of health (SDOH) topics. ”Taking Stock: Historical Context and How the Pandemic Is Changing the Face of Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity,” was the first chapter in our brand new Health of Populations and Social Determinants of Health series to be released individually over the next few months. Other issue briefs in this series that will be distributed over the coming months, will be on such subjects as: Health Equity, Behavioral Health, Innovative Approaches to Care Management, and other pertinent topics.
This first thoughtful and in-depth paper was written by PHA Board Member, Mary Jane Osmick, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician executive with extensive experience leading organizations in health care delivery and consultant on population health and SDOH issues.
This initiative is under the auspices of PHA's Quality and Research Committee. The Committee kicked off this series on November 1st, with the rerelease of “Taking Action on Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities,“ a well-received whitepaper distributed to the membership and the partner community back in March of 2018. This re-release includes a new preface from PHA Chairman Emeritus Rose Maljanian, Chairman & CEO HealthCAWS.

To download your copy of the “Taking Stock” Issue Brief, click here.
To download a copy of the rereleased whitepaper, click here.
PHA to Hold First-Ever 'State of Population Health' Virtual Event in Early 2022
Registration information and more specific program details will be coming very soon, but please keep your ears and eyes open to learn more about our first-ever "State of Population Health” forum, to be held in early 2022. Our hope is that this new event will be an annual offering, much like the US State of the Union speech. The program will be virtual and FREE to members to attend!

This new thought-leadership event will set the table for important issues and trends in population health. Dan Mendelson, CEO, Morgan Health at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association, will be among the keynote speakers scheduled.

Watch your inbox for more details coming soon!
CMMI Launches "Bold New Strategy" for Patient-Centered Care
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center or CMMI) is launching a bold new strategy with the goal of achieving equitable outcomes through high-quality, affordable, person-centered care. To achieve this vision, the Innovation Center is launching a strategic refresh organized around key objectives.

“The health system must recognize and meet people’s medical needs by considering their preferences, values, and circumstances; should strive to keep people healthy and independent; and help providers coordinate care seamlessly and holistically across settings in a manner that puts people at the center of their own care,” CMMI said in a document outlining its new strategy.

One of the objectives will be to embed health equity in every aspect of CMS Innovation Center models and increase focus on underserved populations.
All new models will require participants to collect and report the demographic data of their beneficiaries and, as appropriate, data on social needs and social determinants of health. All new models will include patients from historically underserved populations and safety net providers, such as community health centers and disproportionate share hospitals. All new models will identify areas for reducing inequities at the population level, such as avoidable admissions, and set targets for reducing those inequities.

Next steps for the models in health equity include:
  • Better understand facilitators and barriers to participation in value-based payment models so that future models are designed to target and increase participation among providers that care for underserved populations.
  • Ensure all beneficiaries have access to providers engaged in care transformation to deliver high-quality care by addressing issues such as implicit bias in model design, implementation and evaluation. 
  • Launch more Medicaid-focused models and/or modify existing models to include additional Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • Require a more deliberate and consistent approach within the Innovation Center, as well as across CMS, in quality measurement and evaluations to assess the impact of models on underserved populations and to close disparities in care and outcomes.
PHA Committee Summarizes Key Healthcare Provisions in Biden Initiatives
To keep the PHA community informed on how current legislative initiatives could impact population health matters, PHA’s Government Affairs Committee has recently prepared two fact sheets on both the Biden Administration’s “Build Back Better Act” and the newly-passed “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” summarizing the key healthcare provisions. To view or download the documents, click here: Build Back Better and Infrastructure Investment.
Doron Schneider to Chair PHA's New Advancing Primary Care Workgroup
We're proud to announce that PHA Member Doron Schneider, MD, MBA, FACP, Vice President of Population Health for Tandigm Health (pictured, right) and a PHA Board Member, will serve as Chair of the PHA Advancing Primary Care Workgroup. In addition, Doron has also agreed to represent PHA on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Equality of Opportunity Health Task Force, set to meet in 2022. 

As previously reported, last month, PHA launched several new workgroups to focus on important topics in the population health sphere. Unlike PHA committees, the workgroups meet every other month, and are expected to deliver one issue brief a year, as well as one issue-based companion webinar annually. To date, the Behavioral Health Workgroup, chaired by Matt Miclette, Senior Director of Clinical Operations at NeuroFlow, had its initial introductory meeting, and the Health Equity Workgroup, chaired by Josette Gbemudu, Executive Director of Health Equity at Merck is slated to meet later this month.
Cures 2.0 Bill Introduced in House - Aimed to Expand Telehealth Coverage
U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI) have introduced their finalized Cures 2.0 bill in the House, which aims to expand access to telehealth for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The 173-page bill includes policies to expedite the delivery of cures, treatments, and innovations to patients across the country. The lawmakers first released the Cures 2.0 legislation draft in June, which included telehealth provisions that reflected the uptick in virtual care during the pandemic. Click to read the rest of the article.
Take a look at some of the latest happenings from our PHA Members:
Lightbeam Health Solutions Acquires CareSignal

CareSignal will be joining Lightbeam Health Solutions! Lightbeam Health Solutions, Inc., the leader in end-to-end population health management solutions, recently announced the acquisition of CareSignal, the pioneer of Deviceless Remote Patient Monitoring technology and a PHA member. The deal enables Lightbeam to integrate scalable, evidence-based remote engagement and monitoring capabilities into its core population health offering, which serves more than 42 million patient lives across the United States. Read entire article.
CareOregon Invests $250K to Help Clackmas County Open New Health Clinics

CareOregon just announced investing $250,000 in the Clackamas County School-Based Health Center program. Funds will support staffing at two new school-based health centers in North Clackamas School District. “CareOregon and Clackamas County have worked together for decades,” said Robert McConville Vice President of CareOregon Metro, “This partnership runs deep and is built on our common commitment to serving our community’s health.” The new health clinics are opening this fall at Adrienne C. Nelson High School and the newly renovated Clackamas High School, both located in the growing Happy Valley area. North Clackamas Schools now has one clinic in each of its four high schools. Read entire story.
American College of Lifestyle Medicine Bestows Another Certified Lifestyle Medicine Program Distinction
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) recently announced that the Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute (RLMI) Jumpstart Program has earned Certified Lifestyle Medicine Program designation. The designation recognizes, supports and encourages adoption of evidence-based health intervention programs that meet rigorous review requirements and standards for offering lifestyle modification for chronic disease treatment and reversal. Jumpstart, led by Founder and President of the Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute, Ted Barnett, MD helps participants prevent, arrest and even reverse chronic disease such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure through a scientifically proven whole-food, plant-based approach to eating. Read more of article.
Geisinger Researchers Find Genomic Screening Can Identify Risk for Amyloid Cardiomyopathy

Researchers at Geisinger recently discovered that genomic screening can help identify patients who are at risk for heart disease associated with amyloidosis, the build-up of abnormal proteins in the organs and tissues. Transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) can be hereditary and lead to a spectrum of other diseases and conditions, including cardiomyopathy, a common precursor to heart failure. One known cause of ATTR is variation of the transthyretin (TTR) gene, so researchers hypothesized that identification of disease-causing variants could lead to discovery of undiagnosed disease. Read press release.
Outdoor Voices and YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) Enter into Three-Year Partnership

Outdoor Voices and the YMCA have entered into a three-year partnership with the goal of making exercise more accessible for all, providing Recreationalists everywhere with equal opportunity. On Giving Tuesday, November 30, Outdoor Voices launched three products, a sweatshirt; a hat, and crew socks all emblazoned with the favorite Outdoor Voices expression, “Y’all.” “Y’all” was initially used by Outdoor Voices to describe the community of Recreationalists fostered by the brand. The phrase returns with new intention, nodding to the beneficiary of this new product launch — the Y. One hundred percent of the profits from all three items will go toward YMCA of the USA with the intention of supporting their mission of building stronger communities and helping people tap into their potential, purpose, and each other. Read article.
Kathy Collins Named New Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at GEHA

GEHA (Government Employees Health Association, Inc.) recently announced that Kathy Collins has joined the nonprofit member association as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. Collins will leverage a targeted approach to driving growth through integrated sales and marketing initiatives. She will focus on aligning sales strategies to specific consumer segments, utilizing digital and virtual techniques to connect with GEHA’s members and prospects. Collins was most recently in a consulting role with GEHA, where she served as Chief Marketing Consultant, helping navigate and deepen GEHA’s brand presence and partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs. Read more of story.
Bayer, Microsoft Enter into Strategic Partnership to Optimize and Advance Digital Capabilities for Food, Feed, Fuel, Fiber Value Chain

Bayer recently announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to build a new cloud-based set of digital tools and data science solutions for use in agriculture and adjacent industries, bringing new infrastructure and foundational capabilities to accelerate innovation, boost efficiency and support sustainability across value chains. Agriculture and agribusinesses today benefit from a wide range of digital tools and data-powered insights through platforms like Bayer’s Climate FieldView™ – used today on more than 180 million farming acres across more than 20 countries. Under the agreement, Bayer will work with Microsoft to co-develop new solutions that address critical industry scenarios such as farming operations, sustainable sourcing, manufacturing and supply chain improvement, and ESG monitoring and measurement. Read full press release.

NCQA Launches Pilot Program for Health Equity Accreditation Plus

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently launched a pilot program to develop its Health Equity Accreditation Plus evaluation program—with the assistance of nine leading health organizations from across the country. Health Equity Accreditation Plus helps health care organizations establish processes and cross-sector partnerships that identify and address social risk factors in their communities and the social needs of the people they serve. Health Equity Accreditation Plus builds on NCQA's recently launched Health Equity Accreditation program that sets a robust framework for improving health equity by helping organizations identify and close care gaps. Read more of story.

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