PRHI coordinates multiple statewide gatherings for COE, PCMH programs

Participants at the PCMH meeting on October 24.

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation's staff members who work on training and education are having a busy fall.

Staff members with JHF's Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative operating arm coordinate several statewide Learning Networks. In October, those included two meetings of the Medicaid HealthChoices Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program and three meetings for members of the Centers of Excellence (COE).

The PCMH Learning Network aims to support the PCMH providers and Physical Health MCOs in identifying and acting on improvement strategies towards the common PCMH aims and measures, and developing an internal capacity to continuously learn, adapt, and improve. During the October quarterly learning collaborative session, which included clinician champions, practice manager champions and representatives from the Medicaid MCOs, discussion focused on the PCMH aims of deploying a community-based care management team (CBCM) and incorporating a nationally recognized social determinants of health assessment tool into their practice.

The Center of Excellence (COE) Technical Assistance Project is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide technical assistance to the Commonwealth's 45 COEs. The University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy, Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU), along with Community Care Behavioral Health Organization (CCBHO), and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) provide technical assistance, learning networks, and curriculum specific to the needs of each COE.

The COEs ensure effective care coordination, integrate physical and behavioral health needs for every patient with an Opioid Use Disorder, and increase access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). During the October quarterly learning collaborative sessions learning which included clinician champions, practice manager champions and representatives from the Medicaid MCOs, discussion focused on engagement and retention in care for MAT and comprehensive care services.

Jennifer Condel, educator and manager of JHF/PRHI's Lean Healthcare Strategy and Implementation, said "the lines are beginning to blur" amid the knowledge shared through JHF's various learning collaboratives.

"We have a very unique opportunity to make broader, stronger connections across the state for care providers and community agencies," Condel said. 

Participants at the COE meeting on October 16.

Presenter David Loveland, PhD, Senior Program Director of Community Care Behavioral Health, spoke to understanding the biology of addiction relating to engagement and retention opportunities, and the awareness for using engaging or disengaging language that doesn't judge or stigmatize.

PRHI's Chief Learning and Medical Informatics Officer Dr. Bruce Block said that while he and fellow PRHI staff and leadership are immersed daily in pulling analytics on patients and healthcare delivery, for the frontline staff attending these learning sessions' data is often a dirty word.

"When they hear the word 'data,' they get panicky," Block said. "To them, data is about measuring their personal performance and finding it lacking."

Health system managers, too, often take that approach, he added. "Putting COE practices into place and centering patient needs can often slow down intake." That's a difficult shift for managers "whose entire careers have been about increasing productivity."

The PCMH learning collaborative for Northwestern & Southwestern PA occurred on October 24 at the QIT Center in JHF's offices, while the collaborative session for Northeastern PA took place in Scranton on October 30.The Lehigh/Capital PA will occur November 6 followed by a virtual learning session for the Southeastern region on November 12.

JHF's team held a learning collaborative session in Harrisburg for COE members in the Lehigh/Capital PA region on October 17, a learning session for Southeastern PA COEs on October 18 and one for the Northeastern PA COEs on October 30. The Southwestern PA learning session will occur on November 15.

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