Care Transformation Collaborative of RI

News & Updates | January 2024

CTC-RI task force takes action on primary care provider shortage

The primary care provider shortage has been receiving national and local attention, and our CTC-RI Primary Care Workforce Task Force, launched in April, has taken steps to address the crisis head on. Task Force members include the leaders of the physician, nurse practitioner and physician assistant training programs from RI colleges, universities and health systems. The Task Force has developed a Strategic Roadmap that lays out six goals to address the major issues contributing to the primary care provider shortage:

  1. Reform payments and incentives to primary care providers to create regional parity.
  2. Establish baseline data and targets for primary care workforce using existing and to-be-developed data sources for ongoing monitoring.
  3. Increase the recruitment of medical students, residents/fellows, as well as nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) trainees entering primary care. Reduce tuition and student debt for providers entering primary care in RI.
  4. Expand primary care provider workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
  5. Increase the funding for training primary care providers and the number of high-quality primary care training sites. 
  6. Enhance onsite clinical training in advanced patient-centered medical home (PCMH) principles such as team-based care, integrated behavioral health, practice transformation, and payment reform.

The plan includes recommended action steps and objectives that stakeholders in Rhode Island should take to improve the provider workforce and increase access to primary care. Read more.

Improving Child Health in RI quarterly meeting

CTC-RI and PCMH Kids welcomed pediatric practices and stakeholders to the January "Improving Child Health in RI" meeting. PCMH Kids co-chairs, Drs. Flanagan and Lange reviewed the accomplishments of 2023. Accomplishments included the following projects with a special project spotlight on Asthma presented by CTC-RI's Susan Dettling and P.R.I.M.A.’s Dr. O’Shea:

  • Medicaid Pediatric Healthcare Recovery Program
  • Pediatric Weight Management ECHO and QI Initiative
  • Care Coordination ECHO Learning Series
  • MomsPRN Program
  • DULCE (Developmental Understanding and Legal Collaboration with Everyone)
  • Healthy Tomorrows
  • Healthcare Transitions: Pediatric to Adult Care
  • Demographic Data Collection
  • Restrictive Eating Disorder ECHO and QI Initiative
  • Increasing Pediatric IBH Capacity using Community Health Workers
  • Expanding Pediatric IBH Capacity
  • Healthy Happy Teams
  • Behavioral Health Workforce Development Efforts
  • AAP Family Strengths Assessment Visit
  • Asthma ECHO and QI Initiative

Drs. Flanagan and Lange wrapped up the meeting with a preview of new 2024 opportunities and asking the pediatric community what else should be considered for future projects. Be on the lookout for call-for-applications in our newsletters and email blasts for upcoming new projects. Read more.

Team-Based Care meeting focuses on safe sleep and conversations with families

In December, around 50 attendees joined our Team-Based Care meeting focusing on safe sleep. Margo Katz, MA, RIDOH Program Manager for Safe Sleep and Substance-Exposed Newborns, provided an overview of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), including common causes, state data, and evidence-based recommendations for safe sleep and related products.

The team of presenters also helped prepare care teams to have conversations with families about safe sleep. Parent Kiana Cruz shared her story of learning about safe sleep as a new parent, and Maria Camarena, Parents as Teachers program supervisor at Westerly Public Schools, and Wendy Lincoln, Clinical Supervisor for the Healthy Families America program at CCAP both shared some tips for having effective, culturally competent conversations with families about safe sleep.

The presentation slides are available here and the recording can be viewed here. Bilingual materials to support conversations with families about safe sleep are available here.

Clinical Strategy Committee highlights AHEAD Model and CTC-RI strategic planning

The December Clinical Strategy Committee meeting brought together 46 attendees for a comprehensive session featuring a presentation by Cory King, OHIC Acting Health Insurance Commissioner, who presented insights into the All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (AHEAD) Model. This presentation provided valuable perspectives on shaping health equity strategies within the community and insights into the Notice of Funding Opportunity. The goal of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the AHEAD Model is to collaborate with states in curbing health care cost growth, improve population health, and advance health equity by reducing disparities in health outcomes.

The meeting also included a thorough review of the work conducted throughout the year by the Clinical Strategy Committee and reflected on achievements and milestones over the past months. Read more.

CTC-RI hosts forth webinar in Demographic Data Collection Pilot Train-the-Trainer Series

This month's fourth session of our train-the-trainer series for the Demographic Data Collection Pilot, featured presentations from experts Luisa Cardenas and Farah Kader of the New York Academy of Medicine and Westchester County Department of Health. They discussed the importance of disaggregating race/ethnicity data beyond current federal standards and presented compelling research supporting the implementation of disaggregation in healthcare, revealing hidden disparities. Also discussed were ways to analyze this detailed data with a focus on fair health practices and exploring how patients feel in sharing specific race/ethnicity information in a health care setting. Read more.

Thank you for your board service,

Dr. David Bourassa!

CTC-RI would like to give a special thanks to one of our founding board members who will be departing as our Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) representative. David Bourassa, MD serves as chief medical officer at Thundermist Health Center. Dr. Bourassa's leadership and guidance has inspired us to provide more effective care for our patients and families. Thank you for the positive impact you have had on CTC-RI and on Rhode Island's primary care community. 

"I am grateful to have been able to serve as part of an organization that has and continues to improve primary care in Rhode Island." -- David Bourassa, MD

Monthly CBO Spotlight: East Bay Community Action Program

Our primary care transformation efforts often include the support and partnership of community-based organizations (CBOs) statewide. CTC-RI is spotlighting a different CBO each month to recognize and appreciate their work in our communities. This month, we're spotlighting East Bay Community Action Program and their Transgender Whole Healthcare (TWH) Program. EBCAP has Primary, Behavioral and Dental Health Centers throughout the East Bay. Their programs and services go beyond the four walls of their Centers, reaching throughout our communities and neighborhoods. 

In which ways does your organization, and this program, uniquely support Rhode Islanders?

East Bay Community Action Program’s TWH program is an interdepartmental initiative designed to fill gaps in care experienced by the LGBTQIA+ population, with a special focus on gender affirmation. The program works to provide East Bay residents with access to gender affirming hormone therapies, PrEP, educational opportunities, networking and outreach, community connections, and peer navigation. The program also provides professional development opportunities for other organizations that are looking to improve their LGBTQIA+ cultural humility, policies, and practices.


How can a partnership with primary care providers strengthen your work?

Partnering with primary care providers both inside EBCAP’s Health Division and outside the organization allows the TWH program to build community connections and provide services and supports to LGBTQIA+ people outside our pool of current patients. It also allows TWH to help improve the health experiences of LGBTQIA+ Rhode Islanders by building the capacity of other systems of care through professional development offerings.


What's something you'd like the primary care community to understand about your organization?

Quinten Foster, Director of TWH, believes that the primary care community would greatly benefit from learning more about gender diversity, and EBCAP’s TWH program is uniquely positioned to support their learning needs! The LGBTQIA+ community has a unique set of experiences and needs that primary care can address skillfully when culturally responsive programs are designed with intentionality.

Want to get in touch?

Contact Quinten Foster, MS, Director of TWH at 401-848-2160 or [email protected].

Find past CTC-RI learning sessions and CME/CEUs here!

CTC-RI offers CME credits for select meetings, including asynchronous viewing of meeting recordings. Learn more and access evaluation forms here.

  • Restrictive Eating Disorders ECHO® Learning Series | FBT: Food is Medicine | December 2023 (presentation)

Practice Resources and Information

CMS Deadline Approaching: Request for Applications for the Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience Model now available

CMS is now accepting applications for the Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) Model, which aims to support people living with dementia and their caregivers. The Request for Applications is now open. The application deadline is January 30, 2024. The model will launch on July 1, 2024, and run for eight years. The GUIDE Model will test whether providing an alternative payment methodology for participating dementia care programs to deliver a package of care management and coordination, caregiver education and support, and GUIDE Respite Services to Medicare beneficiaries with dementia and their caregivers reduces expenditures while preserving or enhancing quality of care.

OHIC Data Story: High and Increasing Prices Drive Prescription Drug Spending

Research on national prescription drug spending data shows that, over time, the average launch prices of prescription drugs have increased by 20% annually. Some Rhode Islanders cannot afford their life-saving prescription medications. OHIC can leverage the state’s All-Payer Claims Database to better understand patterns in health care spending and spending growth. These data can inform provider organizations, payers, purchasers, policymakers, and state residents interested in improving the affordability of health care in Rhode Island. Read more.

Free webinar: Optimizing Medicaid Reimbursement Community Health Worker Delivered EBPs

Are you seeking ways to sustain your Community Health Worker (CHW) Program while improving population health? Many organizations are having success with establishing partnerships and delivering evidence-based programs (EBPs) within their state. On February 21, the National Council On Aging will be hosting a free webinar to explore how to optimize Medicaid reimbursement for EBPs delivered by CHWs. Register.

Recent News

Providence Journal: The doctor shortage is crippling health care. Could pharmacists help?

By Amy Russo | January 12, 2024

Lifespan and the University of Rhode Island are partners in a pilot program that would boost access to health care through broadening the role of pharmacists. Read more.

Providence Journal (opinion): RI needs to heal its ailing primary care system

By Howard Schulman, MD, guest columnist | December 31, 2023

Just like commerce needs infrastructure (roads and bridges and railroads and ports), delivering primary health care needs infrastructure, and Rhode Island has ignored this for way too long. First and foremost, the state needs a non-interim director of the Department of Health, and for that director to focus on how health care is delivered. The General Assembly needs to fix the problem of inadequate pay for the director, which is now less than the starting salary of almost every physician. Read more.

Providence Journal: RI lawmakers come back next week for a new session. Here's what will spark debate.

By Katherine Gregg and Patrick Anderson | December 29, 2023

With Rhode Island affected by a national doctor shortage – specifically, a shortage of primary-care doctors and clinicians – the state's top health regulator and the Rhode Island Medical Society want insurers and Medicaid to raise their reimbursement rates to make Rhode Island more competitive with Massachusetts and Connecticut. Read more.

PBN: 12-month program helps R.I. pediatricians navigate rising rates of child obesity

By Katie Castellani | December 17, 2023

PROVIDENCE – As Rhode Island continues to grapple with a primary care workforce shortage, the state’s Care Transformation Collaborative of RI is working to advance programs that respond to these needs.

One topic pediatricians across Rhode Island have asked for help with is navigating the topic of weight management as children throughout the state are overweight and facing obesity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a RI KIDS COUNT report. This fall, CTC-RI, completed its first 12-month pediatric weight management program funded by Point32Health, which is the parent company of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Read more.

Upcoming CTC-RI Committee Meetings and Workgroups

  • January 19, 07:30-09:00AM – CTC-RI Clinical Strategy Committee
  • January 26, 07:30-08:45AM – Board of Directors
  • February 07, 07:30-08:30AM – PCP/Specialist Monthly Oversight Meeting
  • February 07, 02:30-03:30PM – Demographic Data Monthly Committee Meeting
  • February 14, 08:00-09:00AM – CTC-RI Primary Care Workforce Taskforce Meeting
  • February 16, 07:30-09:00AM – CTC-RI Clinical Strategy Committee
  • February 23, 07:30-08:45AM – Board of Directors

Upcoming Learning Collaboratives and Professional Development

  • January 18, 07:30-08:30AM – ECHO: Increasing Access to Care for Children and Adolescents with Restrictive Eating Disorders by Optimizing Integrated Behavioral Health Care
  • January 19, 12:00-01:00PM – Integrated Behavioral Health Meet and Eat
  • January 25, 02:00-03:00PM – Monthly Healthy Tomorrows
  • January 31, 07:30-09:00AM – Asthma Collaborative Kickoff
  • February 01, 07:30-08:00AM – Virtual Coffee Breaks with Dr Pat Flanagan & Dr Beth Lange
  • February 12, 11:00-12:00PM – CTC-RI/RIDOH HEZ Community of Practice: Bridging the Clinical Community Divide
  • February 15, 07:30-08:30AM – ECHO: Increasing Access to Care for Children and Adolescents with Restrictive Eating Disorders by Optimizing Integrated Behavioral Health Care
  • February 20, 08:00-09:00AM – Best Practices in Team-Based Care
  • February 21, 07:30-08:30AM – 4M Framework Learning Collaborative Meeting
  • February 26, 12:00-01:00PM – Healthy Tomorrows Quarterly Learning Collaborative Meeting - Cohort 3 and Cohort 4
  • February 27, 07:30-08:30AM – Pharmacy QI Learning Collaborative: CGM & ABPM
  • February 29, 09:00-10:15AM – Demographic Data Collection Pilot Train-the-Trainer Webinar Series
Care Transformation Collaborative of RI | [email protected] |